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Journal welcomes new sports reporter to staff

Journal welcomes new sports reporter to staff Journal welcomes new sports reporter to staff

My name is Reagan Hoverman. I was born and raised in St. Croix Falls, Wis., a small town approximately an hour north of Pierce County. I graduated from St. Croix Falls High School in 2016 and began attending the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in September 2016.

The summer before my junior year of college began, I decided that I needed to make a change and that I was no longer happy with the major I had at that time. That’s when I decided on journalism. It truly was a leap of faith. I wasn’t a great writer and wasn’t confident interacting with people. However, I knew that I wanted to work in and around sports at the highest level that my skills would take me.

When I changed my major, I decided to push my chips into the center of the table and go all-in, joining multiple journalism-related student organizations immediately after changing my major. I joined the student newspaper at UWRF, the Student Voice, and the college radio station, WRFW, both of which gave me hands-on journalism experience and friends and colleagues for life.

During my time at UWRF, I was fortunate enough to spend hundreds of hours doing on-air sports broadcasting, including play-by-play commentary for UWRF basketball and football, as well as hosting multiple sports talk shows throughout the week on WRFW. Upon graduating in May 2020, I was hired by the Polk County Ledger, a small newspaper in Balsam Lake, where I worked for several months covering news and sports in the community where I grew up, St. Croix Falls, and the greater Polk County area.

In September 2020, the Ledger closed, and I began looking for my next journalism job. A few months later I was hired at the Inter-County Leader, a regional newspaper covering Polk, Burnett andWashburn counties. My role was similar to the previous one, as I covered St. Croix Falls, area sports, and a new beat, Polk County government.

The job was challenging and demanding, especially at the County level, where deadlines were tight and decisions were important to articulate accurately to the community because oftentimes, decisions made at the County level had real-world impacts on citizens. After spending approximately nine months at the Leader, learning from my brilliant and experienced editor Gary King, I received information of a full-time sports reporting position at the Pierce County Journal.

I immediately applied and was hired by the management at The Journal as the new sports reporter. Sports is what I want to do with my life. I’m not sure if it’s sports reporting, or sports talk radio or something somewhere in between, but I know I want to be involved in sports and the position at The Journal is another great step in that direction.

I look forward to covering new communities and working with another great editor, Sarah Nigbor. I also look forward to working with Melissa Thorud in The Journal’s newsroom, a colleague that I worked with previously during my time at UWRF at the Student Voice.

In my free time when I’m not working, I’ll most likely be watching my favorite NFL team, the Green Bay Packers, or watching the NBA. My hobbies including golfing (weather permitting), going for walks in the evening, and listening to classic country music from the 70s, 80s and 90s.

I look forward to my new chapter at The Journal. I’m excited to work to make the sports coverage throughout Pierce County the best that it can be.

“We are thrilled to add Reagan to our team because his enthusiasm for high school and collegiate sports is obvious,” Nigbor said. “He is looking forward to connecting with coaches and athletes across Pierce County, bringing their stories to our readers.”

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