The future journalists of the sports world were on hand at HP Pavilion at San Jose on Nov. 12 as the San Jose Sharks hosted their first-ever High School Sports Writers Day.
Eleven students from 11 different high schools in San Jose—Bellarmine, Leigh, Leland, Lincoln, Lynbrook, Piedmont Hills, Pioneer, Presentation, San Jose High, Valley Christian and Willow Glen—were selected to participate in the inaugural event after writing a short essay on one of two topics: 1.) What would the experience mean to you? and 2.) What is the significance of the Sharks to the City of San Jose?
The 11 students chosen were given the chance to experience a day in the life of a sports journalist during the Sharks vs. Dallas Stars contest. After a hearty pressroom meal, the students were taken to the Sharks team offices to meet with Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson and The Mercury News staff member and Sharks beat writer Vic Chi.
Wilson answered questions about the state of the team and the “new NHL” and discussed the main characteristics for what he looks for in players and staff. Before departing, Wilson asked the students for a favor.
“You make a living by what you earn…you make a life by what you give,” Wilson said. “I would ask that all of you give back to the community when you grow older.”
While Wilson focused on the team, Chi gave advice on how to break into journalism and fielded questions about the busy, yet exciting life of a beat writer. When asked about his most memorable experience as a beat writer, Chi talked about the opportunity to travel to Tokyo, Japan when the Sharks played the Calgary Flames to kickoff the 1998-99 season.
After the informative discussion, the students were given a quick tour of the arena, including an ice level view of the start of warm-ups, then headed up to the press box. The students settled in and enjoyed the bird’s eye view of the game. At the conclusion of the contest, the students were taken outside the Sharks locker room where they interviewed defenseman Kyle McLaren.
As an added bonus, footage of High School Writers Day will be shown in an upcoming episode of Shark Byte.
“It was a great learning experience,” participant Sarah Delgadillo said. “And it was a lot of fun!”
“The experience is one I’ll never forget,” added Andrea Chow. “There are no words in which I can use to get over what happened [that night].”
The participating journalists will write an article on their experience, with one winner being selected to have his or her work published on sjsharks.com and Rink Report, the Sharks official monthly e-newsletter. The winner will also receive two tickets to a future Sharks game and a Sharks prize package.
Because of the success of the first High School Writers Day, the Sharks plan on hosting another one later this season. Sharks beat writer Vic Chi explains the life of a sports journalist