Four years of highlights

farewell column

When I joined the sports section of The Chronicle in the fall of my freshman year, I figured it would give me a chance to get closer to the action. 

Growing up as a sports junkie, that was pretty much all I wanted. So many of my fondest childhood memories involved sports, in some way, shape or form. Playing in AAU basketball tournaments alongside my best friends, with my dad coaching us. Skipping school to go to the Masters with my dad, an experience that, as a (still) hopelessly obsessed golfer, was at the top of my bucket list. 

The thrill of sports, whether playing or watching, was what convinced me to join The Chronicle. And yeah, that thrill remains. Covering Mike Krzyzewski’s final season and Jon Scheyer’s first season was amazing. Standing greenside as Gina Kim sent women’s golf to the NCAA semifinals is a memory that sticks with me, nearly two years later. The list could go on and on, and the opportunities that I have gotten because of this paper have defined so much of my time in college. 

But those moments are not the best part of my time with this paper. The best part of it all has been the people I met. 

Coming into college, I was not the most outgoing person on the planet. I liked to crack jokes, sure, but always admired some of my high school friends for how confident they were when they had something to say. I assumed that would change once I arrived in Durham, but I had no idea how. 

Well, The Chronicle, in large part, was how. 

When I walked into that Friday afternoon sports meeting for the first time, I was pretty nervous. I had no idea how to write a gamer, was lost when it came to interviewing a coach and did not know a single person in the room.

Slowly but surely, though, it became a community I could rely on. That was thanks to Derek Saul, whose guidance and support made me realize how much I loved sportswriting. That was thanks to Shane Smith and Evan Kolin, whose words of encouragement after I sent in blogs convinced me that every article meant something. That was thanks to Conner McLeod, whose easygoing nature when I shadowed him during a women’s soccer game helped me figure out that live coverage was something you could truly enjoy. 

Eventually, 5 p.m. on Friday afternoons became a highlight of my week. In between all the talk about the latest news coming out of Duke athletics, I was able to form lasting friendships, friendships that will continue well after graduation. 

During freshman year, I covered two women’s basketball games in Cameron Indoor Stadium. One with Jake Piazza, and one with Alex Jackson. Later that spring, we became the Blue Zone editors for Vol. 116, in the early months of the pandemic. It was definitely an unusual adjustment, but the three of us enjoyed every second of it. And thanks to Evan, whose humor and loyalty were what made him such an amazing editor, we eventually figured it out. 

Since then, Jake and I have traveled to New York, New Orleans and Miami to cover men’s basketball, and Alex and I shared tons of laughs (and hot takes) on our Cameron Chronicles podcast the last two years. There have been too many sports debates to count between the three of us, and enough tee times to prove that we each still have to work on our short games.

None of that would have happened had we not meandered into 301 Flowers during the fall of 2019. 

So, yeah. The Chronicle gave me the chance to be closer to the action. Interviewing amazing athletes like Paolo Banchero, Haley Gorecki, Chris Rumph II and Erica Shepherd, figuring out what makes them tick, has been eye-opening. For a kid who grew up with either a basketball or a golf club in his hand, recreating shots to win an NBA title or putts to win at Augusta, it was all a dream come true.

Yet these last four years have been even more than that. The roadtrip shenanigans — sorry to Jake for Simran Prakash and I memeing him for his coffee addiction on the way back from the Final Four. The late nights spent finalizing Duke-Carolina print editions — who knew people were interested in reading about the best rivalry in sports? The brainstorming of bold headlines — shoutout to Glen Morgenstern for so many witty suggestions. And finally, the laughter that always stemmed from the back room of Flowers. 

That is what I’ll remember. 

Max Rego is a Trinity senior, and was the Vol. 117 sports managing editor. He would like to thank Derek, Conner, Michael and Winston for being so welcoming during freshman year, Shane and Glen for their advice, Evan, Jake, Alex and Em for their friendship, Jonathan, Micah and Sasha for their leadership of the department this past year and Chrissy for making everything at The Chronicle possible.

Max Rego profile
Max Rego

Max Rego is a Trinity senior and an associate sports editor for The Chronicle's 118th volume. He was previously sports managing editor for Volume 117.


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