OPINION: There’s more to cover than Basketball in Indiana

*This was an opinion piece I wrote for The Shelbyville News. What I learned most about my writing with this piece was I saw less red mistakes.* Link to Original publication:

When it comes to the state of Indiana, most sports reporters flock to covering high school basketball. While this coverage is needed to obtain a news organization’s audience, there are other winter sports teams to cover with important stories.

Over the past four months, I have had the privilege to cover various Shelby County winter sports teams. It was an experience I wouldn’t change. Here are my favorite sports to cover in the winter for TSN.


Kolton Snyder was one of two SHS bowlers to advance to the regionals in bowling. Snyder bowled a 300, a feat that only four boys’ bowlers have done this season. Patrick Murphy, TSN

At the beginning of the winter season, I covered the Shelbyville bowling teams. The coverage of these teams was interesting. I never covered the sport before.

When I drove to New Castle for the bowling sectional, I didn’t know what to expect. Before walking into the Rose Bowl, I did my research into the sport. But research doesn’t help when I don’t see it in person. The research helped with the feature about SHS bowler Kolton Snyder, though. He had previously bowled a 300. Writing this first feature for TSN was nerve-racking, since it was my first article.

Overtime, I learned how to write better ledes for features, previews and recaps.


Greenley Goedde, a gymnast for Morristown, jumps in the air on the Balance Beam at the Connersville Sectional. Photo by Rob Baker

Another sport I covered was gymnastics. Just like in bowling, I had never covered this sport before. I went into the first feature and looked at various videos of college gymnastics. The first feature I wrote about for this sport was about Morristown’s Greenley Goedde.

For this feature, I actually had to invest in more research, since there wasn’t much previous history available about Goedde. I looked at past emails TSN Sports Editor Kris Mills and Sara Goedde were sending back and forth. This was crucial to knowing an angle for the feature.

The interesting part of Goedde’s story was finding out she was a homeschooled for nine years. Also, she never competed against other high schoolers before, since this was her first year at Morristown. To see how she matured over the gymnastics season was amazing to watch.


Chayce Collier, from Shelbyville, was one of the wrestlers I profiled. He wrestled in the semistate tournament at New Castle. Photo by The Shelbyville News

Wrestling was another sport I covered. At the Warren Central Sectional, Triton Central and SHS competed against each other. This was interesting to watch because I didn’t know what to expect.

The most important part of this school was watching these athletes compete. I’ve seen wrestling on television before, but never in person.

One of the stories I wrote from this sport was about SHS’s Chayce Collier. It was interesting to know the background of his family. Both Collier and his two other brothers wrestled at SHS. That’s pretty cool to talk about with him and see him wrestle.

Covering all of these sports, including the sports I didn’t mention, are important to my growth as a sports journalist. Whether it be a feature story or a preview about a team, these stories are adding more clips to my professional sports journalist repertoire.

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