Dante Centofanti NEW Headshot

At this time last year I was wrapping up my freshman year of college at Kent State Trumbull. I was very excited for the start of the summer because I knew it would be the start of the rest of my life. I was finally about to embark on my journey of becoming a professional sports journalist at Kent State’s main campus.

I was the only one in my high school graduation class that was a declared journalism major, and I took a lot of pride in that. I knew that, while journalism might not be the most profitable profession, it would take me places. I simply could not wait.

I am writing this final column of the school year not about an issue of importance in the sports landscape, but my experiences in my first year as a member of student media. I saw Franklin Hall online many times, but the first time I walked into the newsroom and saw how professional everything was I began to beam with excitement.

Shortly after I moved into my apartment in late August, I visited Franklin to introduce myself to people, and get involved with multiple outlets. The Kent Stater was the first, and my first column was a bold one to say the least. I broke down how Tim Duncan was a better player than Kobe Bryant, an opinion I still hold to this day.

I learned a lot from the opinion staff, as writers like Scott Rainey and Cameron Gorman taught me a lot in terms of how to structure an opinion piece and make it more than just giving your opinion on something. I then ventured onto TV2 when Adam Kirasic asked me if I wanted to be a guest on “SportsCorner." Through this I would meet Henry Palattella, the sports editor at The Kent Stater, from whom I learned a great deal of how to be a future reporter.

I covered my first Kent State sporting event as the beat reporter for BlackSquirrelRadio.com. Spending time with Henry and Ian Kreider helped me learn how to be in a press conference and how to cover college basketball, my favorite sport.

I wrote many columns pertaining to issues that were more than just an issue in sports. I dissected the role of sensitivity on both sides of the Colin Kaepernick debate, which is reaching its third year of existence. I talked about how the U.S. Women’s soccer team not only should be paid equally but more than the men's team.

I learned a lot, and did a lot in my first year in Kent State’s School of Journalism. And while I have a lot to learn to be at the level of my many upperclassmen mentors, I’m excited about the future. And to quote the great Al Pacino in “Scent of a Woman,”

“I’m just getting warmed up.”

Dante Centofanti is a columnist. Contact him at dcentof1@kent.edu.

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