Sports editor looks back at place he called home for four years

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Jacob Martella worked eight semesters at The Daily Texan, finding a place to call home in Austin. Now the sports editor, he covered the men’s and women’s golf, soccer, softball, volleyball, base- ball and men’s basketball teams during his time at the Texan.
Photo Credit: Rachel Zein | Daily Texan Staff

Editor’s note: A 30 column is a chance for departing permanent staff to say farewell and reflect on their time spent in The Daily Texan’s basement office. The term comes from the old typesetting mark (-30-) to denote the end of a line. 

“Death, taxes... and Daily Texan sports.”

Sure, that was a fictitious quote on our white board of stupid stuff we say in the office, but it certainly rings true for me.

I joined the Texan in the fall semester of my freshman year. In the four years since, I’ve changed favorite sports (soccer), favorite pro team (FC Dallas) and developed an additional passion for web development.

But there’s one thing that’s always remained the same — Daily Texan sports.

I walked into the Texan office in August of 2012 not knowing what to expect. What has happened in the eight semesters I’ve spent at this amazing place is more than anything I could have dreamed of.

I traveled 824 miles round-trip to Lafayette, Louisiana, to cover the softball regional tournament that featured the first time I ever had to delete an entire gamer in the last inning. I traveled 424 to Oklahoma City twice — once to cover volleyball’s tough loss to BYU in the 2014 Final Four, the other ending on that shot (you know which one I’m talking about) that led to one of the best gamers I’ve written.

In total, I’ve covered seven teams on this campus. I’ve talked to countless coaches and players, each with their own interesting stories. I spent two semesters as a senior sports writer, a semester as the associate sports editor and this semester as the sports editor. (I’m still not sure why I was allowed to do that.)

But what’s impacted me the most — what’s made this such a big part of my life the last four years — isn’t anything numbers can show.

I’ve improved tremendously as a sports writer. Reading my old stuff is both painful and hilarious, seeing how far I’ve come.

But most importantly, I’ve made great friends here. Nick, it was an honor working with you, and fun we had covering volleyball and baseball. Akshay, there’s no one I would have rather had as my associate sports editor this semester. I’ve learned a lot about the business from both of y’all.

To the sports staff, it’s been an adventurous semester, but I wouldn’t give it up for anything. I look forward to seeing what y’all do in the future.

I’m not sure what’s ahead of me from here. I know that I’ll be in Rio de Janiero this August to cover the Summer Olympics through the journalism school. But after Aug. 18 rolls around, I’ve got nothing.

But I hope I can find a place like this: a place to build relationships, become a better writer/web developer and, more importantly, a better person.

I hope to find a place to call home, just like I did the past four years with The Daily Texan.

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