COLUMN: Nice to meet you

Dispatch sports editor Tristan Aird

An old adage in newspapers that every night is election night for sports proved especially true last weekend for South Valley athletes.

There was the pride of Gilroy, boxer Robert Guerrero, who expanded his national fan base with a unanimous-decision victory over Andre Berto in Ontario, Calif., to retain his interim WBC welterweight title.

There was the Sobrato High football team, which showed its spirit by shrugging off an early 19-point deficit to turn a Central Coast Section Division III semifinal into a thriller before losing 52-42 to Valley Christian at Live Oak.

There were prep cross country standouts, as Sobrato senior boys runner Ryan Corvese and Christopher freshman girls runner Jamie Boutte had showings to be proud of at the California Interscholastic Federation state meet in Fresno.

And no one should forget Gavilan College, which concluded a memorable volleyball campaign with a loss to Fresno City College in the second round of the NorCal Regionals.

All of this on the same Saturday made a buffet that any sports writer would love to sample only days after Thanksgiving.

Which is why I’m humbled and excited to introduce myself as your sports editor.

The past four years and three months of my life have been spent on the courts and fields of southern Nevada, covering prep sports for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Documenting national power programs like Bishop Gorman and Findlay Prep was an immense privilege, but the most compelling human-interest stories usually came from athletes or teams with no national rankings next to their names.

Those not in the spotlight often have an interesting story to tell when given a voice, and no statistics from a box score will illuminate what makes an athlete tick.

I grew up an easy drive south on U.S. Highway 101, going from a Paso Robles Bearcat to a Cuesta College Cougar to a Cal Poly Mustang.

So, being back in California covering a mix of high school and community college athletics is an endeavor close to the heart.

The media landscape is shifting as you read these words, but one thing that won’t change is the fact that South Valley athletes have stories worth telling.

Stories worth telling through real-time updates on Twitter, nightly recaps online and in-depth coverage in print editions.

Coaches and parents are encouraged to provide feedback and suggest story ideas. Not all will be pursued, but it never hurts to bring something up. Many times, the best way to point out a possible story is to simply let us know.

Community sports and outdoors events are also woven into the fabric of this vibrant area, and we hope to highlight folks in those areas, too.

Follow me on Twitter (@tristanaird) and feel free to make suggestions, or argue with football picks in the future.

I have a high standard to meet left by my predecessor, Josh Weaver, and I’m still settling into this desk. But the phone number (824-1694) and email address ([email protected]) are the same, so fire away.

My travels have yielded many mentors, including the one who spoke of every night being an election night in the sports world.

But unlike elections, you won’t find any sensationalist slogans or rhetoric here.

The stories behind the Mustangs, Cougars, Bulldogs, Acorns and Rams should be plenty interesting enough.

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