Harry Potter and Unanswered Questions

The epilogue at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was, for my money, woefully insufficient in that it left a lot of unanswered questions. . .

First of all, what happened to the following characters: Victor Krum? Cho Chang? Goyle? Lavendar Brown? Pansy Parkinson? Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy? Florean Fortescue? Kreacher? Crookshanks? The Death Eaters, both those who were captured and those who professed to have changed since their “Lord” irrevocably died?

Did Winky ever recover from her elvish alcoholism?

What happened to the Dursleys? Did Harry see them after the second chapter of the last book? Would their relationship have changed since Harry was no longer a dependant?

Did George Weasley ever get married?

Did Harry’s Quidditch career really end when Cormac hit him with the Bludger? Did he try to play professionally?

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Best Baseball Stories, II

Yes, this post is incredibly belated. There, I said it. Now let’s focus on the best baseball stories I wrote for http://www.indiana.rivals.com as I covered the 2013 Indiana University baseball team.

My feature on Aaron Slegers is terrific, if I do say so myself. What do you think, Internet?

My game story from IU’s Big Ten Tournament title victory.

My game story from IU’s first regional title, wherein Justin Cureton made a great catch.

My preview, from a pitching perspective, on how IU’s hurlers are preparing for the College World Series.

Its season on the line, IU baseball turned to Aaron Slegers against Oregon State. My preview is here.

I wrote a game story from Louisville about IU’s loss to UL.

Best Baseball Stories

In celebration — for want of a better term? — of the news that upon my graduation on May 4, I will continue to cover the IU baseball team for http://www.peegs.com.

Therefore, this post is to highlight the best stories I wrote for the Indiana Daily Student during my final semester as an undergraduate student-reporter.

(Stories are in reverse chronological order.)

My game story from April 15′s walk-off loss at Michigan State is here.

I wrote a feature story on right fielder Casey Smith, the son of IU Coach Tracy Smith.

From Evansville, I wrote the game story about the Hoosiers’ wild 10-8 triumph on April 9.

My game story recapped IU’s 6-2 defeat — on March 27 — of regional rival Louisville.

My March 19 feature story about the debut of Bart Kaufman Field is linked here.

I wrote the preview story as the Hoosiers began their spring break trip with a three-game set against the University of Florida Gators.

previewed the Hoosiers’ second weekend series against the Georgia Southern University Eagles.

To preview the 2013 season, I wrote a feature story about the team’s increased depth in the pitching corps.

The 2012 Quest for Eight

It’s not every season that a reporter has the privilege of covering a national championship season. Since the IU men’s soccer team captured their eighth national championship last month, I decided to compile within this blog my – and Justin Shockey‘s — coverage of the completed quest for eight, with all our stories hyperlinked.

Enjoy …

August 13, 2012 … Justin Shockey wrote the preview story about the Hoosiers’ 2012 season.

August 15 … Nathan Brown’s blog post detailing Eriq Zavaleta’s status concerning the Hermann Trophy.

August 15 … Micah McVicker’s game story of the Hoosiers’ 1-1 preseason draw vs. UIC.

August 17 … Micah McVicker’s preview of the Hoosiers’ final preseason match against Chivas de Guadalajara.

August 20 … Without a press box, from Fort Wayne, Justin Shockey recapped the Hoosiers’ final preseason match.

August 22 … Justin Shockey’s blog post on Big Ten preseason rankings.

August 23 … Justin Shockey wrote about two Hoosiers’ work with Chivas USA during the summer.

August 23 … Justin Shockey previewed the Hoosiers’ season-opening matches, the Billiken Classic.

August 24 … From St. Louis, Micah McVicker’s game story of the Hoosiers’ season-opening win against the Billikens.

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Long-Form Journalism

I am great at what I do. I am also the antithesis of arrogant, for if I do not have confidence in my ability, who will?

I’d be remiss if I didn’t link to this feature story — the best of my career — for peegs.com I wrote on Aaron Slegers’s IU career. I spent five months writing and collecting information for this one.

On Thursday, September 6, the Indiana Daily Student published my then-latest feature story, this one about forward T.J. Popolizio, the first graduate student to play for IU Coach Todd Yeagley at Indiana.

The online version is roughly 1000 words longer than the story that appeared as the P1 centerpiece last week. I’m thankful to Nathan and Trent for accommodating me.

I also thank Popolizio himself. He is a tremendous quote, and I’m grateful he allowed me to tell his story.

I am a humble person, but I will not hesitate to use my website to promote my work. I will never apologize for that. I think I am outstanding at this aspect of storytelling. I know I have things to work on, things on which I want to improve.

But I love long-form journalism, long-form feature writing. Some of my best stories are long-form features, including the then-best story of my career, that I wrote in Savannah on my first internship.

I am proud of this story I wrote about Casey Smith, son of IU Head Baseball Coach Tracy Smith.

I’m fond of this story I wrote in 2011 about then-senior goalkeeper Lindsay Campbell. I can’t thank her enough for allowing me to tell her story.

The feature I wrote about Kyle Schwarber is another of my greatest features.

The feature story I wrote about the Grote sisters turned out to be my the first P1 centerpiece. Hopefully it’s the first of many, many more to come.

(Meanwhile, for more, click here.)

I have no answers concerning the future of this business. I hope and pray I can land a job where I am allowed to write long-form features like the ones hyperlinked above because I love telling those kinds of stories.

Hoosiers Win to Begin 2012

Luis Soffner makes a save in the Hoosiers' season-opening win at SLU.

Luis Soffner makes a save in the Hoosiers’ season-opening win at SLU. Photo credit: http://www.soccerstl.net

ST. LOUIS–Jon Roeckle gave both teams the lead Friday night, as the Saint Louis University junior defender’s own goal propelled Indiana to a season-opening 2-1 win Friday night at Robert R. Hermann Stadium.

Junior midfielder A.J. Corrado received a pass on the left flank from fellow junior midfielder Jacob Bushue. Corrado’s cross into the box found the back of the net in the 67th minute because as Roeckle attempted to clear the ball, he headed it in a harmful trajectory.

He staked his team to a lead in the 22nd minute.

Sophomore midfielder Bryce Kingsley took a pass down the left sideline, at the edge of the 18 extended. His cross found Roeckle wide open. His shot was deflected, and senior goalkeeper Luis Soffner could not recover back to his right.

That sent the crowd of 5,346 into a fervor.

“It’s so tough to come out here on opening night for SLU,” Corrado said. “They had an unbelievable crowd, and that fueled them, fueled their intensity. They were extremely tough to play against. That first 30 minutes, they were all over the place. They went up early. We were calm.

“It’s so hard to keep up the type of pressure they were putting on.”

The Hoosiers equalized in the 34th minute. Corrado’s relentless hustle created a chance for sophomore forward Eriq Zavaleta. The Westfield, Ind., native’s shot rolled under the arm of Billikens’ goalkeeper Nick Shackleford, off the inside of the post and into the back of the net.

Junior defender Matt McKain started the play, as he served a ball into the box from the right flank, about 30 yards from goal. A Billiken defender won the 50-50 ball, heading it back towards the near side. Corrado pursued the ball as it rolled toward the intersection of the 18-yard-box and the end line.

He dispossessed his opponent, and found the sophomore forward at the top of the box.

Zavaleta converted.

“I took a glance up, we had a couple guys in the box,” Corrado said. “Eriq’s a great finisher. I know if I can find him in the box, something good’s probably gonna happen.”

IU Coach Todd Yeagley said his team possessed the ball with greater purpose in the second half.

“The second half, we started to show what we could do,” the third-year coach said. “Not where we need to be, but it’s the first game. We need to get results along the way. It was a gutsy performance in moments that we needed. That’s going to get us wins when we’re not at our best.

“In the first half, I thought we were way too passive and not assertive enough in the final third. That’s what we need to see in the second half is more of that.”

Sophomore defender Drew Schall started 13 games in the midfield last year in his freshman season at Evansville. He started his first game as a back in place of sophomore Patrick Doody, injured in practice on Tuesday.

Corrado praised Schall’s performance.

“It was hard for all of us,” Corrado said. “He came in and did a great job. It was not an easy game by any means, especially as a defender. He came in and did an awesome job.”

Schall said he did what he had to do for the team. The environment didn’t affect him.

“The atmosphere was great,” he said. “It’s kind of something, in the midst of a game, you just have to X out and you can only see the 22 players on the field. You’ve just got to go from there.”

The Hoosiers survived an onslaught in the final four minutes, as the Billikens attempted two shots and took two corners. On the first of the two, junior midfielder Harrison Petts saved a goal, as he headed the ball off the line and into the air.

Soffner claimed it.

“A great way to start the season,” Corrado said.

Added Schall,” It’s huge. I think it shows what it really takes to be an Indiana Hoosier.”

Etc.

Yeagley said he was proud of Soffner, coming back to his hometown and “make some great saves and play steady all night. I was really happy for him.”

Intern, Savannah Morning News

This post is a collection of the work I have done (in chronological order) as a summer 2012 intern for the Savannah Morning News. Here is a direct link to my page on Savannahnow.com — the stories there are in reverse chronological order.

My notebook of the state postseason doubleheader between two rival Savannah prep schools in the Elite Eight.

My preview of the 2012 Coastal Empire All-Star (Soccer) Games.

covered the Savannah Sand Gnats for the first time.

My recap of the 2012 Coastal Empire All-Star soccer games.

The national champions, Armstrong Atlantic State University men’s and women’s tennis teams, returned home May 20. Here’s my story on their successful seasons.

The Gnats fall in 11, 5-3.

The Gnats rally in the bottom of the eighth to win 5-3.

My preview of the Sixth Annual Savannah Mile.

Jamaal Rhodes signed his letter of intent to play basketball at Erskine College. My story from Johnson High School.

Here is my recap of the Savannah Mile.

For the third time in three years, Bible Baptist School introduced a new head football coach. My story is here.

covered my third Sand Gnats game.

I spent Saturday evening at Grayson Stadium. The Gnats won 2-1. Here is my recap.

Because it was a Sunday game for the Sand Gnats, I wrote a traditional game story.

Savannah native Jake Weidner will be one of 18 skullers to compete in the U.S. Junior National Championships. Here is my preview story.

On June 7, I covered my last Sand Gnats game. Well, games — they played a doubleheader.

My first story for the metro desk is about the theft of two puppies.

Seven annual Paddle Georgia events have raised over $120K for river protection in Georgia. Paddle Georgia 2012 kicks off Saturday. Here is my preview story.

A collaboration between two Coastal Empire companies produced a mud run. The inaugural run will take place June 16. My preview story is here.

The Chatham County Aquatic Center participated in a bid to break a world record. My story is here.

covered the inaugural J.C.B. Mud Run on June 16.

I contributed the quotes from Mr. Palmaccio to this story about McDonald’s and their owner-operators awarding scholarships to their employees.

The bicyclist maintained a perfect winning percentage in the Savannah Dump the Pump Challenge, held June 21. Here is my story from City Hall.

covered the 17th Annual Savannah Asian Festival.

Here is the best story I’ve written in my career. It’s a story about a former high school linebacker who suffered a traumatic head injury, and the story of his recovery.

An organization entitled World Changers spent a week in Savannah, performing work on 34 homes throughout the city. Here is my Page 1A centerpiece story.

Tybee Island, Georgia, is one of six finalists for Most Beautiful Small Town in the Rand McNally Best of the Road Rally. I spoke with the judges after they rolled into town and wrote this Page 1A centerpiece story.

My fellow intern and I co-wrote this story about a couple celebrating their 61st wedding anniversary.

reported on how four Savannah-area animal shelters are struggling with the amount of owner surrenders.

Here is my story from Bible Baptist School on former point guard Jerel Richards signing his NLI to play basketball at Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville, Fla.

A fledgling summer camp is changing the lives of young children with cerebral palsy or spina bifida in the Savannah area. Here is my Page 1A centerpiece story.

The Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance began a program to help distribute school supplies. The fifth annual expo is scheduled for July 21.

I wrote a brief story about a donation to two organizations from the American Art Therapy Association.

The Girl Scouts were founded in Savannah 100 years ago. On July 18, they honored their founder and unveiled a new stamp. My story from their ceremony.

For my last assignment, I covered one more Sand Gnats’ game.