Senior Farewell: Aaron Tolentino

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by Aaron Tolentino, Sports Editor

Two years just seems too short, but it was hands down the best two years I could’ve ever asked for.

My time as sports editor and a journalist covering men’s basketball and football are over — just like that.

I guess my dream of covering an NCAA Tournament game will have to wait.

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t get to live out a dream while at SDSU and The Daily Aztec.

I knew I was going to love SDSU, but it gave me even more than what I had expected.

Sorry but there’s too many people to thank who helped me experience the greatest two years of my life. Although, if you are reading this, you know who you are.

Being hired as assistant sports editor before I even set foot on campus as a student was such a blessing for me — especially since I was just a community college journalist who had proven nothing writing for a big paper at a four-year university.

The Daily Aztec took a chance on me, and I’m beyond thankful I was able to get involved right away as a leader.

I cannot thank my sports section enough for its dedication this year. YOU are the ones that make this section as amazing as it is. Despite the absence of sports, y’all have continuously told great stories. I am so proud to call myself your leader. I will go to my grave with this, but I can honestly say this year has been the greatest year of any Daily Aztec sports section ever. Y’all helped revolutionize this section for future DA sports journalists to come.

There’s too many blessings to count, but I’ll try to squeeze as many as I can.

My first story was a story on Aztec football, which was surreal seeing a byline with my name on it. Considering I’ve been following The Daily Aztec for four or so years now, it was pretty sweet.

I couldn’t be more blessed to be put in a situation to also cover the two sports that had the biggest following on campus and around an entire city: football and men’s basketball.

My first Aztec football game wasn’t even in San Diego. It was back home in the Bay Area at Stanford University.

It felt like a dream come true to cover that game considering I was used to covering community college football games with closer to 40 people in the stands — Stanford had 40,000 in attendance.

From that to covering a game at the iconic Rose Bowl to my last football game in the 2019 New Mexico Bowl, those memories I’ve had will last me a lifetime.

To all the SDSU football players I’ve gotten to know, thank you for making my job fun. Covering y’all has been hands down the best experience I’ve had during my time on the Mesa.

And as for the men’s basketball team, it was an absolute privilege to see how y’all grew from my junior year (2018-19) to my senior year (2019-20).

Who would’ve thought y’all would be undefeated after 26 games and be arguably the best team in school history?

I didn’t, but I’m glad it happened in my senior year.

Covering games in the greatest environment in college basketball was a dream come true (yet stressful when you’re trying to focus writing a story on deadline and the arena is deafening).

While I never got to participate in the signature “I Believe” chant, maybe I can come back to Viejas years from now with a name in sports media and experience one of the greatest SDSU traditions.

SDSU has been my dream school since I was a junior in high school. So much so it was the only school I applied to coming out of junior college. I had faith that was God’s plan for me.

There was no other place I’d rather be to spend my final two years of college.

I shed a tear when I received my acceptance letter on Feb. 26, 2018. It was one of the happiest days of my life. The grind in community college finally paid off.

I was stubborn and applied to only one school— especially when advisors tell me to apply to more than one school in case SDSU doesn’t work out.

I’m beyond blessed it did.

Thank you to The Daily Aztec, SDSU and San Diego for making this kid’s dreams come true.

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