Howdy 12th Man,
A little over two years removed from the outbreak of COVID-19 in America, we now find ourselves back in more normal modes of operation. More family time, more classes in person and, thankfully for this magazine, more Texas A&M sports.
That said, this is the third sports edition of Maroon Life I have been involved in producing and the fourth to which I have contributed. In my time working on these magazines, I have seen firsthand just how valuable print journalism can be — valuable not only to writers who cherish their works as keepsakes — but also to the fans who read the content, and the athletes and coaches who have their stories told and cemented in time.
Through the pages of this magazine, I hope to provide you, the reader, with an inside look at A&M Athletics. This university is undoubtedly special, and the stories contained here are invaluable insights into the Aggie experience through the lens of athletics.
Although seasons are already underway, we have stories for baseball, soft- ball and track and field. These articles take a look at the teams’ goals for their seasons, share how their athletes prepared to reach them and shine a light on the camaraderie of teammates.
In addition, we have stories diving into the lives — on and off the court, field or track — of coaches and athletes.
The cover story is a feature on baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle who, after 18 years and five College World Series appearances with the TCU Horned Frogs, is finding new beginnings in maroon and white. The story takes a look at his path to Aggieland, his influences and what makes him tick.
Next up, we take a look at A&M’s legendary women’s basketball coach one last time. After 19 years of coaching the Aggies, Gary Blair will retire at the end of the 2021-22 season. Assistant sports editor Jordan Epp dives into Blair’s career path and highlights how the Hall of Fame coach would like his legacy to be remembered by those he touched.
Women’s basketball’s Kayla Wells has played the most games in program history on the hardwood for A&M, and in her fifth season, she has become a vocal leader for the team in addition to leading by example.
Men’s basketball’s Tyrece Radford took a path from an underdog recruit in high school in Louisiana to becoming an integral part of the Virginia Tech Hokies. Now in his junior season and first year with the Aggies, he is making his presence felt.
There is also a feature on sophomore runner Brandon Miller, who was named to The Bowerman Preseason Watch List in 2022. Assistant sports editor Kay Naegeli explains how Miller, after a second-place finish in the 800-meter at the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Championship, runs with the blood of athletes in his veins and his faith in his heart.
Similarly, we take a look at softball’s Haley Lee, who is entering her fifth season with the Aggies. Lee had a breakout season in 2021, setting A&M’s all-time high for home runs in a season, and is carrying that excellence into this season while developing as a leader.
This magazine and its stories, to me, serve as a reminder of the bond Aggies share. As journalists, it’s our job to tell stories — stories that we hope impact the reader. While success in their respective venues is important to the athletes and coaches featured here, we hope to show the importance of life beyond the game. The importance of love, the journey and family are what all of us can rely on — athletes are no different. We tell their stories to impart the shared connections between us all.
The 2022 Spring Sports Maroon Life is a product of love for me. The intersection of storytelling and athletics has been my life during my time with The Battalion. This magazine is its culmination, and it would not be possible without the support of all Aggies, old and new.
Thanks, Gig ‘Em and support student journalism.
Casey Stavenhagen is an English senior and sports editor for The Battalion.
Great writeup and looking forward to reading 2022 SSML.
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