I have lived in Central Pennsylvania for my entire life, and never once did I think I was going to be a reporter for the Hershey Bears, especially at 19 years old. Growing up, I was a pretty casual hockey fan, but I never really found a true love for the sport until I was a bit older. Regardless, if you lived in the Harrisburg/Hershey/Carlisle area, it was essentially a rite of passage to go see Bears games. So, I did. All throughout my childhood I had attended Bears games, whether it was for a friend’s birthday, or just a fun thing to do on a Friday night. Years later, I found my passion for the sport while watching Olympic hockey during the 2014 Winter Olympics and decided immediately that I wanted to work with this sport. I wasn’t sure what I would do, but I knew I wanted it to involve hockey.
I began watching hockey constantly. Not just my own favorite team, but pretty much any game that was on. I couldn’t get enough of it! The speed, grit, and skill of every player just blew my mind. I mean, in what other game do they actually permit fighting? I loved it. I educated myself on the rules of the game, all of the different players, and all of their stats. That’s when I decided that I would write about and broadcast hockey. I would sit down and write pretend articles and call games into my recorder just for practice, hoping to find a way into the business (if not for pay, then just to gain experience). That’s when Mr. Dylan Coyle came along. Dylan sent me a message on Twitter explaining to me that he was running this hockey website, called GNGHockey. He knew I was looking for a way into the industry, so he offered me a position as a reporter, and I took it. Right off the bat he said I would be covering the Hershey Bears, since I lived the closest out of all our reporters. A couple weeks later, I was officially a reporter for the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League.
It was pretty crazy to me that at 19 years old I was covering my local professional hockey team, just one level below the National Hockey League. What was even crazier to me is that I was hopping right into the AHL, since I had never officially done any journalism before. Regardless, I went in, covered the Bears, and it could not have gone more smoothly, thanks to the help of all the people that work at the Giant Center. From the elevator operator, Sandy, to the man in the press room downstairs, Bob, everyone was friendly and helpful to me from my first day covering the Bears. I want to thank the voice of the Hershey Bears, their media coordinator, Zack Fisch, and the media intern of the Bears for several years, Matt Trust, for helping me to gain constant access to games this past year, as well as helping me grow as a journalist. Without them, I wouldn’t be in the position that I am right now.
This past Sunday was my last game as a full-time Bears reporter, as I’m moving next year and will be switching to Lehigh Valley Phantoms coverage. Deep down, though, the Bears are my hometown AHL team, and there will always be a part of myself that wants them to succeed. Thankfully, the Bears and Phantoms play in the same conference, so I’ll still be seeing plenty of the familiar chocolate and white.
Noah is a lifelong Flyers fan who loves the sport of hockey almost as much as the orange and black. He is currently studying journalism and media studies at West Chester University.