Life, like sports is sometimes just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.
My wife and I have been in Albertville for a little over a year, and when the opportunity to take over as the Sports Editor at The Sand Mountain Reporter came up, it really was a matter of being in the right place at the right time.
My name is Ron Balaskovitz, and I’m excited to start as the new Sports Editor here at the Reporter, and ready to tell your stories, while putting my own stamp on the sports section here. Some background on myself, I’m originally from Michigan and went to Central Michigan University, from there I moved out to Montana where I lived for two years as a sports reporter for The Montana Standard in Butte. It’s also where I met my wife, an Alabama native, who was also out in Montana working, and started me on the path of getting to the Sand Mountain region.
From Montana we moved to Texas and spent three years in Amarillo, Texas, but by the end of our time there were burnt out from not getting to see friends and family more than once or twice a year and looked to move somewhere closer. So when my wife was offered a job in this area, off we went to be closer to her family near Troy, as well as family I have in Pinson and just outside Atlanta.
Outside of work, I love to golf, so there’s a good chance you’ll see me at one of the courses in the area on the weekends or days off from work, and I love being at the lake thanks to growing up in Michigan. So my wife and I were thrilled to be near the state’s largest lake, and enjoy all it has to offer.
From my experience in Montana, I feel more than prepared to take on this role and to be able to cover the Sand Mountain sports scene. The similarities between where we lived in Montana and here, at least as far as sports goes, are striking. There are no pro teams, small college teams that were huge to locals, and high school sports, particularly football, were king. It’s what brings towns together, gives them bragging rights over each other, and is often the only place and chance we get to see old faces or relive our own sports memories.
I’m going to be straight-forward with you about what I have in mind for this role at The Reporter: There are going to be changes and new ways that I do things, and I hope you’ll be patient as we figure out the best way to do that. I would love to turn the print editions into a Sports Illustrated-esque type section, with more focus on unique stories, and looks at teams and players that go beyond what they do in the box score. So if you have an interesting story, a milestone coming up, some record that is broken, anything that you think should be told, please do not hesitate to reach out to me with those ideas.
That said, we still are going to cover games, and utilize our website to be able to post those recaps and scores as quickly as possible. I truly want to give you the best of both worlds, quick content with the latest results online, and stories and photos you won’t get anywhere else in the print editions. In addition to that, I would love to explore the idea of adding a weekly podcast where we chat with area coaches, players, or important sports figures about what’s going on, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
I’m excited to take on this role, and excited to get out and see all of the teams Sand Mountain has to offer after the new year. And if you happen to see me out at a game, please feel free to come say hi, or offer suggestions on what I can do to cover this area better. And also feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or reach out to me on twitter over at @RonSMRSports. Thanks, and see you at the games!