By, Pete Janny, Senior Writer
In December 2019, former Quadrangle editor-in-chief, Gabriella DePinho ‘21, asked me to run the sports section for the paper. After a year and a half as a sports writing apprentice under other talented journalists, I agreed to take the position and run with it.
Never in my wildest dreams did I expect my tenure as sports editor to come during a global pandemic when live sports, the one constant in society, was no longer a constant. While sports may have left us for a long period of time, we as a team adjusted and delivered meaningful sports stories even with the lights turned off at Gaelic and the court at Draddy off limits.
Wholeheartedly, I am proud of that body of work from our staff under the most extraordinary of circumstances.
By the end of 2020, I wanted to do everything I could to carry on that vision of ingenuity and purpose into a new year, and I will always be grateful to current Editor-in-Chief Anna Woods for buying into that vision.
Issue 6 was officially my swan song as sports editor for the Quadrangle as I now pass the mantle to Caroline Mc- Carthy. There are too many thoughts floating around in my head to fully capture my appreciation for the opportunity I had — although I do have a few things to say.
I want to thank the staff. Up to this point I’ve worked under four editors-in-chiefs who have given immense support to the sports section. They were fair and treated every section of our papers with the attention they deserve.
I want to thank two individuals in particular — John Jack- son ‘19 and Jack Melanson ‘19.
John didn’t need to take me under his wing to teach me the basics of sports writing when he was the sports editor and I was a naive freshman. But if you know John, you know a person who cares greatly about others and their successes. He taught me class through his actions not words — like when he accompanied me to the MAAC Tournament in Albany in 2019.
Jack didn’t say a lot to me when I was a freshman. But when he did, he meant every word. He reminded me of who I was and what my purpose in life is — which is to storytell through writing. He took me to the side once and encouraged me to keep going strong. To hear those words coming from a senior meant everything to me and still does.
I want to thank the people who make it all possible: the subjects. The athletes, coaches, fans, alums and administrators who gave me a peek into their own stories which, in turn, allowed me to tell those stories to others.
Every story was special in their own unique way. Like Joe Coppo’s which started on the mound at Van Cortlandt Park back in the mid 1970s. Or Jimmy Quinn’s which included a memorable stint as the team manager for the men’s basketball team. Or like Ed Bowes’ which paved the way for generations worth of opportunities for cross country.
The journey to becoming sports editor for this great publication was not always easy. There were plenty of late nights filled with procrastination and improvisation. There was the time in Nov. 2018 when I showed up to cover my first basketball game in front of a packed Draddy crowd wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt. That was the first time I embarrassed myself on the press table — and most likely not the last time too.
Most importantly, I leave the role of sports editor without any regrets and with deeper appreciation for journalism than before I started. For a paper that has been around since 1924, tradition means everything at the Quadrangle. I was honored to contribute to that tradition, and I hope I moved the needle in some way or another to maintain this bastion of journalism for the next generation of writers at Manhattan College. Student journalism matters and it’s long overdue for others to see that too.
At my Jesuit high school, the phrase “Cura Personalis” was said often — meaning “care for the entire person.” This concept is brought to life with good journalism when the writer, the subjects and the readers are understanding of each other’s role toward creating a better human experience — and in turn a better society. I am fortunate that almost everyone I encountered over the years cared for me as a person more than just as a writer. I want all of those people to know I did my best to reciprocate that empathy and compassion when tell- ing your stories.
Journalism is not easy, especially when you try to do it the right way. It required me to take chances and get out of my comfort zone, which was no doubt intimidating in the beginning.
But I soon learned journalism is not an individual pursuit as much as it is a team effort.
At the Quadrangle, there’s a reason it’s “we do journalism.” We believe no one should be left behind, and that’s what makes us special.