As the school year comes to a close, we have to say goodbye to our graduates, including outgoing associate Sports editor Taylor Coonan, who is graduating this week, and former Sports editor Ashton Stansel, who graduated this winter. We are super appreciative of all these two have done for the DC Sports section, constantly improving writer turnout and quality of work. With their leadership, we were able to produce yet another successful year of content at the DC.
As the two editors next year, we will be capping off Taylor and Ashton’s time at the DC with an annual tradition: an epic debate asking who was the better editor.
Jonathan: Alright, I’ve loved working with Taylor for the last semester, but I’m gonna argue that Ashton was the better editor. In his short tenure as Sports editor, he brought a ton of productivity to the table. Week in and week out, we were able to put out quality content, and a significant amount of it. With Ashton at the helm, we were able to bring on a bunch of new writers and just as importantly, keep existing writers around. It was in the fall semester that Ashton and I started to add that great culture that won the Sports section the esteemed honor of section of the year. It was a tough start, but Ashton and I were able to start hiring more staff writers, find beat writers for fall and winter sports and put the section on a great path to finish the year strong.
Stratton: Ashton will always have a special place in my heart as my first Sports editor, but I’m going to have to go with Taylor here. Nobody brought better vibes to the meetings–and peanut butter M&M’s too–which really helped make the Sports section’s vibes better. Whether it was online or in person, Taylor brought great energy, which definitely helped motivate me to continue my commitment to DC Sports. Taylor was also great at making herself approachable and I don’t think anyone ever felt scared to ask her any questions. Although Ashton and Taylor each had great niche columns on esports and golf respectively, I’d argue that Taylor calling that Scott Scheffler would win the Masters ahead of time was impressive enough to give her the edge. Plus, “Tee Time with T” is a more creative name than “Ashton’s Column,” although the content for both was phenomenal.
Jonathan: The Scheffler pick for the Masters was very impressive, I’ll give her that. I thoroughly enjoyed Taylor’s contribution to the paper through a sport that isn’t typically covered, but Ashton did his share of that as well through esports. Ashton got his start with the department with esports and ran with it so much we had to create his own esports link on our website. Not only was the content quality and produced consistently, but since so few people write nationally on esports, each article brought in a whole new range of viewers to our site. In terms of UConn sports, Ashton tackled some of the more difficult beats we have in both football and women’s basketball. In addition, Ashton was more than willing to pick up other beat writers’ slacks midweek, particularly women’s volleyball. His willingness to do extra work on top of his already busy schedule is part of what made him a great editor.
Stratton: I’ll give you that they both had significant contributions to sports that are underrepresented in the paper, which really helped make the paper a better place and expanded who’s reading. One thing that Taylor definitely has over Ashton though is that she spent more time covering a beat this year than he did. While football and women’s basketball are difficult beats, let’s talk about Taylor’s dedication to men’s hockey. For the majority of the season, she took on the IceBus solo while still being an editor, which is incredibly impressive for a sport that played a similar number of games as either basketball team. As the Sports section became thin with a couple key losses, Taylor took on a top three winter sport all by herself. Either way though, both editors did a fantastic job in their respective times leading the DC. Besides Jon, there aren’t any other people I’d rather have taking charge, making the paper a better place and developing me as a writer. Thank you Ashton and Taylor!!!