Monday, April 15, 2013


PREFACE: R.I.P. to my grandmother Annie B. Gafford (1931-2010) and my uncle Garry Bruce Gafford (1959-2012). It was through you two that I learned a lot about sports and I wish you two were alive for the ride. However, I know that both of you are looking down on me and proud of me.

Nearly 27 months after graduating from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, I can finally say these following words…

I am a professional sports reporter.

Starting in a few weeks, I will be the new sports editor for The Natchitoches Times in Natchitoches, La., and words cannot explain how happy I am and how happy my family and friends are as well about this opportunity.

What makes this even more satisfying is the road taken to get to this point.

After my time at ULM, I was a freelancer with The Shreveport Times for two years writing about high school sports and shared the newspaper’s prep sports journalist of the year honor in 2011 (with Adam Hester, brother of NFL player, Jacob) and 2012 (with former NCAA all-time points leader Art Carmody) thanks to the great colleagues of the paper.

It was also then where I started to blog a lot more on this site, while also posting my writings on Bleacher Report and Sports Rantz for even more exposure. This was followed up by making internet radio appearances with the Clayton State Radio Sports Zone and the Cameron Sadeghi Show, when Cameron pitched the idea of starting a new show—ultimately becoming The Gafford and Brown Show with my friend Robert Brown.

While all of those gigs are fine and helped me learn valuable experience, there was one tiny problem.

Neither were full-time.

Eventually, seeing that I needed some source of income, I settled for JCPenney in August 2012. It was there where I got back into the learning of working every day and meeting great co-workers along the way.

All of this brings us back to now.

While I am nervous about this new journey, I am very excited for it and cannot wait to get the many firsts of my career out of the way.

I am proud to say that I can be one of the countless graduates from ULM’s mass communications department (DeRon, Ben, Jessica, and Cody…to name a few) to make this dream a reality, while making our professors proud. 

I am also glad to have met other great aspiring journalists of the same ilk (Evan, Robert, James, David, Hiren, Larry, JT, Clarence, Nick, and many others) via social media—if done right, it is a GREAT source of networking—to fraternize with.

And last but not least, my friends that have stuck by me since day one though the ups and downs by always reminding me to “take the good with the bad, be happy when you’re said…but always remember, life goes on.”

Even though I am nervous about this next chapter in my life, I also am confident that it is a great step in the right direction to dream bigger, and hopefully make those a reality as well.

And do not worry; I plan to carry this blog and our podcasts with me for the ride.

P.S.: To anyone reading this in the same situation, no matter if an aspiring journalist, doctor, lawyer, etc…NEVER, EVER give up on your dream. It may not come when you expect it, but with hard work and perseverance, it will come eventually.