EISEN: One year later at the MDN

Hard to believe, but 365 days ago I started my tenure at the Minot Daily News.

Out of all the sports reporting jobs I applied for out of college, I’ll admit North Dakota wasn’t a state on my wish list. Yet, when I was offered the job, I put my preconceived notions aside and decided to go all-in.

And, like my dad said repeatedly, if it didn’t work out I could always come home. Well, I still haven’t packed up my things and made the permanent 16-hour trip back to Michigan.

Doing so never really crossed my mind either. While I’d like to someday live closer to my family, I have enjoyed all the experiences and memories I have made here.

There are too many moments for me to list or even remember, from state championships to the first day of practice. Division II to Class B. Baseball to volleyball, and every sport in between.

I’ve made it through the gauntlet. I hope you enjoyed my coverage it.

If this is the first article of mine that you are reading, hi, my name is Alex. Actually, now that I think about it, I don’t think I ever properly introduced myself in print.

For starters, I’m that freakishly tall guy – 6-foot-8 for those that are still wondering – that bypasses the ticket stand with my camera and laptop.

I’m a Grand Valley State University (Michigan) graduate, which Minot State football coach Mike Aldrich just had to bring up when he found out because he had beat GVSU in the 2010 Division II playoffs when he coached at Augustana. Grand Valley is also home to the women’s soccer program that MSU coach Jason Spain would probably give his right arm up just for a chance to upend them in the national quarterfinals.

My love for sports stems from soccer. I started playing when I was three years old and you can still find me kicking around a ball at the Optimist Soccer Complex from time to time.

My playing days ended in high school, so I ventured into journalism to follow my passion for sports. I quickly found out I’m a lot better writer than I am an athlete.

That’s how I ended up here in Minot after two years of writing columns on the Detroit Red Wings and a year of mostly volleyball and softball coverage for the GVSU student-newspaper.

This past year was my first time at a daily publication. Every day brings a new challenge with a new story (or stories) to write. It’s a lot more fast-paced than the luxury of getting a few days to write something like I had elsewhere.

Yet, I don’t mind it and have gotten used to it. I get to see more games and interact with more interesting people.

I consider myself an introvert and I’m not the best conversationalist, but it’s something I get to improve on every single day when I come to work. Chatting with coaches, athletes, parents, sports information directors, athletic directors, etc. was something I dreaded and feared when I first started as a sports reporter. Now, it’s the best part about the job.

The interviews and conversations are what I remember at the end of each night after deadline strikes.

So, a year later, I just want to say thank you to all the amazing people I have met along the way. Not for just putting up with my pestering questions, but for making Minot feel like a second home.

This is the opinion of Alex Eisen. He covers Minot High School, Minot State athletics and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.