Dear Tiger Nation,
With this post, wstxsports.com has now reached 1500 posts. Since it’s inception five years ago, WSTX Sports has become a trademark in what the students of St.X produce for the greater community, and it’s been an absolute blast to be a part of that. Even though this was my first and only year writing for the site, I can’t even think of how my senior year would’ve played out without it.
Now again, this is my first and only year writing for the site, so I want to take a few words from my predecessor Cole Bollinger to show just how much WSTX means to him and St.X as a whole. Last year when he handed down the reigns to me, there was one post still in the drafts that he never got around to posting. I never deleted it, because what he says is all true, and now I’d like to give some recognition to what he wrote and the significance of WSTX.
“WSTX Sports was founded by Class of 2013 St. X graduate and my brother Clay Bollinger. Clay started the twitter account his junior year and continued it in to his senior year. When he told me that he wanted to start a web site for WSTX Sports in February of 2013, I thought he was crazy. Web sites are a lot of work, but like everything else, Clay was persistent and did it anyways. He convinced me to write for the site on February 2nd, and I have been writing on here ever since. Being a part of the start of the web site was a lot fun and seeing my first post which was on Class of 2009’s Matt Smith playing in a College All-Star Game publish was a great feeling. That feeling I felt after that article published and how I felt after every one of my articles got published is part of why I want to do be a journalist.
After Clay graduated, he handed WSTX Sports down to Evan Shaheen, Class of 2014. A year later, Evan handed it to Jacob Hayslip, Class of 2015. When Clay created WSTX Sports, it was for guys like Jacob. Jacob took the responsibility of WSTX Sports to heart and everything Phillip and I said to him in our letter to him last year was completely true. Neither Clay, Evan or Jacob were or are journalists, but they all loved St. X more than just about anyone, and they wanted to make sure our athletes got the credit they rightfully deserved. Once Jacob graduated, he handed WSTX Sports down to me, and now here we are. Writing about St. X sports has been a lot of fun these past four years and controlling the site this past year has been a blast. Unfortunately, I have now graduated. I will still be a Tiger next year, but at Mizzou instead of St. X. I probably should have done this much earlier this spring, but I need to be preparing the next crop of writers for the next several years.
I am in the process of handing WSTX Sports down to Max Masterson, who has not written for the site before but has the determination to continue on what we have going on here. As of right now, we don’t have a lot of writers for next year which could make things difficult next year as Max will try and continue to bring Tiger sports coverage to you all in the best way possible.
You all can help though. You must be a student at St. X to help with WSTX sports, but by no means need to be a journalist of any sorts. Like I said above, Clay, Evan and Jacob are not journalists but they made the site work because of their love for St. X.
This isn’t journalism. Even though I plan on majoring in journalism, I rarely used this site to be a journalist. I wrote some longer feature type articles but for the most part, it was short blurb type of articles. Being a journalist or having journalistic skills will make it easier, but you definitely don’t have to be involved in journalism to be a part of this program. Fandom and determination is all that is required.
I wrote for WSTX Sports because I wanted to see the athletes that don’t get that much attention get the attention they deserve and nothing made me happier to see them retweet tweets that showed their success. To me, that’s what this is all about. I have been on hand for a lot of state championships and after covering a team for a whole season, you become attached to them and feel the emotions they feel even more than what you feel by just watching them from the stands as a fan.
I’m a fan and anyone with a passion for St. X can do what I have and the guys before me have done. This really isn’t that hard. This isn’t exclusive to the best writers or personalities in the school or the future journalists in the school. If you love St. X or St. X sports, you have a place here.
I want to thank you, Tiger Nation, for supporting us and making us what we are today. You were responsible for a couple eye-popping numbers: In 2015, we had 37,000 different people visit the web site and had over 30,000 views in one day. We also now have over 3,300 followers on Twitter, making us the largest student run twitter account in Kentucky. Don’t let those people down I-65 tell you any different. They may be the “Bad Boyz,” but they are not bigger.
I believe that WSTX Sports is one of the greatest things that St. X produces, and it is run by the students. That’s kind of awesome. I hope that can continue to be the case. We have the best fans and athletic department around, and they deserve the unparalleled coverage.
To the students of St. X: You all can make a difference with WSTX Sports, no matter who you are, where you come from, or what sports you like. We are always in need of your help. If any of you are interested, contact me or Max Masterson.
This will sadly be the last post I ever write on this site. It’s been a great four years, and I can’t thank you all enough for reading what I have written these past four years. I’ve gotten to do some pretty cool stuff because of WSTX Sports, and it has created some memories that will last a lifetime. It’s been truly an honor to provide Tiger Nation with the coverage they deserve.”
For me, WSTX has been a major part of my senior year. My senior football season was cut short again and again by repeating injuries. I wanted nothing more to contribute to the team, and thought I had failed to do so, because I couldn’t show it on the field. However, WSTX gave me that outlet to contribute. I loved writing about our future matchups and breaking them down, and I truly loved all the gratitude I received from parents and athletes alike. That really hit home for me, and it’s something I’ll always be grateful for.
Sadly, I will graduate in a few short days (Go Hoosiers!), and I will be passing down the website to Tucker Worden and Andrew Lechleiter. Both have written for the website sparingly this year, but I am hoping that they take pride in WSTX next year and continue it. Much like Cole, I do fear a drop off with Tucker and Andrew being the only writers.
I just want to reiterate that if you are an underclassmen or a parent of a student, any and all help will be welcome. WSTX is a great way to get involved whether it’s covering games live on Twitter, or showing off your writing skills to nearly 3,700 followers. You don’t have to be an aspiring journalist, just a dedicated advocate of St.X.
Now with this being one of my last posts, I just wanted to say thank you to St.X and thank you to WSTX for all the memories I’ve made this year. I’ve had a blast doing it. Writing for the site was hands down one of the best decisions I made my senior year, and Tiger Nation is the reason why.
Thanks for everything,
Contact Max Masterson at email@example.com
Dear Tiger Nation,
We have now reached 1,000 posts on wstxsports.com. It has been a blast doing this for three years, and I am glad that many of you have enjoyed the product we have been putting out for the better part of three years. It’s amazing to see how far WSTX Sports has come, and it’s all because of you.
WSTX Sports was founded by Class of 2013 St. X graduate Clay Bollinger. Clay was a quarterback for the football team, but every moment that was not spent on the field or in the film room was used to get this program off the ground. Clay wasn’t a journalist; he just loved St. X. You will never find a bigger fan of Tiger Tech than him.
If it wasn’t for Clay, we would not exist, let alone be where we are today. He wrote countless articles for the website, and on this very day in 2012, he created and tweeted the first tweet from the WSTX Sports Twitter account, an integral part in getting our content out to you, the fans. Even now, two years removed from St. X, he is still sending me amazing graphics to use and making sure I know what’s going on, sometimes on a day-to-day basis. The dedication and enthusiasm he showed and is still showing is just awesome, and although there has been some opposition towards him since he left, I will always be in Clay’s corner. He started something great completely on his own, and because of him, Saint Xavier High School has yet another asset unrivaled by any school in the state.
After Clay graduated, he handed the program down to Evan Shaheen, a 2014 Tiger Tech graduate, and Evan picked up right where Clay left off. A year later, Evan handed it to me, and now we are here. I have had so much fun covering St. X sports; it’s really how I found my niche among my class. Unfortunately, my time at 1609 Poplar Level Road is dwindling, and I need to begin preparing the next crop of writers for the next several years.
I am in the process of handing WSTX Sports down to Cole Bollinger, Clay’s younger brother and a writer for the site. I foresee a lack of manpower next year that may be serious enough to jeopardize the site’s existence. I was a sophomore when Clay started it, and it’s been an unbelievable experience to be a part of this. I don’t want it to end, and I also don’t want to throw Cole in the fire with no one to turn to.
So I want to take a thousand words or so to tell you why you can be a part of WSTX Sports. You have to be a student at St. X to write for the website, but for anything else (tweeting, taking pictures, making videos, etc.), you just have to be a fan of St. X.
This isn’t journalism. For a long time, I thought it was, but it’s not. And that’s not a bad thing at all. It simply means you don’t have to like journalism or want to be a journalist in the future to enjoy being a part of WSTX Sports. Being a journalist or having journalistic skills will make it easier, but by no means do you have to involved in journalism to be a part of this program.
I took Clay up on his offer to be a part of WSTX Sports because I wanted to be a sports journalist, and I saw this as my first opportunity to create something resembling sports journalism. Thinking about it now, that’s not why I do it.
I’m not going to be a journalist. I do it because I love the guys I watch and write about. Sure, I wanted to analyze teams (both positively and negatively) and give Tiger Nation an accurate vision of the teams they would be watching, but that’s not really what happened. As I later found out, I would not be allowed to write any negative analysis, even if it was true. But that made me turn to my favorite part about doing this: championing the athletes and coaches that make Saint Xavier High School one of the greatest athletic programs in the world.
There have been so many great memories (and there will probably be a few more before I’m done) from working with WSTX Sports. I am around guys at their highest points and their lowest points, and it is amazing to see them grow. Some guys even treat me like I’m part of their respective team, which couldn’t be further from the truth. I think about moments like the 2014 Baseball State Tournament in Lexington this past spring. I went down to Lexington three times in three days to watch St. X claim it’s first baseball state championship in 33 years, and when Sam Springer caught the final out to seal it, there was a dogpile. Josh Finerty, instead of heading straight for the pile, found me on the far side of the field, picked me up and carried me into the pile himself. I will never forget that. I have been on hand for a Rugby State Championship, a Lacrosse State Championship, and a Volleyball State Championship, and being around the guys on the top of the mountain was unreal.
This athletic program, every sport, down to JV and Freshman, is the best.
I realize now that I never have been a journalist. I’m not an objective observer who reports 100% accurate and unbiased information; I’m just a fan that wanted to support his school’s athletic teams. That is why I say anyone with a passion for St. X can do this. It isn’t exclusive to the best writers or personalities in the school or the future journalists in the school. If you love St. X or St. X sports, you have a place here.
Again, I want to sincerely thank you, Tiger Nation, for supporting us and making us what we are today. You were responsible for a couple eye-popping numbers: In 2014, we had over 40,000 different people visit the website and an all-time high 9,725 views in one day. Those stats would not exist without you all.
I just hope this can continue to be a useful resource for everyone representing the Green and Gold.
To the fans: Keep on being the best fan base around. The support is unparalleled.
To the students of Saint Xavier High School: You can make a difference with WSTX Sports, no matter who you are, where you come from, or what sport you like. We are always in need of your help.
Peace and Love,
Contact Jacob Hayslip via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone at (502) 295-4953.