The heart and soul of a local community newspaper’s regular sports coverage is most often youth and high-school action, and that’s the case with the Sun Gazette.
There are those occasions when such a paper does have the opportunity to cover and write about some professional athletes from its coverage areas. That has been the case in recent weeks, as four professional athletes have been making news on the highest level of play.
In NFL football, Yorktown High School graduate M.J. Stewart of Arlington has seen considerable playing time as a defensive back for the Cleveland Browns. The third-year pro made three solo tackles when the Browns defeated the Washington Football Team during a recent game.
In the WNBA, Oakton High School graduate Jasmine Thomas was the third-leading scorer for the Connecticut Sun during the basketball team’s playoff run to the league’s semifinals. Thomas is a veteran starting point guard for the women’s squad. She has provided a lot to write about since her freshman season at Oakton.
In Major League baseball, tall and hard-throwing right-handed relief pitchers Tommy Doyle and Josh Sborz, graduates of the Flint Hill School and McLean High, respectively, worked a few innings each during the regular season. Doyle, who grew up in Vienna, pitches for the Colorado Rockies, Sborz throws for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
For Doyle, his three appearances were his big-league debut, and he enjoyed mixed results. Sborz pitched in his first Major League game during the 2019 campaign.
Also in pro baseball, there are multiple minor-leaguers from the Sun Gazette’s areas enjoying success.
It’s fun to follow all athletes, no matter what age. But it’s more special, naturally, to pay more attention if they make the highest pro ranks.