A co-worker once said to me, "I wish I could spend 15 minutes inside your head." I took that as a compliment for my creativity. Since 1999 I've worked enthusiastically to bring an original voice to high school sports throughout the western suburbs and Chicagoland area.
I received a B.S. in Journalism from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill., and was a student sports reporter when current basketball coach Chris Lowery was the Salukis starting point guard.
Baseball is my passion. I've played the game ever since I started to walk, but I didn't take first base because I wanted to hit my way on. I'm an IHSA licensed baseball umpire and have been umpiring since 1987. If I'm not behind the dish calling balls and strikes, you might see me playing a game with my son and some of his neighborhood pals or, on the rare occasion that my house is quiet, I might be relaxing on the couch reading a baseball book. I collect baseball books, even though my wife says I need to stop collecting and start donating. My library houses more than 700 books on our national pastime. I love baseball so much that I even built my own wiffleball stadium. No, seriously, it was a stadium with real bases, dugouts, a professional-looking fence and even lights. That's right, my stadium, named after fallen Loyola Marymount star Hank Gathers, had lights before Wrigley Field! And, speaking of Wrigley Field, I'm not a Cubs fan, but a loyal and satisfied Cardinals fan who, with my son Ryan on my lap, watched Adam Wainwright strike out Brandon Inge with a nasty slider to win the 2006 World Series. In 1982, while on my dad's lap, I celebrated Bruce Sutter fanning Gorman Thomas to win the World Series with a couple of glass bottles of Coca-Cola.
While nothing (other than my wife and kids) comes between baseball and me, I still do have enough love to circulate to the many other high school sports. Whether it's the ones that draw big crowds, like football and basketball or the ones that don't draw nearly as much interest, but have incredible young athletes just the same, I'm excited to be a part of the local high school sports scene.
When I'm not writing a game story, umpiring, officiating lacrosse, volunteering at a senior citizens center or working full-time as a creative marketing copywriter, I spend as much time trying to earn "Dad and Husband of the Year" from my kids, Ryan and Abby, and wife Julie. I also like to work out, see live bands, golf, disc golf (it's free people and it's decent exercise!) and am still hoping to find someone to "Teach Me How to Dougie."