COLUMN: I am proud to lead the sports section

Rob Le Cates

Autumn Schulz is a junior sports media relations major and can be reached at 581-2912 or [email protected].

Autumn Schulz, Sports Editor

When I took the sports editor position for the The News, I never imagined how big of an impact it would have on my life.

I previously served as assistant sports editor under Adam Tumino and I am forever grateful for the things that he taught me and for the opportunity to learn how to do a good job.

I knew how big of a responsibility I was taking on transitioning from assistant sports editor to sports editor. I knew that I had people that I wanted to make proud during my time as a section leader.

The News is such a vital part of Eastern and its campus and I could not be prouder of my fellow staff members for all that they have achieved within the last two semesters.

From winning awards in Washington D.C. to Chicago, The News certainly made its mark, and I am honored to have been a part of it.

Winning individual awards for the stories I have written is great, but I am more thankful for the relationships that I have built with athletes, coaches, Eastern athletics staff, professors, alumni, and fellow staff members.

It is you guys that have made this experience worth it.

There are a few specific people that I would not have been able to do this without.

Luke Taylor.

Luke, thank you so much for hiring me as sports editor and giving me the chance and room to learn and grow not only as a person but also as a journalist.

You were always there for me in ways that I will never be able to thank you enough for. You always helped me make the right decisions, you pushed me to do my best, and led me through the adversity I faced.

Designing all of the print editions last semester every weekend into late Monday, sometimes Tuesday morning, is something that I will never take for granted.

Your presence in the newsroom will be dearly missed and I cannot wait to see what you accomplish in the future.

Kate Stevens.

Kate, where do I even begin. I would give anything to go back in time to August of 2022 and start our time together over again.

When you first came on as assistant sports editor, there was not a doubt in my mind that you were going to do a great job. You have had a natural talent from the start.

It was only just the two of us.

We did that. It was just you and I that made the sports section possible every week. Of course, we had people step up for us when we absolutely could not make it to a sporting event, and I am extremely grateful for the time, energy, and effort that they put in.

You have grown so much as a journalist and seeing you win awards and improve in your writing each week has made all the struggle and grief so worth it.

I would not have been able to do this without you. We as women in sports led the sports section and we did it pretty damn well and no one can take that away from us.

You are truly one of my best friends, my long-lost sister. Thank you for shaping me into the leader and person that I am today.

I love you and I know that you are going to make every one of your dreams come true.

Han Byer.

Han, the sports section would not have been able to happen without you either. I cannot thank you enough for the time and energy you put into taking photos at all the sporting events.

You have been through this journey with Kate and I and I can only hope that you enjoyed it just as much as we did.

Your dedication each week to getting great photos for the sports section clearly shows and whoever you work for next will be so extremely lucky to have you.

I love you and thank you so much.

Cam’ron Hardy

Cam, you have done such a good job leading the news section as news editor and I could not be more proud of you. I am so excited to see what you will do the future.

You are always welcoming and understanding and your future and present staff members are very lucky.

You are one of my best friends and you have continued to prove that you are not just a reliable journalist, but a reliable friend. You made my time as sports editor so much fun.

To the alumni who have reached out to me and thanked Kate and I for our coverage and reassured us that you are proud and impressed with what we have done, thank you.

I know how much The News means to you and I am so grateful that I was able to serve you and do the sports section justice because it does not deserve anything less.

I promise you that the sports section is in good hands going forward.

There were people who tore us down along the way.

There was an alumna of The News who is a fellow woman journalist, and others who tore me and Kate’s section down without another thought.

It saddens me that not only a fellow woman journalist, but an alumna of The News, chose to tear me and my fellow woman staff member apart.

Women, especially in the field of journalism, should only be lifting each other up and encouraging them to keep pushing because we have just as much as a right to be here as anyone else does.

I would hope that those who have previously worked at the The News would understand that The News is a student publication and that if you are going to make mistakes, this is the place to do it.

Please, if you are going to reach out to those who are coming after Kate and me, do it with kindness. Offer constructive criticism, or do not do it at all.

Your words can deter strong, capable, and well-rounded journalists away from working at The News out of fear that they will receive a message one day from an angry alumnus and that breaks my heart.

Quite frankly, it is embarrassing to receive angry messages from people who have nothing better to do but to bully someone else.

At the end of the day, no matter what anyone says, I know in my heart that I did a good job and that I will take the things I need to work on and continue to improve because that is what journalism is all about.

You can never put yourself on a pedestal above other journalists because you must be willing to learn and grow and never stop.

I will leave The News and the campus of Eastern in December, and I am so excited for the next step in my career.

No matter where life takes me, I know that The News will remain a place I can forever call ‘home.’

Tell the truth and don’t be afraid.


Autumn Schulz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]