I’ve always wanted to be a sports journalist since I can remember. I had always had a love for sports, especially since I had played baseball since the time I could walk, and it was in the fourth grade that I really found out that I had a want to and the talent to write, so it really made sense to try to combine those two.
Though I would occasionally waiver between wanting to be a sports journalist and something else, I always seemed to come back to sports journalism. It was something that wouldn’t go away.
It was in high school that I was able to really start doing journalism. I began covering the sports teams on campus and competing in UIL Acadmics. Senior year was the best. The girls’ basketball team advanced, and eventually won, the state tournament in Austin and I was able to come down and cover the tournament. It was the first time I was ever in a professional journalism environment. I learned a lot from that experience from live tweeting a game to being in an actual press conference for the first time to writing a story as quickly and accurately as I could. I left the arena knowing full well that this is what I wanted to do in life. Also in my senior year, I finally advanced to the state UIL Academic meet in news writing, placing fifth in the state in Class 4A.
But my journalism skills really developed at the University of Texas. I made news and sports staff of The Daily Texan in the fall of my freshman year, though I eventually moved to doing sports exclusively. By the start of my sophomore year, I was getting my opportunity to cover the bigger sports on campus. That fall I covered the women’s soccer team followed by the softball team in the spring. Junior year I got to cover the volleyball team and ended up covering the Final Four that year in Oklahoma City. I followed that with the baseball team’s not-so-spectacular season in the spring.
Senior year, however, was a big step up. In addition to covering the men’s basketball team, I was selected to be associate sports editor in the fall and moved up to sports editor in the spring.
But I’ve also developed a love of web development.
Since then, I’ve only built on that. I’ve built multiple WordPress themes for the WordPress Theme Directory and create a couple of WordPress plugins, and I have a part-time job as a development intern for a company building websites for small churches.. I’ve also taken a few computer science courses at Texas to complete the Elements of Computing certificate.
My hope is that as go deeper in life I can find a way to combine those two loves. Web development has been very intriguing for me, but I never want to give up the opportunity to tell the stories of athletes, coaches and other peoples — that’s what got me into journalism in the fist place. A place where I could do both would be perfect.
LinkedIn: Jacob Martella