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STRANG COLUMN: Thank you for welcoming this sportscaster to Troup County – LaGrange Daily News

These five months have passed so quickly that I haven’t had a chance to properly introduce myself. I jumped into the middle of basketball season and events didn’t slow down as basketball met football, baseball, golf, etc. My name is Ethan Strang and I’m the not-so-new sports reporter at The LaGrange Daily News. I was born in Harlem, Georgia, not New York, and graduated from Harlem High School before entering my freshman year at Kennesaw State University.

After a long and winding study path, I graduated from the University of Georgia in December 2021 with a BA in Communications and a Certificate in Sports Media. While working for The LaGrange Daily News is my first “adult” job out of college, I’ve already racked up internships at the Gwinnett Daily Post – north of Atlanta – and Beasley Broadcasting in Augusta. I’ve also had the pleasure of doing play-by-play and color commentary for the NFHS Network, including last year’s playoff game between Appling County and Thomson.

I’ve always had a passion for sports, but you can trace my interest in telling sports straight back to the summer of 2010 when I was just a 14-year-old kid. Over the summer I took my family to England and was in a pub in London when the USA men’s national soccer team played England in their opening game of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. I knew nothing about the sport of football, but watching the United States fight to a tie while sitting with my brother surrounded by burly British men in central London, I realized there was so much more to the sport than the game , played on the field, they are a culture. A seed was planted and over the ensuing decade it has grown into my all-encompassing love of sports and sports culture.

I had heard of the community of LaGrange before I was hired, but knew little about the city and its people when I applied for the position as a sports reporter. In the last five months I have enjoyed getting to know the place and especially the people of this city. People have made me feel welcome, especially the many trainers who have given me very positive feedback since I joined the community.

I’m here to tell authentic stories of how I view and process esports and plan to provide the most comprehensive esports coverage in the community that I can.

So far I’ve enjoyed telling stories about the area. My favorite sports story to date has been about the first game at Callaway Stadium. I was able to use the Troup County archives to dig up old newspapers and yearbooks so I had the right background to write such a story. I was also able to speak to members of the LaGrange and Lanett High School football teams who attended this game. Such conversations with members of the community help me to learn about the rich history of sports in this area.

All three public schools, two private schools and two colleges in Troup County have welcomed me with open arms, even though I’m the new kid on the block. The kindness that the schools have shown me was greatly appreciated as I began this new journey in my life. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Callaway’s soccer coaches, Jeff McGuffin and Mike Petite, who gave me a few very kind words when I first started covering them and then again as the season ended.

As much as I love them, there is more to me than just sport. I like movies, history, kayaking and hiking among many other things. The most entertaining story I’ve written since I’ve been here didn’t even have anything to do with sports, it was about two female firefighters braving a fire to save a woman. Talking to them and using some of their devices was an eye opener and being able to tell their story was extremely rewarding.

Look, I know my first five months as a sports editor/reporter at the LaGrange Daily News was far from seamless and I didn’t always have the coverage I wanted, but I’m proud of what I’ve achieved in my short time here. I’m working to get better and make sure the community has the sports section it deserves and I’m looking forward to my first season of football in the area. So I want to say a big thank you to the community for making me feel so welcome and if you ever have any story ideas please feel free to reach out and get in touch with me [email protected]

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