If you have regularly attended significant faculty sporting events in Central Virginia in excess of the previous number of several years, prospects are you have achieved John Harvey.
John, who has been The Daily Progress’ superior university sports activities reporter given that 2018, coated countless online games during his time in Central Virginia as he chronicled the area’s high college athletes and teams.
And he loved just about every moment of it.
Several sports activities reporters get their start masking high faculty sporting activities and use it as a stepping stone to higher education or specialist sports beats.
His passion was covering higher university sporting activities and telling the tales of athletes, coaches and groups. And he did it at an remarkable stage for 25 decades, which include the past five at The Daily Progress.
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The sidelines in Central Virginia will not come to feel the exact same this fall without John, who passed absent last week at the age of 50 right after a short ailment.
“John Harvey, fairly truthfully, was just one of the most experienced reporters I ever spoke with,” former Western Albemarle soccer mentor Ed Redmond wrote on Twitter. “He generally wrote about the contest he was covering with a beneficial emphasis on the athletes. He revered the sport and individuals who played it. He will be missed”
The huge outpouring of assist given that John’s passing has been a testament to the effects he produced for the duration of his time in Central Virginia.
“Such a loss for our neighborhood and children,” William Monroe women basketball coach Carrie Woods wrote on Twitter. “John coated these little ones with such joy and passion.”
John’s enthusiasm for high faculty sports was contagious, and as his editor for the earlier 5 years, John’s pleasure rubbed off on me. He and I would usually get a pep in our phase when we were mapping out our protection for a massive function or a aspect he was operating on. I had the privilege of finding the to start with study on all of his tales, and the treatment with which he taken care of his story subjects often shined by way of in his phrases.
“He cared more about his beat than any one I have ever fulfilled,” former Daily Progress photographer Ryan Kelly wrote on Twitter, “and was unparalleled in speaking that uncooked joy.”
Nevertheless he was an award-successful writer who was extremely regarded through the state, John had completely no ego and normally championed other folks. He frequently presented words of encouragement to both his sports journalism colleagues and the players and coaches he protected.
John continually despatched me messages to share how substantially he appreciated the design of The Day-to-day Development athletics segment or how he thought the headline I arrived up with for his tale fit what he wrote effectively. John frequently sent equivalent messages of encouragement to his fellow journalists, both of those at The Day-to-day Development and other publications.
John shared a distinctive camaraderie with other journalists who coated large school athletics along with him, specially The Day by day Progress photographers who took the pictures that accompanied his tales.
“John Harvey cared, a lot more than something, about the athletes whose stories he committed his lifetime to telling,” previous Daily Progress and present-day Richmond Moments-Dispatch photographer Mike Kropf wrote on Twitter. “He poured his coronary heart into the community and under no circumstances realized a stranger. I’ll constantly recall fondly our game day banter.”
John traveled much and broad to cover Central Virginia’ superior school athletes. This earlier spring alone, he created excursions to Virginia Seaside, Newport Information, Lynchburg and Fredericksburg to include area athletes and groups competing in condition tournaments.
Together the way, he instructed the stories of community athletes such as softball player Dara Sharpe, who played for her mother at Louisa County and helped the Lions win a condition championship, and flexible Charlottesville track and field athlete Jaelyn Lynch, who John aptly explained as a “Swiss Military knife” as she served the Black Knights get paid a second-position group finish at the VHSL Course 3 state monitor and field satisfy.
“John cared about these pupil-athletes and wrote thousands of tales about them like they have been his individual little ones,” former Daily Development photographer Erin Edgerton wrote on Twitter. “He was an absolute enjoyment to do the job the sidelines with and will be so missed. The Day-to-day Progress sports activities portion will not be the exact same without the need of his byline.”
Immediately after John submitted his last activity tale of this past spring sports activities time, I sent him a text allowing him know that I experienced gained the tale and congratulating him on ending his 25th time of masking large university sports activities.
“Thank you sir,” he wrote back to me. “Just carrying out the matter I really like to do.”
My favorite thing that John did for The Daily Progress was his “Athlete Spotlight” features, which commonly ran in Thursday’s editions every week through the athletic 12 months. These stories showcased John’s best producing present, his potential to get significant college athletes, who usually really do not have considerably practical experience in dealing with the media, to open up and convey to their stories.
Via John’s highlight stories, Day-to-day Development visitors obtained to know athletes this sort of as Miller College softball participant Lily Pallante, who helped rebuild the subject that she and her teammates now participate in on, Charlottesville’s Sethaun Nowell, who received his initial point out monitor and discipline championship eight many years following the loss of life of his father, and Tandem Buddies basketball player Tvo Gardner, who started off his have apparel line and formulated a massive social media pursuing though he was still a significant faculty university student.
“John was a legitimate winner for youngsters and sports in Central Virginia,” Navy women’s basketball mentor and Central Virginia indigenous Tim Taylor wrote on Twitter. “He was a throwback to when newspapers lined significant school sporting activities and delved into the local community. He introduced people tales to life for all us. [I loved] looking through just about every highlight story. A true guy of the young children.”
John’s effect goes considerably over and above the Central Virginia substantial faculty athletics scene. Prior to signing up for The Each day Development, he protected higher faculty sporting activities for several other publications, including The Virginia Gazette in Williamsburg, exactly where he worked for 15 a long time. When information of John’s passing turned general public, numerous of the individuals to present their condolences were athletes and coaches that he covered all through his time in Williamsburg.
Just one of people athletes was Caroline Wilke, who was a star basketball player at Walsingham Academy in Williamsburg. She is now the head girls basketball coach at The Covenant Faculty in Charlottesville. John had the opportunity to go over Wilke’s athletic vocation each as an athlete and a coach, a testomony to his longevity and dedication to masking substantial school sporting activities in Virginia.
“John was one particular of the past of his variety. A fantastic local athletics reporter,” Walsingham Academy athletic director Neil Bailey wrote on Twitter. “He did great operate and was this sort of a large supporter of area athletes all through his time at [The Virginia Gazette] in Williamsburg.”
Just after John not too long ago found out that he was sick, he begun performing on a message to enable people know and it incorporated this sentence.
“I was never ever an athlete rising up, but for the past 25 years, I have experienced the chance to reside out my aspiration and make sporting activities my lifestyle.”
And it was a life properly lived.