A Look Back on my Time at Brookdale (Appropriately titled: A Royal Goodbye)

(This story appeared in the April 23rd issue of The Stall, the student run newspaper of Brookdale Community College.)

Growing up, I always loved baseball. I played from when I was five up until eighth grade. I always wanted to be a baseball player when I grew up. Realizing that would not happen, I decided to combine my two passions; writing and baseball, and shift my focus to writing about the game. Coming into Brookdale during the Fall 2012 semester, I took all of my classes at the Hazlet campus to get acquainted with college to start out. Since there was no journalism classes offered in the fall, I took Debbie’s Journalism 101 class and joined The Stall during the Spring 2013 semester. I felt right at home from the moment I walked into the newsroom.

Throughout my three years at Brookdale, I have had a blast covering our men’s and women’s basketball teams, our women’s soccer team and (of course) our baseball team. I have also covered Regional and National Championships for our men’s basketball and women’s soccer teams. I have gotten to know a lot of phenomenal people on our campus. Journalism professor and newspaper advisor Debbie Mura. Athletics Director Shawn Noel. Associate Athletic Director Shannon Ventre. Women’s Soccer Coach Katie Miller. Head Men’s Basketball Coach Paul Cisek. Associate Men’s Basketball Coach Charles Hawthorne. Head Women’s Basketball Coach Bob Dubina. Baseball manager John Johnson. Tom Brennan with the radio station. And Matt Montemorano with the TV station. I was also fortunate enough to take the first ever Sports Broadcasting class taught at Brookdale. This class is taught by Doug Doyle, who has his own radio show called “SportsJam” on WBGO 88.3 FM. This show airs on Wednesday nights at 7:30 and Doug has had many notable guests such as Willie Wilson, Harold Reynolds, Tiki Barber, and Bruce Johnson, who was the voice of Rutgers football and basketball for many years.

Writing for The Stall also presented me with the incredible opportunity to attend the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame banquet this past January. There I met Baltimore Orioles broadcaster and fellow Brookdale alum Jim Hunter and his wife Bonnie. Jim was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule and call into my radio show. I also met Tony Graham, who covered sports for the Asbury Park Press for years. I was in the presence of some of the best athletes to ever play at Brookdale, including John Montefusco, who pitched 13 years in the major leagues and won the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 1975 with the San Francisco Giants. “The Count” was also an All-Star in 1976 and threw a no-hitter against the Atlanta Braves in that same season. To be able to attend and cover this incredible event is definitely an experience that I will never forget. It will be invaluable as I move forward in my journalism career.

I will be attending Monmouth University in September and I look forward to building my connections there and continue to improve as a writer. But starting at Brookdale was one of the best decisions I have ever made. As a community college, it will get the stigma of not really being like college. I heard this when I was in high school. None of that is true at all. It does not matter where you attend college, but it matters what you do while you are there. I had so many experiences here that I will never forget. I learned so much here and met some incredible people along the way. I do not think there is a better article that I can write in my last issue with The Stall than this one. To wrap this up, I want to say thank you so much to everyone that has helped me in my time here, and I will not forget about any of you. Success starts at Brookdale, and it really is true.

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