RUBADO COLUMN: I am honored to be the sports editor of the Bemidji Pioneer – Bemidji Pioneer

How often do you call your parents?

If you ask my parents, they’d probably say I call them too much.

My name is Jared and I am your new sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. I was born and raised in Brainerd before graduating high school in 2014. I attended Augustana University and majored in journalism and sports management before moving to Alexandria to begin a career in sports writing at the Echo Press.

As I think about how I want to write this introductory column, memories of the little things that brought me here keep popping into my head.

When you get your first pair of hockey skates two months before your third birthday, the trek down State Highway 371 to Bemidji becomes regular. Whether it was playing in youth games or venturing into the Sanford Center on the weekends, there were plenty of excuses to be in the area.

I was the only one of the roughly 500 Brainerd High School alumni who attended Augustana in 2014. Despite its recent arrival in Division I men’s hockey the following winter, Sioux Falls wasn’t exactly a hockey town.

Instead, I spent time interning for the athletic department, which meant attending a set of Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference games. I was there when Augie won the national championships in men’s basketball and baseball, and I worked for the football team for two years. I also spent my summers interning at the Brainerd Dispatch.

Contrary to the current market, sports media jobs were harder to find in 2018. I applied for a sports reporting position in Alexandria and was so nervous for the interview that I forgot to wear the jacket that blew a $250 hole in dad’s wallet mi.

Five days after the interview I was offered the job. The call came in the middle of a midterm exam. I was so excited that I forgot to go back to the classroom to finish the test.

I spent over three years in Alexandria working with Eric Morken, one of the best sportswriters I have ever met. In August 2021, I was approached with the opportunity to replace Bob Williams as Sports Editor of the Detroit Lakes Tribune.

My role at Detroit Lakes has expanded to Perham and Wadena. I like to joke that I’m just making my way through the northern Minnesota properties of Forum Communications, which got smaller when Micah Freese told me he was leaving Pioneer.

I have known Mika for several years. In March 2020, we covered a Section 8-3A boys basketball semifinal game together at the BHS Gymnasium. We also experienced the heat wave that crashed the June 2021 Section 8-3A softball playoffs in Sartell.

When Micah told me he was leaving Pioneer, I was shocked. When he asked me if I would apply to replace him, I was scared. How do I replace Mika?

The hardest part was leaving Detroit Lakes, a place that had truly become my home. But the opportunity was too good to turn down.

So what’s the point of all this and why do I ask how much you call your parents? For me, the constant all this way to Bemidji has always been the phone calls.

I called my parents after I got my first college internship with the Augustana athletic department. I called my mom and told her I forgot to put the jacket on and I wouldn’t get the job at the Echo Press because of it. I forgot to go back to class after I got my first job offer because I called my dad in the parking lot outside the building.

I call my mom and tell her I got my first chance to be editor of the Detroit Lakes Tribune, then again when I heard about the Pioneer opening.

I love this job so much. I have an undying passion for sports writing. I live for storytelling and showcasing local athletes. I love being there for the big games, meeting great people, and calling my dad on the way home to brag about what I’m going to write before the night is over.

I am excited to be your sports editor and eager to learn more about the great people of Bemidji. I can’t wait to call my parents and tell them what makes this place special, like all the places I’ve been.

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