Job titles can change, but my dedication to our area sports never will

From The Fringe...


Last updated 2/2/2021 at 9:26am

The cat is out of the bag. I am no longer just the sports editor at the Havre Daily News. Although, if you read our sports section every day, and I hope you do, you wouldn't know it because I have been writing a lot of stories the last three months.

Still, while doing that, I have also spent the last month training to become the new publisher here at the HDN, as my good friend and awesome colleague Stacy Mantle has now officially retired from her publisher job.

So with that announcement, let me first say how honored and grateful I am to have been chosen to be the new publisher of the Havre Daily. I'm very thankful that our ownership selected me to lead the paper into the future, and it's a responsibility I will cherish, and take very seriously. I also want to say a huge thank-you to Stacy. Without her the last decade-plus, I wouldn't be where I am today, and that includes our award wining sports section. That's right, behind the scenes, Stacy was extremely helpful to our sports department over the years, and I'll always appreciate that.

And that brings me to the point of this column. While I am the publisher now, and that comes with an all new set of work responsibilities and time constraints, I want all of our great readers and sports fans here in Havre to know that I am also going to continue in my role as sports editor. That is something I haven't walked away from in 15 years now, and even as I expand my duties here at the HDN, it's a position I'm firm in keeping.

From the day a certain beat writer for the Seattle Mariners up and left his partner in HDN sports for a job in Pocatello, Idaho 16 years ago, I have taken so much pride in being the sports editor of my hometown newspaper. I've taken so much my pride in developing a brand here at the HDN, and that brand is, hyper-local, high-level sports coverage.

What that means in simpler terms is, I believe, if it's a high school varsity, or high school-aged club sport, if it's MSU-Northern athletics, and, even the University of Montana and Montana State to some extent, if it's rodeo, American Legion Baseball, summer camps and more, it needs to be covered in our newspaper. No matter what it takes, it's that important to me, because I believe it's that important to you. That is why I have worked so hard to develop ideas like our Hi-Line Football, Volleyball and Basketball Roundups, so that, while we can't cover 14 high schools every weekend in person, we can ensure every one of those school's results makes it into our sports section. It's the same reason why I decided many years ago to enhance our MSU-Northern football coverage with a Game Day issue for every home game. I decided, at that time that, I don't care what level it is, college football is still college football, and the beat needs to be handled in the same way that the Missoulian covers Griz football, or in the same way the Tuscaloosa News covers the Alabama Crimson Tide.

And those are just a few of the many examples of how I have made sure we cover as much local sports as it is human possibly, five days a week, 365 days a year. And, I plan on continuing that, and also continuing to enhance it.

Now, will there be some tweaks and changes along the way? I'm sure there will be. I will have a new sports writer, and, not right now, but in the future, you may not see me have five or six bylines on the sports pages every day like I do right now. But, the principles of our section will now change. My philosophies on what our sports section should be will not change, and, on top of all of that, you'll still see me at plenty of games, and events. Because something that can never completely change is, while I may be a publisher now, and I have been an editor for 16 years, I will forever be a sports writer, I will forever be a journalist, and a columnist. That can never change. It's who I am, it's in me. It's what I always wanted to be, and it will always be a big part of me.

Rest assured, no matter where the future takes me, I will do my duty, and continue my mission to deliver the best sports coverage I possibly can to Havre, to MSU-N, to all of the Hi-Line, to the state of Montana, and beyond. I believe I've been doing that for a time now, and the last thing I would ever want is to see that change. And I promise, it won't.

So, again, I want to say, I'm excited to be the new publisher here at the Havre Daily News. It's home to me, and where I've spent nearly 20 years of my adult life, and even before that, where I first learned how to write a sports story as a 17 year-old intern while still attending and playing sports at Havre High. My connection goes back even further than that, meaning, I had HDN paper routes as a kid and even played on a C-League Havre Daily News/Bear Paw Sentinel championship baseball team. Yes, there's no denying, the HDN is just in my blood, and so, this change, this move to the publisher chair is one I'm extremely blessed, and extremely fortunate to get the opportunity to do.

And with that, comes new challenges and new adventures. And I'm looking forward to them all. But, to all you sports fans, what you won't see as anything but the continued best from myself and all of us here at the HDN. The best sports section we can possibly be, that isn't going to change.


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