The new school year is fast approaching, which is good news for me as a sports reporter. I remember as a high school student, with the exception of my senior year back in 2012, I dreaded going back.

I understand if kids feel that way, but I’d also venture to guess after the past year or so that we have had with the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s probably a little more excitement.

That also means that high school football is two weeks away, and the start of college football is three weeks away.

This state loves football. I love football. I couldn’t be more excited to be roaming the sidelines this season. But I want you to know how excited I am to be on the sidelines for all the other fall sports, too.

As I mentioned before, I covered tennis primarily on a beat basis for my college newspaper at Bowling Green State University. I also had opportunities to cover women’s basketball, softball and, if I might add, I wrote the best story I have ever written about a shot-putter on the BGSU track and field team.

I call myself a die-hard sports fan, but I’ll be honest, when I moved to Montana, I didn’t understand how every sport works. I still don’t. But I was able to cover things like volleyball and wrestling.

I didn’t understand how wrestling scoring worked at-first, but I couldn’t be more of a fan now. I covered golf too, but I know how that works, and as long as I’m not playing and slicing my drive 200 yards away from the fairway, I enjoy that sport, too.

For the other fall sports like volleyball and cross country, I’m all about it. Those sports don’t get as much attention, but those athletes are just as dedicated as football players, and they deserve our attention, too. I hoped I would’ve had more time to get a chance to meet the coaches and some of the players prior to the season starting, but I can’t get to everything, unfortunately. But you will find me on the sides of the volleyball courts this fall, and I’ll do my best to make it out to some cross country events. I can’t wait to meet you guys and chat with coaches, players and parents.

There were many sports growing up that I didn’t follow or watch as much as the others, like baseball, football, hockey and basketball. Nowadays, if there’s a sport of some kind going on, there’s a good chance I’m watching it, and if I can, I’m watching it in-person.

The Olympics may be ending, but high school sports are about to be back up and running. Let the games begin.

—Devlin can be reached at travis@athensnews-courier.com

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