Hello Central Valley! I am the new face of sports reporting for Oakdale (and hopefully some Riverbank and Escalon assignments shortly). Although I have only been reporting for a month now, it has been a goal of mine to pursue sports journalism since my high school days at Del Puerto High School in Patterson, back in 2002. In the 12 years that have passed since graduation, I have held tedious jobs to support myself and my family. That would all change while perusing the classifieds and an advertisement “Sports Writer Wanted” appeared on my screen. I thought to myself “Wow! That’s a great opportunity and I need to jump on this!” I had made the phone call and spoke with The Oakdale Leader pleading my case that their search for a new sports reporter had ended and I wanted the position! I went down to the Leader in person to drop off my résumé and speak with the editor. I stressed to her that I don’t look at this as a “job” but as a career and my passion. Later that day I received a call from the editor, Marg Jackson, and she wanted to schedule an interview for us to meet the next morning. She asked to see some of my previous work and photos from events. Immediately I became discouraged and felt that my dream would remain just that. My wife then suggested that I go to the Oakdale High School basketball game that night and just write about that. It was yet another brilliant idea from my brilliant wife!
While at the game, I had recognized Marg from our brief meeting and we had talked for a few minutes. It was an unofficial interview, but I felt that it went well. The next day she hired me on, and I cannot thank her enough.
My goals are to cover each game, storyline, and event with as much insight and character as possible. I look forward to serving the community with their local high school sports news.
Some of you may have seen me and my camera around Oakdale High School at either basketball games or even on the road for wrestling tournaments. If you see me at a game/event please feel free to introduce yourself to me and if you have comments or suggestions about past articles, please share them with me. As we move the sports calendar forward, I am looking forward to covering all the spring, summer and fall events as well as meeting all of the student athletes, coaches, staff, parents, and fans!
Dennis D. Cruz is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.