COLUMN: Forty years of covering fall sports

HOME STRETCH COLUMN
By: 
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     I came to a realization a couple of weeks ago; I am about to enter my 40th season of covering high school fall sports.

     The first 19 of those were in Minnesota, and this will be my 21st season in Iowa.

     I worked for one season with a fledgling publication called MetroSports, which was based in downtown Minneapolis. It started off as a weekly paper devoted to all sports but mostly high school conferences in the Twin Cities area. I was assigned to two of those conferences.

     It was a great experience, even though the paper eventually ran out of money and folded. I worked in an old building downtown, went downstairs to a diner for lunch, and went to football games every Friday night.

     I felt like a big shot, until the night I went to a gate for a high school game, flashed my MetroSports business card, and the guy there said, “Am I supposed to know who you are?”

     That was followed by six years at the Dakota County Tribune/Thisweek Newspapers, first in Farmington, Minn., and then in Burnsville.

     I then had a blip of a year at the People’s Press in Owatonna, Minn. This was my venture in the world of daily newspapers and midnight deadlines. I didn’t like it, and by the time a year was up, I was back at my old job at DCT/Thisweek. This time I lasted 11 years.

     Those years were marked by great success for many of the teams I covered, giant high schools in growing suburbs. I spent many November nights in the Vikings’ and Twins’ old home, the Metrodome, as the teams I covered played in state football semifinal and championship games.

     Minnesota schools play soccer in the fall as well, and there were several teams that made it to state title games, also in the dome. There were volleyball teams that went to State at the old Met Center in Bloomington, where the Mall of America now stands.

     Then came the opportunity at the Express, late in 1998. Those closest to us know the story; Diane and I had a chance meeting in the Des Moines area, began a long distance relationship while she lived in Manchester and I was still in Burnsville

     Then the Express sports editor job opened up, I was hired, and I packed everything I owned into a U-Haul and moved to Monticello.

     Tee it up, serve it up, fire the starter’s gun. Let’s get Season 40 going.

     

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