Sports editor says goodbye after 1 final ‘early’ dinner run, game of basement pingpong

Matthew Boncosky, Sports Editor

I’ve worked at The Texan for three years now, and in that time I’ve heard countless staffers discuss the burnout they eventually experience working at this paper. Throughout my time here, I never really felt it, so I could never fully relate. 

But after eight semesters at The Texan, including seven months as sports editor, it’s finally set in. 

That’s not to say that I am not incredibly grateful for everything that I have done here. This paper has been just about my entire college experience. I truly do not know where I would be without it.

Because of this paper, I have experienced everything that this hopeful sports journalist could’ve dreamed of when he arrived on campus as a freshman. I covered an incredibly fun and talented volleyball team, I covered a wild men’s basketball season that ended with a monumental head coaching change for the program, and I covered the most historically bad football season this school has seen since the Eisenhower administration. I’ve experienced Texas-Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl in all its splendor and I covered a Final Four in New Orleans, all because of my work here.

I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything, but perhaps what I’m most grateful for in my time at The Texan have been the friendships I’ve made in the basement.

I will always remember the countless evenings that I spent in the office, putting together the paper and spending time with everyone who makes it possible. I became the de facto Double Coverage page editor a year ago simply because I liked hanging out in the basement every Thursday night before it was sent to the printer.

I’ve played far too much pingpong on the makeshift table that doubles as our conference table, and I’m proud to leave as the basement’s all-time winningest player according to the official record (the white board tally by the sports desk).

I always told myself I would get homework done during the downtime I had down here, but that never happened of course. There was always some funny conversation to have, opinion poll to debate, group game to play or sport to watch on the TV as we worked.

I’ve felt more at home at The Texan than I have anywhere else at UT, and I’m glad I don’t have to think about what my college years would have been like without it.    

For everything that I’ve been lucky to accomplish here, I have a long list of people to thank.

To Marcus, thank you for hiring me my freshman year before the whole world turned upside down. I hope you’re doing well, keep up the great work.

To Myah, thank you for giving me a shot despite my lack of experience. You taught me how to find and tell interesting stories about this incredibly guarded athletics program. Thanks for all your mentorship, guidance and patience. Covering football with you as the paper’s managing editor made that experience so worthwhile, and I’m thankful for everything you’ve done for me and this paper. I’ll never forget our Zoom game nights.

To Brittany and Daniela, thank you for being the best beat partners I could’ve asked for. Working alongside you was a pleasure, and I wish you both continued success.

To Nathan, thank you for allowing me to cover basketball and football with you and for being the best friend to work alongside. Watching you work made me a better writer, and I will always remember the good times we had covering games together. Thanks for letting me beat you at pingpong over 70 times.

To Carter and Hannah, thanks for leading the department with strength and grace. You set wonderful examples for how the department should be led, and I’m in awe of how you guys did it so well.

To Jack and Blaine, thank you for being the best photographers to work with. Traveling with y’all was always an adventure. Jack, I will tell the story of our Arkansas trip for the rest of my life. Blaine, you rock. I’ll always remember our iconic DKR photoshoot.

To Christina and Mantra, thank you for livening up the basement. Your friendships mean so much to me. We really do turn the sports desk into the peanut gallery whenever we’re down there together. Keep being sickos.

To Mia, thank you for extending a welcoming hand to the shy sports editor this summer. I simply could not have made it through this exhausting semester without you.

To Matthew C., Jordan, Hunter, Angelina, Shez, Juleanna, Fiza, Phoebe, Addie, Rachael, Sruti, Hope, Anna, Megan, every Daily Flexin’ intramural teammate and everyone else (there’s way too many to list) that I interacted with in the basement, thank you for making it the only place I wanted to spend my Monday and Thursday nights. You all are what makes the basement special.

To my summer and fall sports staff, thank you for always being eager and excited to work. I’m sorry I couldn’t do more to make the department as fun as it could have been, but believe me when I say the basement will welcome you in if you let it. Keep up the great work, I can’t wait to see you continue to grow.

To Peter, thank you for everything you do as our advisor. Your wisdom presents itself in so many ways. I will miss our pingpong doubles matches, purposefully falling into your “what’s up” trap and of course, your infamous critiques.

To Kevin Robbins, thank you for being the best mentor. You taught me how to be the best sports writer I can be, and I’m always thankful for your guidance and expertise.

Finally, to my parents and my family, thank you for being the strongest supporters of my work. Your encouraging comments and feedback, even when I published a stinker of a gamer, always made me feel loved. Your support means everything to me.

It has been an incredibly difficult and challenging semester for me this fall. While it’s hard to stomach leaving The Texan on such exhausted and burnt out terms, I truly feel that I squeezed everything that I could have out of my time here. For that, I’m grateful.