“Hi y’all!” or … “Hello Seguin!” for all of you non-Texans out there.
Personally, it’s great being back home, where I can say “y’all”, or use it in print, and nobody is going to ask me where I’m from.
I returned to Texas in November, after 10 years of following sports writing gigs out west, and can’t begin to tell you how happy I am to be home.
I’ve missed y’all, my Texas peeps.
I don’t care much for these columns when I take a new job, I would rather be writing about you.
But as a means of introduction, here’s a little of my sports — mostly golf — and journalism background.
A certified sports nut, I’ve been involved in one way or the other for my entire life. I’ve been a Cowboys’ fan (thanks grandad) and general football fanatic from birth and a football player through my freshman year.
I concentrated on golf my senior year, where I was the No. 4 on the team at Midland Lee.
I became an assistant pro and teaching pro at 19. My first job was right up the road at Lakeway on Lake Travis.
The second assistant pro job was at Pedernales Country Club, Willie Nelson’s golf course in Spicewood. As you can imagine, it was an interesting place to work.
I got to know legendary coach Darrell Royal there.
My last full-time pro job was at Bodega Bay, Ca., on the coast northwest of San Francisco.
I played at Pebble Beach, the Olympic Club, and too many other great courses to name here.
I had dreams of playing professionally, but I eventually returned back to school — eight years later.
Within a week of my return to school, I was the sports editor of the campus paper at Midwestern State in Wichita Falls. In my time there, I was the voice of Midwestern St. basketball, had a sports talk show and did the sportscasts for MSU2, the university’s cable channel.
I started my sports journalism career in Tulsa, Ok., for five bucks an hour, at a local sports talk radio station. Shortly thereafter, I got a first full-time gig, for GTR newspapers in Tulsa.
Since then, I’ve worked in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Oregon, and been published in more than 25 newspapers, several regional magazines and nationally in the “American Quarter Horse Journal” and “Golf Tips” magazine.
I’ve written about almost any sport you can name, from the mainstream to … not the mainstream.
I know more about Pickleball than anyone ever should.
I’ve been blessed with covering Cowboys’ and Rangers’ games, the PGA Tour, college basketball, football and more.
And I’ve won several awards along the way.
I arrived back in Texas six months ago, and a day later, covered a Smithson Valley football game for the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung.
I have a current article in “Texas Golf Insider,” one of the two golf magazines I’ve freelanced for since November.
In three days in the position, I’ve met several of the coaches and parents in Seguin, and others involved in the Seguin sports scene. Some know sports folks from my hometown and from previous papers where I’ve worked. It’s a small sports world, people.
I’ve been through a 2-hour lightning delay in Dripping Springs Thursday night, and a subsequent three-hour ballgame, seen two kids sign letters of intent to go to college, covered four ballgames in four days, called and spoke with another half dozen coaches at Seguin, Marion and Navarro.
It’s been busy, which is how I like it. Keep me busy.
If you have a team, coach, athlete, event, camp, clinic, league, organization, hobby, anything at all sports related, I want to know about it. There might be a story there.
Thanks for reading … I look forward to meeting and writing about all y’all.
Kevin Duke is the sports editor for the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail him at email@example.com.