Well, here we go.

It’s an honor to step into the role so many have held before me and thrived. When I first stepped onto Illinois State’s campus, I never would’ve thought in my wildest dreams I could be sports editor at The Vidette.

Ever since I can remember, sports has meant everything to me. From playing sports to following sports and now covering sports.

In my time at The Vidette, 103.3 WZND and ESPN3, I have been fortunate enough to call multiple sporting events, travel to St. Louis for Arch Madness and cover the National Invitational Tournament at Redbird Arena.

I never thought I would have been able to do any of these things, but thanks to peers around me, they’ve given me the chance to prove myself, and for that I will always be grateful.

Heck, I even had the opportunity to be live on the radio for WZND’s election night coverage. A sports guy covering an election? Sure, why not. The opportunities are endless and I know my role next year will be much of the same.

I grew up watching the Cubs, hearing Chip Caray’s voice, then becoming accustomed to hearing Len Kasper on the call after Caray left for Atlanta. And of course, who can forget Pat Hughes calling the games through the radio airwaves. All of these guys have been major role models for myself trying to break into the business.

I’ll always remember playing wiffle ball in the backyard or replaying game scenarios in my head and mocking a broadcast and calling the game myself — but to be able to call games now, is a surreal feeling.

As a kid, nothing was more exciting than getting a newspaper or the latest Sports Illustrated and seeing all the pictures of my favorite teams. I can remember wishing I could be the guy that was the Cubs beat writer, interviewing the players and publishing stories.

I always wanted to be that guy who had his head shot on the sports page and name on the byline. Now, I am that guy.

But, life is weird. Three years ago, as I graduated high school, I thought I was going to follow my father’s footsteps and become a Chicago police officer. I wasn’t even a student here at ISU.

Needless to say, I don’t think the next sports editor of The Vidette is going to be hitting the streets as a police officer in the near future.

I can tell you one thing I will be doing in the near future, and that is making sure the sports department at The Vidette continues to carry the best sports coverage on campus and in the community.

This isn’t just a job to me, this is my life. The hours and passion that others before me have poured into The Vidette will be reciprocated by myself next year.

All good things come to an end. That’s what we’re always told, right?

As one era at The Vidette ends, another one begins. And believe me, I know how high the bar has been set.

MICHAEL MARRA is a Sports Reporter for The Vidette. He can be contacted atvidette_mmarra@ilstu.edu Follow him on Twitter at @MikeMarraILSTU

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