Nate DeBondt

Our new guy’s love affair with sports began early

I can still remember it like it was yesterday. As a 7-year old kid, I was able to sit on the bench as the water boy for high school basketball games at South Tama as my dad was the coach. 

It was these days as a child that I always looked forward to, as I loved feeling like I was a part of the team. Being in the atmosphere of an electric gym as student sections chanted back and forth at each other is something I still love to this day.

This was just the beginning of me becoming a sports fanatic. Through my youth years, I participated in a multitude of different athletics including football, basketball, golf, soccer, and baseball. As I grew older into middle school and high school, I consistently took part in football, basketball, track and baseball until I graduated. My favorites to compete in were basketball and baseball.

While I enjoyed playing sports, I also take pleasure in watching sports. The first teams I started following were the Iowa Hawkeyes’ football and basketball teams. My dad has been a lifelong Hawk fan his whole life. Sitting in the living room with him and my brother on game days was a regular occurrence when I was a child.

Once I entered high school, my father purchased season football tickets for my family. One memory I will always cherish came in the fall of 2017, when the Hawkeyes blew out Ohio State 55-24 at Kinnick Stadium. 

The reason for this is not because of the game itself, but because I was able to storm the field with my 74-year-old grandpa. It is these types of experiences that make sports so fun and amazing to me.

Upon high school graduation, I attended the University of Northern Iowa. When I went to college, I had no idea what I wanted to get my degree in, but I knew I wanted to work in sports.

My freshman year, I chose business management as my major, as I believed there were a plethora of sports jobs available to me in that field. However, I found my classes uninteresting, and I knew I needed to change it.

After talking with a university advisor, I flipped to pursuing a public relations degree and a minor in journalism. After taking a few of these classes, I found another passion besides sports: writing. The journalism classes were engaging as my professor would let us write articles about topics that peaked our interest. It was the first time I had actually looked forward to going to class in my life.

Beyond taking journalism classes, I also worked for three news companies while in college. These include the Marshalltown Times Republican, Oelwein Daily Register, and isportsweb. Each one of these experiences offered something new and exciting for me to write about and helped me improve as a writer. 

I particularly enjoyed my time at isportsweb because I was able to write opinionated articles about some of my favorite sports teams such as the Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Upon graduating college, my goal was to find a career to work as a sports journalist. As a recent graduate, I had difficulty finding a position where I met the requirements of the job. Many institutions were looking for individuals who already had a few years of experience under their belt.

After months of applying, I was contacted by the New Hampton Tribune and Nashua Reporter for an interview to be the sports editor. I instantly felt comfortable in the office during the interview. Not only was I ecstatic with how the interview went, but I was also impressed by the town of New Hampton.

Even though I was a stranger in a new place, everyone was super friendly as I visited different places around town to gain a better idea of what New Hampton had to offer. At each location, I was greeted with friendly smiles and waves which was a welcoming feeling.

A couple of weeks later, I received a call from Bob Fenske, and he offered me the job. I was thrilled to be proposed this position, and I immediately accepted it. 

Although I have just moved to New Hampton, it is already starting to feel like home. Everyone in town has been helpful with anything I have needed. It is easy to tell why people enjoy living here because the community is prideful and supportive of their town and high school athletics.

As the newest employee of the New Hampton Tribune and Nashua Reporter, my goal is to continue to help build on the dignity of the community and do the best job I can to my ability. I am honored to have this position and proud to call myself a member of New Hampton.

New Hampton Tribune

10 North Chestnut Ave
New Hampton, IA 50659
Phone: (641) 394-2111

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