Out of Left Field

How community reporting brought a city kid to Powell

Posted 6/23/20

What’s a city kid from Austin, Texas, who went to school in Phoenix, Arizona, doing in Powell, Wyoming?

Allow me to explain.

I lived in Austin for the first 18 years of life before …

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Out of Left Field

How community reporting brought a city kid to Powell

Posted

What’s a city kid from Austin, Texas, who went to school in Phoenix, Arizona, doing in Powell, Wyoming?

Allow me to explain.

I lived in Austin for the first 18 years of life before attending Arizona State University. As a child living in central Texas, my family frequently attended various college and professional sporting events, mainly Texas A&M football games. Watching players like Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans under the lights at Kyle Field enhanced my infatuation with sports, which led me to pursue a career in sports reporting.

After graduating from Vandegrift High School, I attended Arizona State University, where I studied sports journalism.

During my three years at ASU, I was very fortunate. I had countless opportunities to cover professional and collegiate sports. From the PGA Tour to MLB spring training and the College Football Playoff, I gained experience reporting at high-profile events. I had the chance to rub elbows with some of the biggest names in professional sports, including Mike Trout, Rickie Fowler and Devin Booker.

While these moments certainly allowed me to gain confidence and sharpen my craft, I found reporting on a smaller scale to be more fulfilling in the long run.

As a beat reporting intern for the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod Baseball League, I was the team’s lone scribe, writing feature and game pieces throughout the 2019 season. This was my first experience with community sports reporting. Because of the town’s (Bourne, Massachusetts) unwavering support for the team, I found locals buying into my stories. Every game, I’d have people tell me how meaningful these articles were to them.

Nothing beat that feeling.

When teams don’t get as much press, players, coaches and fans tend to be more appreciative of the spotlight. And being able to make an impact is ultimately a journalist’s number one goal. That warmth from realizing that your work made a positive impact on someone’s day is impossible to replicate.

Don’t get me wrong — interviewing someone of Trout’s caliber is also an incredible feeling. Years down the road, he may be regarded as the greatest baseball player ever. But as the MLB’s premier player, there are hundreds of articles written about him on a weekly basis.

It’s harder to make an impact when so many people are writing similar stories.

I have found it more rewarding to capture a high school football coach’s journey to redemption from cocaine addiction to winning the state title. Or the mid-major pitcher who played his first summer ball game at the field where his grandfather’s ashes were spread. Or the sixth-year senior tight end who played at three different colleges before landing at an FCS program.

You won’t hear about these people on SportsCenter. They won’t sign shoe contracts (or even autographs). But their stories are incredible and deserve to be told.

So when a job opened at the Powell Tribune, applying was a no brainer. It would allow me to build upon my newfound love of community sports reporting while living in beautiful northwest Wyoming.

Just a few days into my new life in Powell, I’ve already noticed something distinct about the community: its passion. From brief conversations with residents, it’s quite evident how much people love the town and its teams — and that’s a sports reporter dream. This gives me confidence that my stories can have a direct impact on athletes, coaches, parents and Powell as a whole.

Whether it’s at the football field, basketball court or rodeo grounds, I promise to find unique angles and write insightful pieces. I look forward to meeting you all and telling your stories!

If you have story ideas, feel free to reach me on Twitter @CarsonDField or via email at carson@powelltribune.com.

 

(Carson Field is the Powell Tribune’s new sports reporter. His first day was Monday.)

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