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Ormond Beach Observer Friday, May 22, 2015 5 years ago

Thank you, student-athletes

by: Jeff Dawsey Sports Editor

Like any typical sports fan who grew up watching ESPN’s Stuart Scott put his twist on sports highlights, I always wanted to be involved in sports culture. Growing up in a house where my mom rarely missed an L.A. Lakers, Atlanta Braves or especially a Dallas Cowboys game, sports has always been a part of my fabric.

After realizing my dream of reaching the big leagues would never come true, when I dropped out of high school in the 11th grade, I still kept an eye on sports, but when I got my second chance at an education at Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville, I also got my second chance to be a part of sports.

There, I developed a love for writing, and, two years into my degree, my English professor launched a school newspaper, The Trinitarian. As one of my essay assignments for her Effective Writing class, I wrote about Michael Vick’s playmaking abilities, and the paper led to my position on the newspaper staff as the sports writer.

I was elated. I always wanted to break down games, analyze statistics and interview the best players. Although my small Bible college had fewer than 500 enrolled and five sports programs, I took pride in my responsibility. Between a fulltime job and full class schedule, I enjoyed my role as a writer.

Those years have led to my position at the Ormond Beach and Palm Coast Observers, where I cover five high schools with a total enrollment of over 8,000 students. This past school year, I’ve had the privilege to write about numerous conferences, district, regional and state champions. In the fall, I saw Matanzas golfer Anthony Hunter make an eagle and birdie in a three-hole span.

Mainland’s football team, led by Denzel Houston, put together one of the best season performances I’ve ever seen. Flagler Palm Coast’s Sam Colasanti threw a no-hitter and Father Lopez’ Malik Maitland broke his old school record (42) with 44 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in a basketball game.

I was fortunate to witness the FPC girls basketball team reach the Final Four for the first time and Mainland’s track team win the district championship for the first time since the 1980s.

Matanzas' Miracle Porter is on pace to break the national girls soccer all-time scoring record. How incredible is that?

As a rookie sports writer, I have already seen more than some writers have seen in 10 years, and for that, I want to thank you all for this past school year.

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