In 2019, I posted an article called "Giving Thanks", a short piece posted on Thanksgiving which highlighted how thankful I was for the writers who make this website the engaging and informative platform that it is today.
And three years later, I thought it was only appropriate to bring back this article "series" (if you can even call it that) as I revisit all of the writers, people and brands who have helped our TSR engine stay running.
Yes, I used the exact same article title as I did three years ago. Yes, I used the exact same graphic as I did three years ago. And yes, many of the things that I highlighted about my writers in 2019 still ring true today.
Work with me here, I never said I was creative.
Let's begin...(writers are listed alphabetically by last name).
It's been really cool to see Eric evolve as a writer throughout his time at TSR. He has a very deep understanding of the D2 scene and during his early days with the site, Eric was also flexing his knowledge in the D1 scene.
Eric's writing has slowly and steadily improved. He's been a major reason why our D2 content continues to thrive and I can't remember the last time he missed writing a scheduled article. Without his years of contributions, I'm admittedly not sure how we would have kept our D2 content offerings afloat.
I am in constant awe at how much work Maura can take on at once. This is someone who is a full-time teacher, a coach, has run up to 150+ miles in a week (no, that's not a typo) AND she has been the lead of our D1 women's content.
Do you know ANYONE who can even do half of that?
What's even crazier is that Maura is wildly detailed in her writing. You'd think someone as busy as her would rush through content to save time (and honestly, I wouldn't blame her), but she always gives 110% and has been the definition of reliability.
Ah, yes. John Cusick. The true OG.
John has been with our site since December 2017. He was our first TSR writer to join the site and to stick around for longer than two weeks. He has grown with the site and recently got rewarded for his unwavering loyalty by being promoted to a legitimate part-time editor role, overseeing article production for Division Two and Division Three.
John has made my life 1000% times easier ever since he was brought on as an editor and his willingness to take the initiative on a handful of tasks is what will make this site, over the long run, the powerhouse that I know that it can be.
When we were preparing to expand our content offerings to college recruiting and high school competition, one of the first people who I called was Brian Dengler.
The Bucknell graduate previously did great work with us on the Division One side, but it was clear that his talent and knowledge would be best utilized in the high school realm. And so far, that suspicion has been 100% true.
Brian very clearly has a passion and in-depth understanding of the high school scene. And as we continue to build that area of our site, I know that Brian's contributions and insights will be an absolute necessity.
Prior to the pandemic, our Division Three team was led by Hannah Thorn and Brett Haffner. Those two writers did an incredible job of getting our D3 content off of the ground, but additional help was becoming increasingly more necessary.
Since then, Kevin has stepped in and has been a brilliant addition to this D3 team. He offers some of the most clear and concise analysis of anyone on our staff. He reliably meets deadlines and there have simply been so many times where I've walked away from our content thinking, "Man, I'm really proud of him."
If there is no Brett Haffner, then there is no D3 content on The Stride Report.
It's as simple as that.
When Brett told me that he wanted to do D3 content on the site a few years ago, I told him that he could give it a go, but that he would largely be responsible for carrying that entire section of analysis for quite some time.
But because of Brett, we now have a three-person team of Division Three writers who have killed it over the last two weeks. There aren't many people who know every corner of the country's competitive scene as well as Brett does. He's one of the most well-connected people I know in the Division Three scene and it shows in his work.
Jose is a brand new addition to our Division Two crew. And when I say "brand new," I mean that he's literally been with our site for two weeks.
Even so, I absolutely love how eager Jose has been to start writing. I don't think there has been anyone in TSR's site history who has reached out as early-on in their writing tenure as Jose did -- and I absolutely love that.
The first article that Scotty ever wrote for TSR left us with some work to do. I made some edits, offered some feedback and gave him another assignment.
But that second article? Well, it was one of the best pieces that we have published on the site this year. Scotty's ability to learn and then apply those lessons to his writing as quickly and as effectively as he has is borderline unbelievable. He has been a welcomed addition to our D1 crew and his positivity has been incredibly up-lifting as well.
Speaking of positive people, I don't think I have ever met someone whose energy is as infectious as Kora's. I was never planning on adding an intern to our TSR crew, but Kora's initial email to the site was so positive and excitable. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to add someone like her to our team.
As far as writing goes, Kora is extremely organized and has been a foundational writer who is going to be a major reason why this site's recruiting and high school content is going to reach the next level.
At one point, our Division Two team was in a bit of a pickle. John and Eric were doing well, but there was only so much work that they could take on at once. Luckily, when we relaunched the site, Grace reached out, asking to return to the site after originally writing for us for a handful of seasons.
Without her, our D2 content would not be where it's at now. She has been so reliable, so knowledge and someone who allows me to rest easy knowing that she's the one penning content for our site.
A lot of our writers are passionate, talented and knowledgable. However, we've never had a true journalism major like Gavin who clearly brings a level of professionalism to our D1 crew that we just simply never had before.
Gavin may be relatively new to the site, but he holds me accountable and has probably taught me more than any other contributor has in terms of writing and journalism. Oh, and it also helps that he knows exactly how TSR wants to talk about our sport.
I don't know if there's anyone on our team whose personality can be felt more in their writing than Hannah's. Every time I read her content, it feels like you're just casually talking to a friend...while also learning a lot!
Hannah is a major reason why our D3 content has made so much progress over the years. She has worked so well with both Brett and Kevin, has never held back from offering her honest opinion in her writing and offers a level of authenticity in her analysis that is really refreshing.
I have a feeling that Ben is probably one of the most recognizable contributors at The Stride Report. The people who listen to the Blue Oval Podcast seem to be very engaged and I strongly believe that's because of Ben's personality.
In fact, when we first launched the podcast, I got a text saying, "Yeah, you're fine and all, but Ben is a natural on the mic." And I couldn't agree more.
Ben has brought a much-needed edge to our content offerings and I see a future where he plays a major role in our goals for the site.
Alex Paré, Brett Montrose & Streamline Athletes
If it wasn't for Alex and Brett, then I wouldn't be typing this post right now.
Year one of our site relaunch has been, by most metrics, a success. Without these two and the rest of the Streamline Athletes family, this relaunch and our push to be the best in the business would have never happened.
On a day that is centered around giving thanks, we have to acknowledge the new injection of life that our friends in Canada gave us last December. And to be clear, our level of appreciation for Streamline Athletes extends beyond Alex and Brett. Everyone at that company has been beyond kind and they have been willing to work alongside us to ensure that we succeed.
To put it simply, this acquisition has shattered my expectations in the best way possible.
Our December Partners at HOKA
We want to give a quick shoutout to our partners at HOKA! They've recognized the hard work that we've been putting into this site and they've been willing to support our content throughout the rest of this calendar year.
We sincerely appreciate their thoughtfulness and consideration. We can't wait to team up with them throughout December.
And Finally, Our Readers
Thank you. Thank you to every single one of you. It's been such a blessing to have a career where I get to offer news and thoughts on something that I love so much.
We're seeing encouraging growth. Everything that we've seen since our relaunch suggests that this can work. And for that, to our readers, we are forever grateful. We can't thank you enough for supporting our project.