I Love Sports.
That would be the first and most important fact that the loyal readers of The Columbia County News-Times should know about me. I'm the new sports writer for our paper. I love all sports. I am the kind of person who will watch competitive badminton at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday morning just to get my sports fix.
I referred to the paper as "our paper" because that is exactly what The News-Times is: a paper for the community. One of the greatest draws for me to come to work in Columbia County was the opportunity to work for a company that really cares about the community it covers.
The News-Times and The Augusta Chronicle put a large amount of effort into making the products that report on the problems, the concerns and the highlights of the communities they represent. The editorial staffs care about the community and the readers.
That said, I am absolutely thrilled to be involved in covering sports in a county that loves and enjoys sports as much as Columbia County. My job would be much harder if I worked in an area that didn't care about sports or didn't have such a large selection of sports to choose from. I know that is not the case in Columbia County, and I am proud to be able to feed the readers' collective appetites for sports coverage.
I come from a small town out west - Atlanta - but I'm not a stranger to the area. As a junior at Georgia State University, I spent last summer working as an intern at The Chronicle.
Although I spent most of my time covering stories for the Metro section, I received a chance to quench my thirst for sports writing quite a few times last summer. I covered everything from a Harlem girl's soccer game to the Southern Nationals drag boat racing and all things in between.
Upon returning to Atlanta for my senior year in school, I received a chance to help The Chronicle with Atlanta Falcons' coverage. However, I greatly missed covering high school sports. I have never dealt with a high school hurdler who is holding out for a contract extension, or a group of swimmers who cry and whine until their coach gets fired. That is what I dealt with in the first three weeks with the Falcons. I missed covering athletes who checked their egos at the door and played because (pardon the cliche) they loved the game.
I have many goals that I want to accomplish during my first year in Columbia County.
I plan to cover Columbia County sports like they have never been covered before. Our football preview section is going to be bigger and better than ever. We are going to devote more attention and time to the winter and spring sports. I am hoping to bring special sections for winter sports and spring sports. In the coming weeks, starting with Augusta Christian on Wednesday, I am preparing a recap of the athletic season for the county's high schools.
However, while the six high schools might command the most attention in our paper, they are far from the only athletic endeavors that deserve coverage.
Remember, The News-Times is a paper for the community, and the community should be involved in the process. I have spent most of my 23 years outside of Columbia County, so I obviously will not know everything about the area. Please contact me with any comments, questions or concerns you might have about the sports section, and I will work hard to create the best sports section possible.
(Jonathan Heeter can be reached at 863-6165.)
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