Sports editor column: Looking forward to covering sports in the Rockies |

Sports editor column: Looking forward to covering sports in the Rockies

I’ll be honest up front: The Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains is the farthest west I’ve ever been in my life.

Coming from the East Coast — mainly western Pennsylvania — I’m used to the city life, but I have to say I could get used to the country air and the beautiful scenery around here.

I’m a long way from home, roughly 1,600 miles. Despite the long distance, the people of Glenwood Springs, Rifle and Parachute have made me feel so welcome, especially the people here at the Post Independent.

As the new sports editor, I take great pride in my coverage of all high school sports here in Garfield County. I know I have big shoes to fill with the departure of Jon Mitchell, but I feel I’m more than up to the task, especially when it comes to high school football.

Coming from western Pennsylvania where football (of all levels) is the be-all, end-all, I know just how important high school football is for the players and the parents, especially in a smaller community like the ones throughout the county.

Growing up, all there really was to do was wait until Friday night and head over to the high school field during football season. Those kids that played before me were sort of like idols to me as a young kid around the ages of 9 and 10 years old. All anyone dreamed about in the community was putting on the brown and gold of the Highlands Golden Rams.

While this area might be slightly different from my community back home when it comes to the importance of scholastic athletics, I think it’s safe to assume that the area is all about its high school athletics, based on the first Friday night game that I covered last week in Glenwood Springs.

As Randy Essex, our editor, mentioned recently in his column saying goodbye to Mitchell as he departs for the Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction, I come to Garfield County carrying two degrees in journalism. I received my bachelor’s degree in journalism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a school of roughly 15,000 in little Indiana, Pennsylvania. While at IUP, I served as the color analyst on radio and television for the football team, as well as the men and women’s basketball teams. On top of that, I moonlighted as the beat writer for baseball, women’s volleyball and men’s hockey.

At first all I ever wanted to be was a play-by-play or color analyst for a college football team after I graduated. However, something changed one day while listening to a lecture from one of my journalism professors. He talked about the science of writing and the beautiful work that can come from it. Something clicked, and from there my writing took off.

After a few years of writing for the school newspaper and the local newspaper as a sports writer, sports editor and page designer, I decided to pursue a higher level of education after my graduation from IUP.

That led me to Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, where I received my master’s degree in Magazine, Newspaper and Online journalism, with an emphasis in Sports Communications.

While at Syracuse, I had the privilege of covering football and men’s basketball for, and I also served as one of three women’s Field Hockey beat reporters for the Daily Orange, which is one of the best student newspapers in the entire country.

The experience that I gained at Syracuse is immeasurable. The Newhouse School has the reputation of being one of the top three journalism schools in the country, and it truly didn’t disappoint. Due to all of that, it led me right here to Garfield County as the new sports editor of the Post Independent.

I’ll do my best to make sure that each and every team from all the schools in the county receives fair coverage throughout the school year. However, if you feel that I am showing favoritism towards one school or another, please remember that I am just one guy running the show in the sports department at the Post Independent. Don’t hesitate to call me on my office phone or send me an email with anything and everything you have; I’m open to all opinions and outside point of views.

Outside of work, I am an unabashed Pittsburgh Pirates fan. I try to watch almost every game that I can when work permits. Along with the Pirates, I am a Steelers and Penguins fan. I even had the chance of working for the Penguins this past summer, which was quite the experience.

When I want to get away from the sports world, I enjoy playing Frisbee with my two dogs, Journey (border collie) and Chance (hound mix). When relaxing, I like to just hang out with my better half of three years, Karlie, and watch whatever we can find on TV or Netflix. Plus, she’s helping me manage my fantasy football team this year, so our Sundays will be filled with football.

We’re so happy to be here in Garfield County, and we’ve loved every minute of the adventure. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it with us along the way.

Josh Carney is sports editor for the Post Independent and The Citizen Telegram.

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