STRANG COLUMN: Thanks for welcoming this sport reporter to Troup County

Published 10:20 am Wednesday, June 22, 2022

These five months have flown by so quickly I have not had the chance to properly introduce myself. I jumped right into the middle of basketball season and the events have not let up as basketball ran into soccer, baseball, golf, etc. My name is Ethan Strang and I am the not so new sports reporter at The LaGrange Daily News. A native of Harlem (Georgia not New York), I graduated from Harlem High School before attending Kennesaw State University my freshman year of college. 

After a long and winding collegiate journey I graduated from the University of Georgia in December 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in communications and certificate in sports media. While working for The LaGrange Daily News is my first “adult” job out of college, I have previous interning experience at the Gwinnett Daily Post– —  north of Atlanta — and Beasley Broadcasting in Augusta. I have also had the pleasure of doing play-by-play and color commentary for the NFHS Network including last year’s playoff game between Appling County and Thomson. 

I have always had a passion for sports, but you can directly trace my interest in telling sports to the summer of 2010 when I was just a 14 year-old kid. I traveled to England with my family during the summer and was in a pub in London when the United States Men’s National soccer team played England in their opening match of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. I knew nothing about the sport of soccer, but as I watched the United States eke out a draw as I sat with my brother surrounded by burly British men in downtown London I realized sports are so much more than the game being played on the field, they are a culture. A seed was planted and over the following decade it has grown into my all-encompassing love for sports and sports culture. 

I had heard of the community of LaGrange before I was hired but knew little about the town and its people when I applied for the opening sports reporter position. Over the last five months, I have enjoyed getting to know the place and more importantly, the people in this town. The people have made me feel welcome, especially the many coaches who have given me overwhelmingly positive feedback since I have entered the community. 

I am here to tell stories that are authentic to the way I view and process sports and plan to offer the most comprehensive coverage of sports in the community as I can. 

So far, I have enjoyed telling stories about the area. My favorite sports story so far has been about the first game in Callaway Stadium. I was able to use the Troup County archives to dig up old newspapers and yearbooks so that I would have the proper background knowledge to write such a story. I was also able to talk to members of the LaGrange and Lanett High School football teams that took part in that game. Talking with members of the community like that helps fill me in on the rich sporting history in this area. 

All three public schools as well as the two private schools and two colleges in Troup County have welcomed me with open arms despite me being the new kid on the block. The kindness the schools have shown me has been much appreciated as I started this new journey in my life. I would be remiss if I did not mention Callaway soccer coaches Jeff McGuffin and Mike Petite who offered me some very kind words when I first started covering them and then once again when their season ended. 

As much as I love them, there is more to me than just sports. I am an enjoyer of all things movies, history, kayaking, and hiking among a plethora of other things. The most enjoyable story I have written since I got here was not even sport related, it was about two female firefighters who braved a fire to rescue a woman. Being able to talk with them and use some of their equipment was eye opening and being able to tell their story was extremely rewarding. 

Look, I know my first five months as the sports editor/reporter at the LaGrange Daily News have been far from seamless, and I have not always had the coverage I wanted, but I am proud of what I have been able to achieve in my short time here. I am working to get better and make sure that the community has the sports section that it deserves and look forward to my first football season in Troup County. So, I offer the community a big thank you for making me feel so welcome, and if you ever have ideas for stories feel free to reach out and contact me at Ethan.Strang@lagrangenews.com