I have only spent three semesters writing sports for The Badger Herald, and I sincerely wish I had spent more. After spending two semesters writing for the opinion section during my freshman and sophomore year, I decided I should try my hand at hopefully my future career.

While I have acquired a number of skills, they are not comparable to the group of writers and community I have been exposed to. To my editors from last year, Eric Goldsobel and Nick Brazzoni, to this year’s, David Hayes and Ben Cross, and the countless other writers I have met, I am grateful to have known you. The Herald office offered me nothing but support, encouragement and guidance in my short time here.

I enjoy looking back to the time when I did not know what to expect or how to exactly go about my duties, looking back to the nerves I felt when I interviewed my first athlete, looking back to the first game I covered and the satisfaction I felt when I saw my stories go online and to print. I thank the Herald for such a transition to where I am now as a sports journalist.

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Though professors would advise against it for a journalist, I was able to become a fan of the teams and players I covered. I was able to see their lives as athletes and students. From interviews at practice, via phone or postgame, I gained an enormous appreciation and admiration for the athletes here at Wisconsin.

Over the last three semesters, I have covered both the softball team and the women’s soccer team here at University of Wisconsin. For all four years, I have been a member in the marching band playing at football, volleyball, basketball and hockey games. These beats gave me the opportunity to view Wisconsin sports beyond what I would normally see.

I was able to cover a Wisconsin women soccer team’s run all the way to the second round of the NCAA tournament and a player that now competes for the U.S. national team. I was also able to watch and cover a Wisconsin softball team grow from a team four games above .500 to a team that matched their previous season’s win total with nine games to play and a shot at the NCAA tournament.

I would like to thank all the players and coaches who gave me the time to talk with them to better my stories: Kelsey Jenkins, Brooke Wyderski, Samantha Arents, Melanie Cross, Taylor Berry, Kaitlyn Menz, Sara Novak, Kirsten Stevens, Taylor-Paige Stewart, Chloe Miller, coach Yvette Healy, Coach Danielle Zymkowitz, Caitlyn Clem, Rose Lavelle, Sydney McGinnis, Micaela Powers, Kylie Schwarz, Dani Rhodes, Steph Fabry and Coach Paula Wilkins.

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I would also like to thank the sports contact for both teams, Kelli Grashel, for coordinating interviews and providing everything I needed to do my job.

I look forward to moving on to another chapter, but I will never forget my time here. I look forward to keeping up with the Herald and the teams’ progress in the years to come.