The Prospector

A farewell to the best of times and the Prospector

Jeremy Carranco, Sports Editor

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Through four years of sleepless nights, either studying or staring at my phone for countless hours, to life-saving coffee breaks or making bad decisions on Cincinnati Street—the memories from my time as a student at UTEP will always have a special place in my heart.

College was nothing like I expected it to be, but it was a blast. Put the stress of classes and deadlines aside, I made my best memories while being a student at UTEP. Sure, coffee became a love of mine only after becoming a college student, as well as going out on the weekends, but aside from those happy moments, I also met some great people. The memories from this journey will always put a smile on my face whenever I think back.

Arriving on campus as a freshman in the fall of 2014, I never would have imagined time would fly by so fast. In four years, I went from being a scared freshman and not knowing what I wanted to do, to developing a love and passion for sports journalism, to landing an internship at the San Antonio Express-News following graduation.

I started to fall in love with covering sports when I started working with the Prospector. I always knew I wanted to be a sports writer because of my love for sports growing up, but I never really got serious about it until I got involved.

My two and a half years prior to The Prospector, my only focus was getting As in my classes and it was all I cared about. Soon, I started to realize the competition in this field values experience rather than good grades. And while I kept my grades at the top, I never did anything outside of that until I started writing for The Prospector.

The first game I ever covered was a UTEP men’s basketball game back in February of 2017 and I still remember it like it was yesterday. The Miners came in on a losing streak and were struggling to find a win, but to the surprise of everyone there that night, they upset Conference USA leader Middle Tennessee, 57-54, for a win that still remains the program’s best the past two seasons. While I struggled about how I wanted to write out the recap because of the shocking result, I am thankful for that first experience because I quickly learned how to prepare myself for games going forward, having multiple drafts for multiple results.

Since then, I have covered every sport at UTEP, while also serving as the beat writer for the UTEP women’s basketball team during the 2017-18 season at The Prospector. I never really enjoyed women’s basketball until I started covering it, and now I can say it has made me a huge fan. During the season, I covered every home game and one road game at NMSU. For each game, I wrote a recap, recorded postgame interviews and tweeted updates on Twitter. Consistency was key for me, but more importantly I told myself I could do better every game going forward.

Aside from covering athletics at UTEP, I wrote about sports both collegiality and professionally across the country. The most rewarding experience of them all was when I had the opportunity to be at the Final Four media day in San Antonio last month. I met some of the most prestigious names in all of sports, while also having the opportunity to interview players and coaches from all of the Final Four teams. Some of the names I had the chance to talk to included writer Pat Forde from Yahoo Sports, former NBA player and now analyst Charles Barkley and Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown.

With time came more experience and since becoming sports editor at The Prospector in the fall of 2017, I can honestly say I’m ready to be a sports journalist for the rest of my life. While I can’t really say how many articles I have written since I started working, I am proud of each one because with each story I gained more confidence. I was forced to step out of my comfort zone at times, whether it was writing for entertainment, news or balancing the positive and negatives about UTEP athletics in my storytelling. I am thankful for going through these situations because I learned from it and became a better journalist.

Aside from my challenges as a student journalist on campus, balancing my summer job at the Chihuahuas with intensive summer courses was the toughest challenge of them all. I learned to organize and plan because there would be some days when I wouldn’t be able to get to an article or homework assignment until just hours before deadline. Despite the tough task, I am grateful for it because it helped me pick up the pace and organize each and every part of my life.

With just days left here in El Paso and at UTEP, I am going to reflect and remember everything because this place helped shape me and find my path. College was worth it, even though I may not have thought that four years ago.

I want to thank every single person that I have gotten to know and work with at The Prospector for their advice and insight, storytelling and many everlasting memories both in and outside the office.

I want to first and foremost thank our director, Kathleen Flores, a knowledgeable woman with a strong journalistic mind, who really cranked down on journalism ethics and AP style and ensured the strength in our articles. I also want to thank the rest of the front office staff, Marcela Luna, Isabel Castillo and Veronica Gonzalez for their hard work all year round.

A special thanks to the student employees by my side, Adrian Broaddus, who went with me to cover my first game and helped me throughout my sports writing; Jason Green, who hired me and really motivated me to start gaining experience; Rene Delgadillo and Christian Vasquez, for their insight on how journalism works best on social media; Gaby Velasquez, for her outstanding photos and communication, and our Editor-in-Chief Michaela Román for sharing her experience, drive and passion that really motivated everyone in the office to be the best journalists we could be, putting the best newspaper out each week.

I can’t forget to mention my sports writers aside from Broaddus and Green—Mikey Flores, Daniel Mendez and Isaiah Ramirez—thank you for all your hard work and dedication in the last year to help make our sports coverage strong. Lastly, I also want to thank Eddie Velazquez, Leslie Sariñana, Gigi Flores, Alejandra Gonzalez, Elenie Gonzalez, Sergio Muñoz and Claudia Hernandez for either putting a smile on my face or helping me with a story in the last year. I won’t forget any of you and wish you all the best of luck.

As I move on from UTEP and begin my life as a sports journalist, I will take in these last few weeks and reflect on the best of times. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few tears run down my face.

Jeremy Carranco may NOT be reached at theprospector1@gmail.com

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