Fourth grade, William Bryant Elementary, Mrs. Davies' class. I'm 10 years old and I’m hurting for cash — specifically, the $40 necessary to buy a Shaquille O’Neal replica jersey. Then, an epiphany: write a bestseller. I skipped recess, hit the library, and three weeks later I had it: “Locked in the Mall”, a coming-of-age tale about 10-year-old Connor Taylor, who struggles to escape the horrors of a haunted suburban shopping center. It was gritty and pure and packed with enough cliffhangers to make Dan Brown proud (“Little did Connor know that the terror was just beginning!”).
For reasons I can't explain, the whole bestseller thing didn't pan out. Sixteen years later, however, with a collection of similar literary missteps under my belt, I still love the art of the story. It’s the closest I’ve found to truth.
In three and a half years as a reporter — first as a prep sports writer for the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla., and for the past 22 months as the University of Kansas football beat writer and high school sports editor at the Lawrence Journal-World — I have dedicated myself to evolving as a storyteller. Versatility has become my greatest strength, and in this site, you’ll find a collection of work that illustrates the ability to tell stories in a variety of forms. You'll find features that go beyond the courts and playing fields to introduce readers to people and places that might not otherwise warrant space on the sports page: a flatulent celebrity baby, a run-of-the-mill Little League dugout, an undersized placekicker with a penchant for violence. You’ll also find the essentials — the gamer banged out on deadline, the blog entry that serves as a light-hearted complement to daily coverage. And, because the cornerstone of any American newspaper will always be news reporting, you’ll find that, too. Stories that came together as a result of source development and persistence to shed new light on an issue and, in some cases, prompt change.
In short, my time has been devoted to storytelling. Now, after nearly two years in Kansas, I’m ready for the next challenge.