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How y'all doin', Hartselle?

By Staff
Justin Schuver, Sports Editor
It's been said that you only get one chance to make a first impression. I'm just hoping not to alienate too many readers before I've even written a single article.
I suppose I should start by explaining why I'm here. I'm originally from Gadsden, attended college in the Midwest, and have now moved back down South to start what will hopefully be a rewarding career in journalism.
I've been a newspaper writer for several years, ever since I was a senior in high school. I've written on a variety of subjects, but my first love has always been sports.
It really doesn't matter what sport it is; if it's entertaining or interesting (in other words, not NASCAR) I've probably watched it at some point in my life. I do have quite a few favorites, though, especially baseball and hockey. Yes, hockey. And yes, I am aware of the fact that it doesn't really snow down here.
I first started following the Atlanta Braves in 1995, and have been an avid fan of the team ever since. I've attended my share of games at both Atlanta Fulton County Stadium and Turner Field, and had the opportunity to attend the 2000 All-Star Game and two different National League Championship Series games.
Back when the NHL was still playing, I was a fan of the Atlanta Thrashers, a team that has only been in existence since 1997. They were the antithesis of the Braves, a consistently bad team that has yet to make the playoffs. Yet I still enjoyed going to games at Philips Arena in downtown Atlanta and anxiously await the day when the NHL starts back up again (hopefully).
It was this love of professional sports that got me interested in covering sports for newspapers, and it was there that I discovered that a Little League baseball game can be just as exciting as a professional ballgame.
At my most recent job in Pikeville, Ky., I came to the realization that baseball was these kids' lives, and strove to do my best to give those kids the coverage and attention that they deserved. I will strive to do the same for this area.
Of course, like most Southern-bred gentlemen, I also have a love of college football. But I'm not an SEC man.
Now, I realize that there are a lot of University of Alabama and Auburn football fans in this area, so I need to be candid with you. I attended school at Notre Dame, and am a diehard Irish fan. But fear not, my crimson and white and orange and blue bleeding readers, You have nothing to worry about.
I will never gloat about the fact that Notre Dame historically has a 5-1 record against the Crimson Tide, or the fact that the Irish ended what would have otherwise been a perfect season for Alabama in the 1975 Orange Bowl. I promise not to talk about the heartbreaking 1973 Sugar Bowl in which No. 1 Alabama fell to the third-ranked Irish in a 24-23 nail-biter, giving Notre Dame the national championship.
I will never mention these things, so don't worry.
What I will talk about in this sports section are the things that you the readers care the most about. Whether it's an area high school team winning a state championship or a Little League team advancing to state, if it's local sports you'll find it here.
I'm going to need your help, though. Feel free to stop by the office or send an e-mail my way at anytime you've got something you'd like to run in the paper, or have a compliment about a story, or just want to tell me how much of a moron I am.
And, oh yeah. Go Irish.