By Sports Editor Peter Holland Jr.
My name is Peter Holland Jr. Some of you may know me as “The Pistol,” and others might know me as the sports editor for the McPherson Sentinel. As you can see, I am no longer employed there, and I accepted the same role with the McPherson Buzz. I’m excited about the new opportunity, a new beginning, but it’s the same ol’ “Pistol.”
I’m sure some of you are wondering why I left the Sentinel. Some probably had an idea. One thing that I want to make clear is that I hold no grudges toward the paper or the company that is known as Gatehouse Media, newly rebranded Gannett Company. I’m thankful for the Sentinel for introducing me to an incredible sports town and the ability to do what I strived to do after I left my hometown of Hollywood, Florida.
Leaving the Sentinel was a hard thing to do, but it was the decision best for me. This entire year has been a challenge for me. I wasn’t happy with the direction the Sentinel was going. As more of my former colleagues left the paper, I knew it was just a matter of time before it would be my time to go.
The whole time I was there I was working part-time hours. I don’t want to get into specifics, but let’s say I was barely staying afloat. However, I was slowly sinking while doing what I loved. I understood what I was getting myself into when I came to McPherson, and I was hoping if I paid my dues and showed how much I could be an asset to the company, more opportunities would come my way. It didn’t as I planned. It was just a shock to me that I was the last man standing, doing what I love, with nothing to show for it. When I’m out in the open, I’m ok, but when I’m at home, I’m not. There were days that I didn’t want to work or even leave the house. As much as I enjoyed writing, I didn’t enjoy the situation I was in. I needed a new start.
While working for the Sentinel, I kept my options open, making sure whatever happened to the paper, I had something waiting on the table. I considered other publications. Some I turned down. At one point, I was a finalist for an ESPN position. The recruiters flew me out to Bristol, Connecticut. I thought that was going to be my next adventure, heading back east and working for the worldwide leaders of sports. But that’s a different story for another day.
One thing for sure, whenever I’m at a McPherson game, I’m focused and less distracted as I figure out a good story angle to tell to the McPherson community. McPherson has always been good to me, and I’m thankful that I found this place and call it my new home. Part of me wanted to leave, but all I wanted was a fresh start. That’s when the Buzz came into the picture. At first, it didn’t catch my eye because I didn’t want any conflict with the Sentinel. As time went by, The Buzz kept buzzing around on my Facebook newsfeeds. That’s when I saw Teri Hansen, a former news editor for the Sentinel, was hired, and she has done a marvelous job covering the news side. Then it hit me. If she can put out that much news content for The Buzz, imagine what I can do in the sports section.
So I reached out to Jennifer Flood, the founder, and publisher, and I told her straight up that I can take the news site to a whole new level with the ideas I wanted to bring to The Buzz. She loved the idea and understood my predicament. Right from the start, we were all on the same page. I’m thankful to be reuniting with Hansen. Compared to the other editors I worked over the years, she coached me up to be a better writer than I am now, and I want to continue to be better while working side-by-side with her. I’m also excited to be working with the current sports writer, Quincy Williams, our photographer, Jeff Wilson, and the rest of the staff. It feels like a family atmosphere, and that’s what I learned when I moved here. McPherson is about family, and we look out for one another.
Joining The Buzz was the fresh start I needed. It was a breath a fresh air that I needed to exhale for quite some time. Digital journalism is my game, and that’s what the direction this job field is heading. I don’t want to play spoiler alert of what I will be doing for The Buzz, but I will guarantee all the McPherson locals and anyone connected to the town my full effort in covering everything McPherson. My goal has always been shining the light on all local kids and their talents. They all have a story that is worth telling, and it’s my job to expose it positively, giving another reason to support your Bullpups every week. I enjoy covering the kids, and they enjoyed my presence while getting a lot of media attention from me. Their enthusiasm and energy is the reason why I’m still around. I’m also thankful for the coaches, parents, and supporters for putting their trust in me in putting out a good story. Writing simple game recaps with box scores was never my style. I’m the type of person who wants to dig deep beyond the statistics. For some who read my work understands.
Those who are not familiar with my work, you are in for a treat between now and the year 2020. McPherson deserves as much media coverage, and I’m thrilled to bring that through writing, through my social media platforms, and through multimedia. It’s time to show what sports reporting is all about.
If you have a story idea or suggestion, feel free to contact me at sports firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always looking for great content and we want to know what you want from your local media outlet. This is your town and your news, tell us what you want to hear about.