About a year ago at the beginning on July, I applied for the sports editor position at the Seguin Gazette. Three days later, I received a call that changed my life.

Before joining the gazette, I was a part-time obituary writer at the San Antonio Express-News and a full-time waitress.

I covered sports when I was in college at the University of Incarnate Word, but it was nothing compared to the work I do in Seguin.

Although I was hired in July, I didn’t really start writing until late August — which also was the first week football started.

My first day at the Seguin Gazette, I remember my editors explaining to me the ins-and-outs of the job and I slowly started to feel so overwhelmed.

I was expected to cover all sports for four high schools, a college and write features for the Seguin Magazine. I also was told I had to take my own pictures, layout the sports section and take my own stats.

At the time, I felt I wasn’t a strong enough writer to put out an article every day and I was not confident enough to take my own stats — which was honestly my biggest roadblock.

To help myself, I did research and started to practice taking stats during NFL games, but it took a while for me to catch on. For the first two months on the job, I struggled. Hard. I messed up on names, I was scared to interview coaches and I felt like I was failing every day.

By mid-September, I received a job offer that I almost took because I felt like I was not good enough to be at the Seguin Gazette.

I remember expressing my feelings to my colleague and co-worker Valerie Bustamante and she gave me the tough love I needed.

With her help and so many pep talks from my loved ones, I didn’t quit and began to really push myself.

I worked more than 40 hours every week, I did my homework and really started to believe in myself — which helped me progress as a writer.

Once my attitude changed, I noticed how much fun I was having.

Football season was challenging, but so inspiring. I really enjoyed writing about the game when the Seguin Matadors defeated Lockhart 31-27 in September.

Volleyball kept me on my toes as all area teams went to the playoffs. A volleyball game story that was hard to write was when the Navarro Lady Panthers fell 3-0 to Needville in the Regional IV-4A Finals — Navarro was just one victory away from a second state tournament berth.

Basketball season was a thrilling ride, especially when the Marion Bulldogs advanced to the regional tournament for the first time in the program’s history.

Softball and baseball left me emotional as many teams ended their seasons in a heartbreaking way.

I cried when Marion baseball was swept by the Georgetown Gateway Prep Gators in the 3A Region IV quarterfinals series.

And, for track and field and cross country, it was inspiring to see the student-athletes achieve their goals and reach state — including Seguin’s Mary Lee who took third place in the high jump event at the UIL State Meet.

From traveling to almost every game to experiencing competitive matches, I never knew how much I loved covering sports until I started this job. It may have taken me a while to realize it, but the hard times were worth it and they have made me into the writer I am today.

In my first year at the Seguin Gazette, I experienced failure, criticism and doubt. However, even with the bad, I became confident, fearless and learned so much about myself.

From everything I learned so far, I want to thank everyone at the Seguin Gazette — especially my news editor Felicia Frazer for helping me through my first year — and who still continues to do so.

I also want to thank all the area coaches for answering my stuttered questions, the student-athletes for inspiring me, the Seguin and the Guadalupe County community for welcoming me and the photographers that sent me photos when I couldn’t make a game — I’ll need your help and cooperation again this season.

I just came back from vacation and I’m ready to take on another year of sports. I know I still have more to learn and more roadblocks to overcome, but I’m not scared anymore.

Good luck to all area teams this season. I hope to cover as many sports and games as I can.

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