Signing off from the sports desk

John C. Longton III
Sports Editor

johnCourtesy of The Hudsonian

I am currently writing this letter at 2 a.m. on a Monday morning at my desk in the Hudsonian office. My eyes are bloodshot, I have Red Bull flowing through my veins and there is no where else I’d rather be. This is a bittersweet moment for me. Bitter because this will be the last thing I write for the Hudsonian and sweet because I’m now moving on to the next chapter of my life.

My name is John Longton and I’ve been writing for the Hudsonian for two years. I started out as a staff writer in the fall of 2014 and assumed the role of Sports Editor one year later.

I first started here on a whim. I came with an idea to write weekly NFL picks and was eager to share my opinion on the topic. I wanted to do a game by game breakdown of the matchups and give predictions on what I thought was going to happen.

After meeting with the Editor-in-Chief at the time, my idea was quickly shot down due to a couple different reasons. For one, it was a Friday afternoon when I walked into the office with my pitch and all articles were due within a couple of hours. And two, I was told that everything in the paper had to be campus-related and it wouldn’t fit well with the style that the Hudsonian used.

Things didn’t turn out the way I expected when I walked out of that office, but it didn’t stop me. I went right to the library while my creative iron was still hot and in a couple of hours I wrote exactly what I wanted and sent it in anyway.

I didn’t have high hopes for my product, but I knew I had to do it for myself. To my surprise, the paper ran it and it became a permanent staple in that back of the paper for the entire length of the NFL season. This is where my love affair with writing began.

Before this I never really wrote anything besides required schoolwork, but if you’re passionate about something it pretty much writes itself. Soon after I started my picks I took on a larger role with the paper writing sports stories. I covered games, wrote profiles and did pretty much anything a sports journalist would do. I was eager to learn as much as possible in the process and started to think about having a career as a sports journalist.

The Hudsonian gave me the platform to hone in on my craft and work through my growing pains and for that I am much obliged. Without it I would have never have tapped into my creative side and realized my full potential.

Through the Hudsonian I have established various connections in the sports world that have helped me facilitate various goals. I have gone to several conferences where I’ve met professionals in the field that have given me advice and critiqued my work. One of whom was ESPN broadcaster Buster Olney.

Olney covered the Nashville Sounds, a minor league baseball team, in the beginning of his career. I expressed with him my interest in covering the Tri-City ValleyCats and he told me that his time with the Sounds was a great experience and it helped him pave his path towards his career.

Last Spring I got a chance to make a connection with the ValleyCats while covering a Hudson Valley game at the Joe for the Hudsonian. They offered me a press pass for the season and I created a website where I would wrote game stories, plugged in box scores and other various things. I worked in the press box alongside the rest of the local sports media and made even more connections.

Through these connections I got an internship with the Daily Gazette and got to further my understanding of sports journalism. Even though my internship has expired I still contribute for the Gazette and submit stories when deemed worthy.

None of these pieces would have fallen into place if it weren’t for one thing. The Hudsonian. I pass down this newspaper from the ones who came before me to the ones who will come after with a few words of advice.

This is a stage where you get out of it what you put into it. There’s nothing more satisfying than working hard on a project or story and having it come out the right way. You can mail it in and people might not notice, but you will. I have watched this paper grow from a rinky dink tabloid to an award winning publication and I would like it to remain that way. Take pride in your work not for just yourself but for the ones that came before you and pass it down with the same respect. There are a lot of opportunities that lie within these confines. Take full advantage.

I would like to thank all of my colleagues, the athletic department and faculty and staff. But most of all I want to say thank you to Rachel Bornn for believing in me and challenging me every step of the way. And for that I am forever grateful.

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