Senior Farewell: Kyle Betz

by Kyle Betz, Sports Editor

I’ve held off on writing this for a while now. I’ve thought about what I want to write and how I’m going to say it, but I’ve avoided it as if that’ll change anything.

I’m graduating.

About 10 years ago, my dad (an SDSU alum) and his best friend from college took me to an Aztec football game. Then, I started driving down from Orange County every year to go to men’s basketball games with them at Viejas Arena.

I saw The Show. I saw Kawhi Leonard, Ronnie Hillman and I always spotted a winning number on the Aztecs’ side of the scoreboard. I liked it.

After four years on the Mesa, I guess I could say I enjoyed my time as an Aztec, too.

From covering games delayed by lightning to several court stormings, it’s been an unbelievable ride I will never forget. THANK YOU.

First, I’d like to thank God because none of this would have been possible without Him. Secondly, my parents for their support in every way possible.

Words can’t describe how much their support has changed my life for the better, and I hope I made them proud. I’d also like to give a shoutout to my grandma, who always supports my work and has become one of the biggest SDSU fans I know.

It’s never easy joining a new campus organization as a lowly freshman. There are nerves, second thoughts and emotions of every kind, but The Daily Aztec didn’t make anything seem intimidating.

The editors-in-chief who have shown me the ranks the past four years have been some of the most helpful, motivated people I’ve met.

Thank you to Andrew Dyer for helping me get accustomed to being a journalist and showing me how to do things the right way. Thanks to Will Fritz for being a role model and showing me what it takes to work in this industry. Thank you to Bella Ross for being so organized as an EIC and for taking a chance on me. Finally, a massive thank you to Brenden Tuccinardi for all the work he’s done in leading us through the craziness that is 2020 and 2021.

Fortunately, I also had numerous video editors through the years who helped me learn beyond what’s presented in courses at SDSU.

First, thank you to Mary York, who motivated me to start doing on-camera work and showed me how to do a simple stand-up. Thanks to Mirella Lopez, who helped me compose myself better on-air (and also helped me disappear). Amal Younis, thank you for helping me improve my scriptwriting and encouraging me to expand my horizons when making packages. Jack Molmud, thank you for the live show and for bringing out the best person and journalist in me. To Mackenzie Stafford, your drive and skills motivate me to get better — thank you! You will do incredible work these next two years. And finally, Angela Kurysh, I’m sorry I didn’t talk to you as a sophomore in RELS356, but thank you for working alongside me, being reliable and showing me how to adjust when things don’t go to plan.

Now, on to the three-time Best Section Award-winner of The DA: sports. These former editors taught me everything I know.

Thank you to Zach Engberg for welcoming me into the sports section and showing me how to write a story. Abraham Jewett, thank you for believing in me and showing me how to improve as a writer. To Aaron Tolentino, thank you for being a great running mate and an even better friend. And lastly, thanks to Luis Lopez for your diligence and work this past year — I couldn’t have asked for a better partner. We did some amazing things.

There are always more people to thank, so if you were a part of my experience in any way, THANK YOU!

To the sports section: It was a hard year, but we adapted and overcame. Our work proved that nothing or nobody can stop us and our goals. I’m proud of you and can’t wait to see what’s next!

To those returning next year: I’m pretty jealous of you all, honestly. Jokes aside, you’re going to do amazing things in 2021-22. If you can adjust during a pandemic to produce work without being on campus for more than a year, you can do anything. Of course, I’m always here for you as a resource — never hesitate to reach out.

While I am disappointed we weren’t able to gather in the newsroom for one last production night, I’m fortunate for the little things: Zoom meetings, publishing stories online, covering the Mountain West tournament in Vegas and all the moments I’ve shared with editors/writers through the years.

After becoming an editor, one of my long-term goals was to make the sports section better than it was when I found it. I gave it my all, so I hope I was able to accomplish that.

#AztecForLife

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