It was a day when I knew I love what I do

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Joe Ginley

Jared Ianiro (left), William Turrirron (mid-left), Kyle Kelly (middle), Michael Adelman (mid-right) and Connor Gynn (right) pose for a picture with the two OAC Championship trophies following a game against Marietta at Don Shula Stadium on April 19.

Kyle Kelly, Sports Editor

When the John Carroll University Men’s Soccer Team ran onto Wasmer Field at Don Shula Stadium after beating the Marietta Pioneers in the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament Championship on April 18, I struggled to find words to describe the moment. 

Over the last four years, I have worked hundreds of hours for the Sports Information Department, broadcasting games, writing stories and taking care of whatever else was needed. However, I had never broadcasted an OAC Tournament Championship game.

I was rather surprised that I never had that opportunity because my former boss — Sports Information Director Chris Wenzler — and current boss, Joe Ginley, usually rely on me to handle the game stories for these monumental games. This time, I was given the opportunity to broadcast.

Five minutes before kick-off, Louis Kastelic and I grabbed our headsets and fastened our seatbelts for a historic OAC Tournament game. When the game began, my nerves diminished, and my Wenzler-Warrior mentality took over. This season, the JCU Men’s Soccer Team dedicated the 2021 spring campaign to the late Wenzler by wearing black armbands embroidered with the letters “CW”. Although we lost Wenzler 10 months ago, we could feel him there. 

After the Blue Streaks finished celebrating and transitioned to putting on their grey “OAC Conference Champions” T-shirts, I talked about the team’s dedication to honoring Wenzler this season. Out of nowhere, I became choked-up and fought back tears. It was such a surreal moment that I will never forget it.

I was fortunate to come to John Carroll knowing exactly what I want to do with my life. When I talk to people around campus and found out many were undecided, I understand how lucky I am to know what I want to do for a career. 

But knowing what I wanted to do was only half the battle. Without Wenzler, I am not sure I actually would have fulfilled my lifelong dream. That dream is far from over, and I hope for more of these moments in the years to come.

As a Sports Information staff assistant, I’m a member of the 24th varsity sports team at John Carroll. Like any other sports team, there are wins and losses, highs and lows. When one of our 23 sports teams wins a championship, we win a championship as well. Days like Sunday are what make the grind worth it.

I remember so many times, after these dramatic games that ended with a fantastic trophy ceremony, when Wenzler and I would sit in the press box in silence, working away to tell the rest of the story. I regret not spending more time talking with him and enjoying those moments together. I also realize there was a job to be done, and I followed his lead by making sure we exceeded expectations when doing it. In other words, Wenzler lived out the Magis, which means “more” in Latin.

Although it wasn’t Wenzler and me, I sat in the press box Sunday with Ginley, sophomore Drezdan Dale, graduate assistant Thomas Strasshofer and Noah Tylutki, grinding away to tell the rest of that story. 

When I closed my laptop, I knew that it was one of those days that confirmed: I love what I do. I am fortunate to be in the position I am in, and I wouldn’t be here without Wenzler’s mentorship. 

Sunday was a day that I will never forget. Now, here’s hoping for many more days like Sunday.