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Program’s success makes TD journey worthwhile

Column by Dominic Johnson

Johnson is a senior marketing and advertising account management double major and can be reached at dominic.johnson@drake.edu

Dominic Johnson-w800-h800

For the past four years, I have been a sports writer for The Times-Delphic. Honestly, I’m surprised I’ve lasted this long. I’m not even a journalism major!

“Do you have a men’s tennis writer?” I asked Sports Editor Peter Zemansky at a writer’s meeting in August 2009.

They did not, so I signed on immediately. As a former high school tennis player, I knew I could write intelligently about the sport I love. And it would always look good on the resume, right?

If memory serves correctly, I didn’t even get to touch tennis my first semester. I started out writing for the men’s and women’s cross country teams with the occasional soccer article. Let it be known that I knew absolutely nothing about those sports and relied heavily on friends who played the sports to avoid sounding like a complete idiot.

Eventually, I was put on the men’s tennis beat, and for that I’ve been truly lucky. No team has been more consistent or more dominant in the past four years of Drake athletics. Three NCAA tournament appearances in four years is very impressive, and this year’s squad is arguably the best in program history.

I’ll be honest: I have never thought about quitting the TD since I started writing for men’s tennis. It’s not just the program’s continued success that has kept me coming back each year. I’ve met some truly great people in my four years writing about the team.

Ryan Drake was one of the first people I met during Welcome Weekend freshman year.

I still remember when my friend from back home visited second semester, and how James McKie spoke with him like they were old friends and made him feel at home.

Mauricio Ballivian has always been there to tell me how qualified I am for absolutely everything and anything. When he met my parents after Drake’s match against Minnesota my sophomore year, he talked my mom’s ear off about how great I was.

Jonathan Hadash has become a great friend, and helped me survive “Managerial Accounting.”

And a quick message to the team: Thanks for the last four years, boys. Now do me a favor and crush TCU on Friday, will you?


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