Farewell from a sportswriter

Timothy Ramsey

Farewell from a sportswriter
May 05
05:47 2023

I remember the first day I walked into The Chronicle office eight years ago when it was located on Liberty Street. I was eager to finally get an opportunity to write and at the same time as nervous as I’ve ever been because I didn’t think I was prepared for the job. Fast forward to now and hundreds of articles later, this will be my last edition with The Chronicle newspaper.

I came to The Chronicle initially as a freelance religion reporter doing one article per week. Because the concentration of my journalism degree is in broadcast journalism, I did not take many newspaper writing classes, so my initial anxiety was due to the job being somewhat foreign to me.

My very first article was interviewing individuals from a religious conference that they were having here in Winston-Salem. I was almost shaking in my boots and didn’t really know what questions to ask. I had some questions that I prepared going in but honestly, I was just winging it after that.

Following the interview, now it was time to go home and write. The lasting memory I had of that article was that it took me over six hours to write the article, which was only 700 words, because I really didn’t know where to start or even stop, for that matter. I didn’t know what quotes to pull out and include, nor did I know how to even structure the article.

I actually took some time away from the article to regroup and look at how other newspaper articles were written and then went back to it. After finally completing the article, I remember being as proud of myself as I’ve ever been before. It was an accomplishment that I’ll never forget.

After about nine months of writing freelance religion articles for the paper, former Chronicle owner Ernie Pitt asked if I wanted to come aboard as the full-time sports and religion reporter and I jumped at the opportunity. Once again, it was a new challenge and I was eager to get started.

I tell people this story all the time about my first meeting at the paper and they really don’t believe me. When I started as the full-time sports reporter, Pitt and the former editor Donna Rodgers basically said to me “Go out and get us five to seven stories and have them in by Sunday.”  

I was not given any phone numbers, people to talk to, or anything to assist me in my efforts. I literally did not know where to start. This is where my wonderful coworkers come into play. They may not even remember, but our advertising manager, Shayna Smith, and senior writer, Tevin Stinson, gave me a few suggestions of where to get started. One of those suggestions was to go and speak with Art Blevins, former senior supervisor of Hanes Hosiery Recreation Center, Bryant McCorkle, senior supervisor of W.R. Anderson Recreation Center, and Ben Piggott, former senior supervisor of Carl H. Russell Recreation Center.

Without those three gentlemen, I doubt I would be able to have made it to this point. Blevins, McCorkle and Piggott bent over backwards to connect me with individuals in sports here in Winston-Salem. When I came on full time, it was the end of May, which is the end of the school year, so there were not a lot of school sports going on. Those gentlemen introduced me to countless people during that summer that gave me the connections I needed to do my job.

Those three gentlemen deserve a very special thank you from me because they did not have to do what they did to help me out. Their only concern was helping out the kids in their respective centers and highlighting the good things they had going on there.

I would be doing him a disservice if I didn’t mention a gentleman by the name of Alvin Robinson who also helped me tremendously throughout my time at The Chronicle. I was introduced to Mr. Robinson after interviewing his daughter who received a scholarship to college to play basketball. That initial meeting was the start of a friendship that is still going to this day.  

Throughout that first year it was somewhat tough to obtain story ideas, but I continued to build more relationships with coaches, administrators, players and parents, until it got to the point where people began calling me to interview them and made my job a lot easier.

As the years passed, James Taylor became The Chronicle’s publisher, and we moved to the old bank building on East 5th street. That was where I really hit my stride as a writer. I really blossomed due to the opportunities to write sports, religion, finance, government and profile pieces.  

I was able to meet some great people and have some great memories while working for The Chronicle. I have met professional athletes, government officials and musical artists, but the greatest joy that I take from my time there was highlighting all of the young men and women on the high school level that were not only producing in their respective sports, but were also high caliber students as well. I enjoyed showing the Triad area that there are young Black men and women who are doing positive things in the community, instead of just reporting the negative news that many of the local media outlets show.

To The Chronicle staff; Bridget Elam, Judie Holcomb-Pack, Tevin Stinson, Shayna Smith, Deanna Taylor and Gregg Penn, thank each and every one of you for assisting me in my journey at The Chronicle. Every last one of you has helped me along the way in some way, shape or form, and I truly appreciate it. I also wanted to give a special thank you to our former Chronicle staff member, the late Mrs. Paulette Lewis-Moore, who had my back from day one at the paper. She was a beautiful soul who always had words of encouragement for everyone she encountered.

As I move on to the next phase in my career, I will always remember my time here at The Chronicle and will never forget the wonderful relationships I was able to build while here. I thank each and every one of you and The Chronicle and the city of Winston-Salem. You will always hold a special place in my heart. 

Peace and blessings to everyone. I’m gonna miss y’all. 

About Author

Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors