Homegrown sports writer excited about new digs

by Andrew Stark

As long as I can remember, sports have been a huge part of my life.

I always dreamed of making the winning basket in the Final Four, hitting a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning of the World Series or streaking down the sidelines for the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl.

As a kid I played whatever was in season, and I had dreams of playing on the biggest stages. Some of the friends I made playing sports in Charlotte are people I call friends today, and those memories will stick with me forever.

I went to school in Charlotte at Providence Day, where my mother taught French for 20 years. It was and is a great school, a great education and offered me the chance to play sports.

While at Providence Day, I was a member of the varsity baseball, basketball and cross country teams. I was a pitcher for the baseball team, a top-five runner on the cross country team and a captain my senior year in basketball.

When I thought about what I wanted to be when I grew up, I knew it needed to involve athletics. Several years ago, I took a journalism class at CPCC and realized I could write about sports and knew I had to do all I could to become a writer.

I went to UNC Charlotte and began writing as much as I could for the University Times newspaper. I covered basketball, baseball and volleyball games, and found something that I truly loved to do. I got an internship with Rivals.com during my senior year, covering the 49ers men’s basketball home games.

While covering the 49ers, I loved talking to the players and coaches and getting to know them off the court. I loved having access to the press conferences and getting to hear what the coaches and players said about the game.

I have spent the last few years as a freelance reporter for several area papers including the Fort Mill Times, Mint Hill Times, and Charlotte Observer. Each stop has made me a better writer and given me the chance to start at the Carolina Weekly Newspaper Group, where I will focus mostly on high school sports.

I have covered college and pro athletes during my writing career, and that is ultimately what I hope to end up doing one day. But there is something about high school sports that other levels can’t reproduce.

I love meeting the kids and coaches I write about. Everyone has a story to tell, and it is my responsibility to package it in an interesting and compelling way. I am always amazed by some of the kids I interview who seem to have so much on their plates yet make good grades, excel in sports and are humble and genuine people.

My new position at the Carolina Weekly will allow me to primarily focus on south Charlotte, Matthews and Mint Hill. I look forward to getting in the community, attending the games, meeting the coaches and, most important, showcasing some of the top high school athletes.

I have spent my entire life in Charlotte and currently live in Matthews with my wife, Heather, who is dean of students at a south Charlotte middle school, and our two sons: Grady, 3, and Chase, 5 months.

I am a passionate fan of the Tar Heels, Bobcats, Panthers and Atlanta Braves, and watch whatever sport is in season. I like to play golf any chance I get, collect baseball cards and love playing sports games on PlayStation.

For me, being a sports writer is something I have always wanted to do, and I look forward to doing the best possible job at the Carolina Weekly.

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