Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Senior reflects on time spent with staff, life lessons learned

Journalism adviser Greg Stobbe storms into the eighth grade science class. He shouted out four last names that fateful day: “Schultz, Rurik, Clem and Cross come with me!” Then eighth grader Sam Cross rose from his seat, following him to his lair: The Feather journalism lab.

The door opened, Stobbe looked at me, then ran to copier and printed papers that he hoped would entice an eager eighth grader to join his team of storytellers.

I returned to that same lab months later for the beginning of “Journalism Bootcamp.” Advisers and editors took my mugshot and indoctrinated me in the way of writing.

Feather Staff | The Feather Online

Senior Sam Cross stands with fellow co-editor-in-chiefs Kamryn Schultz, ’19, and Alex Rurik, ’19.

Three years later, I write my final article for The Feather, a reflection of my time spent on staff. I recall my freshmen bio, and what I set out to accomplish in high school.

My junior high pitching coach, Patrick Reynoso, instilled the importance of becoming a “five tool baseball player” in me as I worked with him. A “five-tool” player is a versatile player who play multiple positions well. In a way, he is a well-rounded baseball player. This concept stood out to me; and I chose to write about becoming a five tool player my bio.

On the high school baseball diamond, I grew to become a five-tool player, playing third base, outfield and pitching. However, I looked to apply this mentality to the classroom as well. Through high school, this five-tool philosophy evolved into a pursuit of lifelong learning.

The Feather furthered this pursuit, improving my writing and speaking talents. The program provided an opportunity to grow in areas not often explored in high school classrooms.

My abilities to write and edit through The Feather, but most importantly, it taught me the importance of relationships with peers. I spent four years absorbing the thoughts of peers, teachers and advisers.

In my upperclassmen years at FC, I was promoted to editor-in-chief, and entrusted to lead the staff with Alex Rurik, ‘19, Mariana Fikse, ‘18 and Kamryn Schultz, ‘19.

During my junior year, I attended the 2018 CSPA conference in New York City and the 2018 NSPA conference in San Francisco. Judges from both organizations nominated The Feather for their highest awards.

Sam Cross | The Feather Online

Cross competed with the campus baseball program during all four years of his high school career.

During each conference, each member tirelessly contributed to articles that would propel the team to a CSPA Gold Crown and an NSPA Pacemaker Finalist. Looking back, I feel that the staff enjoyed the time spent working together.

We were not as successful the following year at either convention as we hoped. However, I found the experience equally as rewarding. Despite falling short of expectations, the staff found much satisfaction in spending time at Disneyland together, and sharing inside jokes from the trip.

The two years I served as editor-in-chief revealed two very different cultures. Yet the both ended with the same outcome. Just as five-tool players find success in their versatility, successful staffs must balance work and play.

Many individuals impacted my life over the six years I spent at FC. I realized the importance of mentors in life and began to seek figures to help in my journey.

A man who helped me overcome difficult times, Bret Mitchell served as a spiritual mentor who instilled the importance of action over words in a Christian’s path. We met on Sundays at church, discussing the proper way to navigate current difficulties. He helped me apply biblical principles to everyday life.

A significant portion of my time in high school was spent with my journalism advisers, Greg Stobbe and Kori Friesen. As the photojournalism adviser, Kori Friesen often challenged my perspectives, and guided me to seeing the bigger picture. I’ll remember by her words “Y u no feed me,” a reference to the 2019 NSPA Anaheim conference.  

Journalism adivser Greg or “Bobby” Stobbe often speaks fondly of his dog, Bentley, his furry Shih Tzu.

Stobbe likes to share stories of Bentley’s at-home antics of digging in the garden, or refusing to eat until he returns home. Stobbe admires Bentley’s loyalty and decisive personality.

Sam Cross | The Feather Online

Cross hopes to major in business and communications after attending Clovis Community College.

Whether or not he knows it, Stobbe is a Bentley for me.

Stobbe has always been there for me. He served as a mentor for writing. But most importantly he was a friend in my time of need. I’ll best remember him by his words, “Show don’t tell.”

Clovis North pitching coach Mike Bumatay helped me develop into the athlete I stand as today. His guidance led me to successful high school seasons on the mound. He taught me the importance of overcoming any circumstance, good or bad.

I remember him best by his words, “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”

One chapter of life comes to a close. Another chapter begins as I walk across the stage.

This is only the start. 

My best wishes and highest regards to sophomores Addison Schultz and Vijay Stephen as they lead The Feather staff next year. I love you all 3,000.

Sam Cross will be attending the honors program at Clovis Community College and looks to transfer to a UC after completing two years of post secondary education.

A juxtaposition of Sam Cross from his freshmen to senior Feather profile photo.

Sam Cross can be reached for the final time on The Feather via Twitter and email.

For more senior reflections, read Senior reflection: Kaylie Clem and Senior Reflection: John Monke. For one of last year’s senior reflections, read Senior Reflection: Cate Vander Kooi

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.

Your voice is important to us. Share your opinion in the comment box located beneath the Related Posts section.