Writer cherishes time at Texan


-30- Column

Sara Beth Purdy covered Longhorns men’s swimming and diving (fall 2010), softball (spring 2011 and 2012), women’s soccer (fall 2011), volleyball (fall 2012) and baseball (spring 2013).

Editor's note: A 30 column is a chance for departing permanent staff to say farewell and reflect on their time spent in The Daily Texan’s basement office. The term comes from the old typesetting mark (-30-) to denote the end of a line.

About three years ago, a friend challenged me to try out for the Texan. He had seen an ad seeking applicants and pushed me to give it a shot. Not being a journalism major, I dismissed the idea but his challenge quickly turned into a dare. I quickly put together an article about Justin Tucker and one of his many game-winning kicks and a week later I was at my first staff meeting.

That first semester, I started out on the swimming and diving beat. It was a fun one to learn on — not too many events to cover and a large range of feature topics. I even got a chance to meet Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps at the USA Swimming Grand Prix that January!

I transitioned to the softball beat the next two springs. It was my first major beat, and I remember feeling proud that I could be trusted with one of the major sports. It was incredible watching them play. They are truly a talented set of athletes.

This past fall I finally got a chance to write about volleyball, a team I had been watching from the sidelines for years. As a sports writer, it is easier, and more enjoyable, to write an article about a winning team, and I was given plenty of opportunities to do that. I concluded the season with a trip to Louisville to watch them win the national championship — the highlight of my time at the Texan.

My final beat at the Texan was baseball. I remember how excited I was when Christian, my editor, told me that I was going to cover baseball this spring. Baseball is by far my favorite sport and I had been itching for that assignment since I started.

Even though the baseball team has not been as successful as desired, it has certainly been a good experience. Texas head coach Augie Garrido is a character in an interview and always made me laugh.

I want to thank everyone I came into contact with at the Texan. Even though I didn’t share your major or your class schedule, you incorporated me into a community that I will never forget.

Thank you to Christian and Trey, who coached me through these last two semesters as a permanent staff member and who gave me the opportunity to cover both the baseball team and the national championship volleyball team. I truly learned a lot, and this has been one of my favorite years at the Texan.

I also want to thank the other sports editors over the past three years: Nick, Dan, Will and Sameer. Thank you for giving me a chance and helping me to improve! Thank you to Chris, Rachel, Peter, Garrett and Wes for being fabulous co-beat writers! Those games in the press box were some of my favorite times! 

Looking back on the week I was hired, I am incredibly thankful that I was given this opportunity. I have learned so much and have enhanced my writing ability since I started. Plus, being at the Texan gave me the perfect excuse to spend all of my time watching sports rather than doing my homework!