Kellen Voss is the Lanthorn’s outgoing Associate Print Editor (formerly sports reporter and Sports Editor), serving the Lanthorn for 3.5 years until his graduation.
Out of all the pieces in all the years I’ve written for this newspaper, I’ve spent the longest amount of time thinking about this one. Because this is a column that I never thought I’d have to write.
It always felt like there would be one more story, one more game, one more athlete or coach to talk to.
I don’t know if you’ve been reading the sports sections lately, but at a lot of schools, there has not been “one more game” in a very long time.
Grand Valley State University is one of those schools.
While there are GLIAC games scheduled for certain sports, with a pandemic caused by a virus that we continue to learn more and more about each day, it’s unclear when sports at schools like GVSU will entirely come back.
A lot of things have felt bizarre in the past 9 months, but one of the most bizarre is that never-ending feeling of uncertainty.
Not knowing when the next game will be.
Not knowing when we’ll see certain relatives again.
Not knowing when you’ll get your test results back.
And most of all, not knowing when the next bit of good news will come.
In this world of uncertainty that I am starting my professional career in, a few things are certain.
I loved every minute that I worked at this newspaper.
I loved learning the ropes from Robbie Triano and Arpan Lobo, both of whom went to bat for me to get the Sports Editor job back in May 2018.
I loved covering GVSU football with Brady McAtamney, rubbing elbows in press boxes while learning to cover a football team and having a lot of fun along the way.
I loved working with talented sports writers like Eli Ong and D’Angelo Starks, whose names will become more well known as they continue to establish themselves in the professional world.
I loved working with editorial staff members such as Amy McNeel, McKenna Peariso, Laureen Horan, Sarah Edgecomb, Xavi Golden, Liv Fellows, Meghan Landgren and so many other passionate folks who truly care about student journalism.
I loved working with Nick Moran for the entirety of our Lanthorn careers. We came a long way together, as we both started as section writers before working our way up the editorial ladder, breaking international news and being featured in esteemed publications like The New York Times.
I loved having the guidance of GVSU faculty members like Eric Harvey, Jonathan Snedeker, Len O’Kelly, Larry Beery (who retired during my time, ending over two decades of advising the newspaper) and Jeff Kelly Lowenstein (AKA the Notorious JKL) to bounce ideas off of and provide me with some much-needed guidance, sanity and tips that I will take into my professional career.
I loved coming into newspaper production every Sunday to pour my heart into a paper that I have been honored to be featured in since September 2017.
But most of all, I loved the fact that this job never felt like a job.
I was getting paid to attend GVSU sporting events, as I had a front row seat to see some of the most talented athletes in the state dominate the competition more often than not. I got to talk to these athletes and their humble coaches, not just recapping the games, but also speaking about mental health, Black Lives Matter and what it truly means to be a part of a team.
I learned so much over the last 1,170 days writing for this newspaper, and I have a few messages to leave those of you still reading with before I cry into my keyboard.
Firstly, continue to support student journalism, as the Lanthorn will be putting out some excellent content in 2021 and beyond.
With the return of GVSU sports on the horizon, I also encourage you to follow the work of talented sports writers in Zack Goodrow, Holly Bihlman and Josh Carlson, who will be covering these dominant teams from a safe, social distance.
Lastly, I encourage incoming freshman and young CMJ majors to apply to write for the Lanthorn. There are things you will learn at this newspaper that cannot be taught in the classroom, and you will get the chance to work with a lot of talented and passionate students.
As soon as I realized that I was too slow to play in the NBA or the NFL, it was my dream to get paid to watch sports and write about them. I would like to sincerely thank everyone at the Lanthorn and GVSU athletics who helped to make that dream a reality.