The Big Ticket: When the final buzzer sounds

By Jesse Brooks

Now that we have reached the conclusion of another season in high school football, I have personally come to a bittersweet finale in my life at this time.
Covering sports for the Tangilena Media Group has been a significant part of my life for the last couple of years, but I have made the decision to pursue new career opportunities.
In March I will marry my beautiful fiancé, Hannah Byron, and from there we will build a new life together. We both have come to the conclusion that moving closer to the New Orleans area will be the best way of expanding our careers. She will enter the high energy world of nursing, while I will be expanding on opportunities in new age media. I have already started on this new path, mostly because my experiences with Tangilena Media have led me there.
The last couple of years here have been fast paced, and I was placed in an environment where I was able to grow major lengths in short periods of time. In taking the job, I honestly only expected to cover a handful of sports stories a week. I did that and more, quickly acting in the role of a sports editor. Thanks to the extraordinary talent in our readership, I was able to cover a state championship when Kentwood won the Class 1A title in 2015. I was only a few months fresh on the job then. I covered the resurgence of the St. Helena football program, and Amite’s journey to the Superdome last season. I have been there for the moments when some of our brightest talents made their decision on where they would play college ball. I am also especially proud of our extensive coverage into basketball and baseball during my time here. We told some of the stories that are not being told anywhere else, and that was always my goal from the beginning.
The job here also expanded to hard news coverage. Never in a million years would I have believed that I, the sports guy, would be on the frontlines covering crime and natural disaster stories that rocked our state in the last two years. I was also granted a travel series, and a food column for a time. The more features I was able to do, the more I began to find out who I am and what my voice is supposed to be. My time as assistant editor for the St. Helena Echo is also one I will never forget.
Working in this area has been very personal for me. Before my family moved to Hammond, where I currently live, we were from my mother’s home parish, St. Helena. It has been a pleasure to come back and serve the Greensburg, Amite and Kentwood communities. These are places where my heritage holds deep roots, and I am happy to have had an opportunity to be reunited with that identity for this period of my life.
I want to thank everyone at Amite Tangi-Digest, Kentwood News-Ledger, St. Helena Echo and WABL Radio for enriching me every time I worked with you all as a team member. I also want to personally thank former Editor Melinda Giardina for acting on the feeling that I was someone she needed to take a chance on at the time.
As for now, I will still continue to cover our teams as they remain in the playoffs before I begin to shift all of my work closer to New Orleans. For those interested in following my work; I am a staff writer for the ESPN TrueHoop Network New Orleans Pelicans fan blog Bourbon Street Shots online, I am currently freelancing for Offbeat Magazine and writing for several other publications in South Louisiana.
Thank you for reading and knowing me as your source. Good luck to all of our teams!

Tangilena Now

P.O. Box 698
Amite, LA 70422
Phone: 985-748-7156
Fax: 985-748-7104