MALONE — I’ve heard it many, many times by now. Wherever I am, whether I’m attending meetings, or even at the store, I keep hearing the same thing when I mention my new job around here.
“You’ve got big shoes to fill.”
For anyone who doesn’t know me, hi! I’m Evan Wheaton, The Malone Telegram’s new sports editor. Unfortunately, I’ve never met John Gokey, although I’ve heard a lot about him. And I’m more than well aware of how much of an impact he’s made in the north country.
While looking through his writing, I’ve seen how Gokey lived, breathed and embodied high school sports. His work illustrated his deep love and care for Franklin County, and I can only hope to come close to the ballpark with that.
Gokey, who was recently awarded with a New York State Assembly Citation for his work, is the hometown hero. I can feel how dearly he’ll be missed by our readership. And although all good things must come to an end, that doesn’t mean there aren’t more good things on the horizon.
With the return of high school sports just around the corner, I’ve been preparing on my end to uphold the quality journalism Gokey brought to Franklin County. To give you an idea of how tireless my preparation has been, I’ll give some insight into my journalism career so far.
I recently graduated Springfield College with a double major in communications/sports journalism and English.
Since my very first walk into the office of my college paper, I grew to cover multiple sports beats and became an editor. I spoke at a national convention in San Francisco, made the cover story of my school’s annual Triangle magazine and helped expand our coverage to club sports.
The grind didn’t stop with college.
I balanced multiple internships and attended the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement to cover Chuck Cooper’s induction.
When it came time to cover the Spalding Hoophall Classic, I did so on crutches. I live my life around the schedules of countless people. At times I’ve gone days without sleeping in order to achieve all my goals in a given week.
And I’ve never missed a deadline.
I’m not just the fresh college grad replacing a legendary sports editor. I’m not just the new guy trying to figure everything out amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m The Malone Telegram’s sports editor, and I’m already hard at work to provide area athletes with the coverage they deserve.
I’m doing this because journalism is important — our work matters. Going beyond who’s scoring touchdowns and getting buckets, getting to tell the real stories of student-athletes, has become my passion. And I’m eager to keep the fire burning with Section 10.
Have a story idea? Email me email@example.com. Are you on Twitter? My dm’s are always open @EvanWheaton. This is your newspaper, and I’m eager to tell your stories.
Time to fill some big shoes.