Communication major balances classes and career in sports journalism
Sophomore Jake Rill mixed things up a little when he began his dream career as a sports journalist covering the Baltimore Orioles and high school and college teams even before he registered for his first class at McDaniel.
In little more than a year at the Carroll County (Md.) Times, the Communication major has collected a resume that includes a Q&A with former Oriole pitcher Jim Palmer and a profile of Orioles right fielder, Nick Markakis, whose low key, lead-by-example style captured Rill’s attention. He’s laying out Sunday’s “For the Birds” page – and entire Sports sections of the newspaper about once a week.
This fall, Rill begins his sophomore year with the expectation that what he learns will only enrich the career he has wanted since fifth grade when he first toured Camden Yards. His weeks are full with studying and working 30 hours a week, but careful scheduling makes it happen, he says.
An internship with the Carroll County Times during his senior year at Francis Scott Key High School in Union Bridge, Md., led to a part-time job offer when he graduated. But it really took root during that fifth-grade field trip to Camden Yards.
“I toured the stadium and saw the press box – and thought that would be a great way to get down there a lot,” says the avid sports fan, who shares Orioles coverage with another sports reporter.
Journalists often credit a mentor with part of their success, and Rill is no exception. Sports Editor Bob Blubaugh has been there every step of the way, Rill says, from sending him to cover a McDaniel basketball game and write a story independent of the staff reporter also covering the game to giving him new responsibilities such as designing and laying out pages.
“Jake is an unbelievable asset,” says Blubaugh, adding that Rill’s enthusiasm is unmatched. “He’ll overhear something and instantly volunteer to do it. Here we are sending an 18-year-old, and now 19-year-old, all by himself to cover the Orioles at Camden Yards – he’s pretty rare.
“Jake was here only a few weeks when I knew he was a keeper. I was so happy to hear that he was going to McDaniel – he’s going to have a great future.”