Mon. Jun 5th, 2023

Editor’s note: “Behind the Byline” introduces you to these who create stories, snap photographs, design and style pages and edit the content material we provide in our print editions and on We’re much more than journalists. As you will see, we’re also your neighbors with distinctive backgrounds and experiences who proudly contact Sonoma County residence. Now, we introduce you to sports writer Kienan O’Doherty.

Increasing up in Mill Valley, I was one particular of these youngsters that played each and every sport below the sun.

Baseball, basketball, soccer. You name it, I played it. Except for football, that is. I was second on the wait list soon after sign-ups and never ever got to don the pads, which to this day I’m fairly thankful for.

Like most youngsters, I dreamed of getting a skilled athlete. My childhood close friends and I would invest hours at Boyle Park, fantasizing of how we would be the subsequent middle infield tandem for the San Francisco Giants. We would practice turning double plays more than and more than once again, just like Wealthy Aurilia, Jeff Kent and Ray Durham would at what is now Oracle Park.

Just after all, a kid can dream, proper?

As years progressed, I gradually realized that I had however yet another dream, a need that brings me right here right now.

You see, I’m 75% Irish. That implies I’m blessed, and often cursed, with the infamous “gift of gab.” I appreciate a very good conversation, however often speak as well substantially. It is one particular of the greatest gifts in the globe, if you know how to use it.

That getting stated, my dream then turned to getting a play-by-play commentator. I was enamored by it listening Duane Kuiper, Mike Krukow, Jon Miller and Dave Flannery on the everyday, reading books by Jim Nantz and Al Michaels (which I nonetheless have, by the way). I would study any way I could.

I began the broadcasting club in higher college at Stuart Hall, calling all the school’s basketball games by myself. That continued in college, as I named each men’s and women’s soccer, and even some NCAA tournament games. I would nonetheless like to do that once again someday in some capacity.

Whilst I did do sports broadcasting, there wasn’t a big for that profession the closest factor we had was journalism. So, I took a opportunity and majored in it in spite of never ever obtaining written for a newspaper.

Turns out, it was the finest way to use that present of gab. I generally consider to myself, if you cannot speak about it, create about it.

It was rough beginning out. These collegiate days had been filled with late nights, continual black ink on our newspapers, and low grades (thanks, Paul Kostyu). I attempted and attempted to discover some thing that could relate, but I just couldn’t. Till I did — by means of tennis.

The sport I began the newest was the one particular I would play the longest. I started playing tennis at age 12 and played all the way by means of college. Now, I attempt to get out as substantially as I can, but my Wilson Blades are a small rusty.

So, how the heck do tennis and journalism correlate? In a lot much more strategies than you would consider.

See, writing a sports story is sort of like a tennis point the serve is the lede, and dictates the way the story is going to go, just like the serve dictates the point in tennis.

The serve is also one particular of the most effective shots in a tennis player’s arsenal, as is the lede of a story. You want some thing that sets the tone early and keeps the opponent guessing.

Your footwork and movement is the way in which you create the story, taking the reader by means of the game as eloquently as attainable.

As you create the point up by means of your groundstrokes — forehand and backhand — the excitement mounts, sort of like maintaining the reader on the edge of their seat, wanting to see how that stroll-off came about.

With your opponent now deep in the corner, you come to the net for an simple place away shot. This, like for the story, is the final dagger — the culmination of the adrenaline-filled journey the reader just seasoned.

It is been this believed procedure that has kept me going, from my 1st gig at a hyperlocal paper in southeast Ohio (close to our Executive Editor Richard A. Green’s hometown), till now.

Although I’m nonetheless young in my profession, I’ve had the privilege of covering lots of cool athletic events, from Ohio State football to the Columbus Blue Jackets, to higher college state championships. Athletics is in my blood and it is never ever going to leave.

That, plus that infamous “gift,” is a fairly very good combo.

Athletics can relate to just about something, you just want to discover the what and the how. I’m fortunate to have discovered mine.

You can attain Employees Writer Kienan O’Doherty at 415-887-8650 or On Twitter @kodoherty22.

By Editor

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