Eckl: What a weird first year it has been

NNG sports director Carter Eckl

NNG sports director Carter Eckl

To even begin to try to describe my first year in Northern Nevada seems outlandish.

To be frank, if you would have even speculated in August 2019 about what was going to happen over the next 12 months – I would have likely written you off as insane.

At the end of the day, insane seems to be the same word I keep coming back to.

A little background

For those of you who don’t know, or don’t remember, Pacific Publishing Company purchased Sierra Nevada News Group on Aug. 1, 2019.

That was two days after I had officially accepted my offer as sports director and turned in my notice to my publisher in Creston, Iowa.

The next 24-48 hours were endless phone calls to anyone I trusted trying to figure out if I should still make the move westward, even though I was jumping into even more uncertainty.

I could not have asked for a more obvious sign of foreshadowing, but who really would have guessed how the next year would play out?

Over the past week, I’ve thought about how grateful I am to be here.

Not only to be here, but also to have had the first six months be normal.

It gave me a chance to meet so many wonderful people in the community before the pandemic flipped the country on its head.

Much like many of the athletes and coaches I’ve spoken too, I’ve had my fair share of tough weeks over the summer.

For anyone that read my last column, losing my high school friends, Ryan and Matt, on the same July weekend a year apart was a bigger blow than any of us could have imagined.

However, my way of handling those events has drastically improved from how I dealt with that level of heartbreak at any point prior in my life.

A growing perspective

There’s no way I would have handled the last 12 months well if I was 18 or 21.

To be quite honest, I don’t think life had done much more than put a ball on a tee until I was 18.

At 26, I know the obstacles I’ve overcome to this point are just ways to get stronger.

That phrase did nothing but anger me when I was younger because I didn’t understand.

To high school students now who just feel like they’re in an endless rut, it will pass.

I can’t tell you when, but it will.

Humanity, despite its best efforts, always seems to have a way of being resilient enough to overcome.

Unfortunately, that sometimes can take a while.

I won’t pretend like I’ve got it all figured out, but I will say to have some perspective of just how privileged I am to be at this point of my life still makes me feel incredibly lucky.

Continuing on

My first year here as sports director hasn’t been flawless.

Those mistakes, however minor, still stick in my teeth and I don’t have the mental floss – so to speak – for those yet.

However, I hope that some of the stories I’ve been able to tell have been worthy of your time as a reader.

I seriously cannot tell you how much I appreciate everyone who is still subscribed to the newspaper and reaches out – positive or negative.

All that is to say, there’s more in store for sports coverage from me here.

I will have a hand in some news stories until sports return in a full-time capacity, but there were new ideas I wanted to institute before the pandemic altered those plans.

For a multitude of reasons, I wouldn’t be here without my managing editor, Adam Trumble, who time and time again goes out of his way to check in on me and make sure I’m still doing OK.

I know the running joke among those who sit around me is how little I’m actually in the office, but the appreciation and support I’ve been shown by my co-workers when I do stop by has been lovely.

I’ve quickly realized how amazing Northern Nevada in so many ways and I’m just as excited for year two and I was for year one.

Contact the writer:

Email –

Twitter – @CarterEckl


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment