If your mother tells you she loves you, make sure it’s true

Published 8:21 am Tuesday, October 13, 2015

I was very blessed to be one of the few 2015 college graduates in America to have a job after graduation and start my career. I have friends who right now are running low on their savings.

This week marks the fifth month I’ve lived in Vicksburg and have been in my career. While I’ve written some articles that have made people cry and others that have come across as dry as the Mississippi summer heat, I’ve made my first real mistake of my career.

I covered Warren Central’s volleyball senior night and incorrectly named some players as a senior, while leaving the correct names off the list. My Oct. 9 article should have listed Carisha London, Frida Garcia, Tae Hubbard, Aquarius Crook, Kiley McMaster, Carley Pitzer, Kayla Mayfield, Elizabeth Boyd and Jereka Willis as the senior members of the team.

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These nine young women, in addition to the other members of the team, coaches and family have worked hard and dedicated themselves to make volleyball at Warren Central a viable program. And the hard work has paid off as they’ve earned their first playoff berth and will play either Southaven or De Soto Oct. 20.

I have covered the program since their early days of practice during the summer and have seen the progression of the team, which is why I acknowledge the fact I should have checked with coach Matt Gullett before leaving the gym last Thursday.

I have made personal apologies to coach Gullett and am using my weekly column to heal the remaining wounds.

This embarrassing blemish on my career at The Vicksburg Post has been a teaching moment for me and my young career.

My intro to journalism professor sophomore year had a saying: “If your mother tells you she loves you, check to see if it’s true.”

I always thought the saying was a bit harsh – for personal reasons, since I’m a “mama’s boy” and love her dearly and wouldn’t question her love – but now the bigger point is as a journalist to never get comfortable with your beat, team or even your own resources that you accept them as facts.

I started writing as a freshman for my high school newspaper in 2005, and fact-checking has been the most important subject of the occupation.

I have enjoyed covering the Lady Vikes volleyball team and watching them grow over the season. I’ve seen some of their proudest moments and some of their frustrating losses.

It’s exciting to see history in the making and it’s more exciting to see it unfold and see their fan base support them along the way.