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A farewell and thank you after a special year at Testudo Times

It’s been an unforgettable experience covering Maryland Athletics and serving as managing editor.

It’s hard to put into words how surreal it feels writing this letter. My two years at Testudo Times have been nothing short of incredible. I have grown so much as a journalist and as a person.

With both basketball seasons over and graduation just over a month away, Dylan Spilko and I are stepping down as lead deputy editor and managing editor, respectively. This has been a very meaningful experience. Working at Testudo Times is one of the highlights of my time as a student at the University of Maryland, and I would like to thank everyone for their support since I took on this role about a year ago.

As special of an opportunity as this was, it came with unique challenges and none of it would have been possible without the help of some very important people for whom I am incredibly grateful.

To Maryland Athletics – To the SIDs I’ve had the pleasure to work with personally – Rose DiPaula, Dustin Semonavick, Ben Kessler, Sean Ellenby, Keith Sneddon and Jason Yellin – thank you for always being there to answer all of my questions. To the entire media relations department— Thank you for helping our site run so efficiently by being as helpful as you are to the rest of our beat writers. You are all so talented and we feel fortunate to have worked with all of you. To everyone who works in Capital One and Xfinity – Thank you for always being there and making sure everything for gamedays and availabilities runs so smoothly. I appreciate all your hard work and would not have been able to accomplish all we have without you. To the Maryland athletes and coaches— Thank you for letting us and trusting us to continue to tell your stories. I am so grateful to have been able to have the opportunity to speak with some of you over the last two years.

To our predecessors – I cannot thank each one of you enough for setting up the site in a way that made it easy for us to pick up where you left off. To Thomas Kendziora, Wes Brown and Henry Malone — Thank you for helping me adjust to this new role in the beginning. Your advice was very valuable. To Lila Bromberg — I have always respected how hard you work and what an incredible journalist you are and after spending a year doing the job you did for two (!) years I admire your work ethic even more. Thank you for taking a chance on me, for helping me grow into the writer I am and for always being there when I needed your input. You did such a great job covering your beat out of college and I cannot wait to see where your new adventure takes you. Thank you again for all you did for Testudo Times to make my experience as great as it was.

To everyone on staff at Testudo Times – Thank you, thank you, thank you. This site does not run without you from our beat reporters to our general assignment writers I am so grateful for all of your dedication. Working on a beat while being a student is a challenge and your hard work is admirable. Thank you for giving the site so much of your time and effort. I cannot wait to see all you continue to accomplish in the future.

To our readers – Thank you for following our coverage. Throughout this pandemic, you have continued to support our site and we truly appreciate it. Your passion for Maryland Athletics and our coverage does not go unnoticed, so thank you.

Dylan – It has been great working with you covering three different beats in two years and ultimately running this site over the last 12 months. Thank you for all your hard work. It does not go unnoticed and none of this would have been possible without you. I wish you the best of luck and am looking forward to seeing all you do in the future.

Now, I am excited to announce that Sam Oshtry will be the next managing editor of Testudo Times and Ben Dickson will serve as the lead deputy editor.

Sam has served on the editorial staff for a year now and it has been great getting to work alongside him. His passion and dedication to sports journalism are admirable and I know he will thrive in this new and exciting role. Ben was part of our team covering women’s basketball and also covered women’s soccer in the fall. He produced fantastic work all season, telling the stories of athletes beyond their accomplishments in games. Both Sam and Ben have grown so much this past year and I cannot wait to see all they do with the site. I am confident we are leaving Testudo Times in great hands.

As for me, I will be attending law school following graduation. I am not leaving behind journalism but rather blending my passion for athletics with my desire for equity. I plan to use my voice to advocate for women in sports under Title IX. I am so grateful for the opportunity and believe that Testudo Times provided a strong foundation and further solidified my love for athletics, encouraging me to pursue this work.

To everyone who has offered their support and guidance, thank you again for following along with us. I will be forever grateful for your support.

Here is a message from Dylan Spilko:

“It’s an unbelievable feeling to be writing this farewell.

I remember first hearing about Testudo Times and not knowing much about the site itself. I was only a sophomore when I accepted a beat writing job with Testudo Times to cover the baseball program back in 2020. It was my dream to write about sports at the school I loved and to get involved with Testudo Times was an immediate step forward for my personal goals.

Fast forward to today and I am still amazed at all that has been accomplished since then. I have covered unforgettable programs at Maryland such as women’s basketball, men’s soccer and over the past year, football and men’s basketball. I have tried to always soak in every single moment. Looking back on everything — from the game experiences to the traveling — I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. And when I trace back my steps, accepting that baseball beat writing gig feels like it was just yesterday.

But time always catches up, doesn’t it? In the blink of an eye, my tenure as the top deputy editor at Testudo Times has come to an end. There are too many people to thank.

I would first like to thank Lila Bromberg and Wes Brown for helping me start my career with Testudo Times. Thank you both for your guidance and taking a shot on me. Thank you to all of the writers and other co-workers that I had the pleasure of working with at Testudo Times.

Thank you to everyone in Maryland Athletics for being as kind and helpful as you are. Sean Ellenby, Keith Sneddon, Dustin Semonavick, Ben Kessler, Rose DiPaula, Taylor Smyth and Jason Yellin are just a few of the names that are some of the best SIDs in the business.

A big thank you to our now-former managing editor, Lauren Rosh. The ship wouldn't be upright without you. Your passion and work ethic never goes unnoticed. Thank you for everything over this past year.

And finally, there are no better candidates to fill the site’s leadership roles than Sam Oshtry and Ben Dickson. I have no doubt that you both will strive in your positions and I wish both of you the best of luck with everything.

Thank you to every single person that came across my work here. I will be forever grateful for this opportunity.”

And here is a message from your new managing editor, Sam Oshtry:

“It is a privilege and honor to be the next managing editor of Testudo Times. I want to express my sincerest gratitude to everyone who came before me that allowed me to be in the position I am in today, including Lila Bromberg, Wes Brown, Lauren Rosh and Dylan Spilko.

Serving as a deputy editor for the past year has been a thrill and I have learned so much working alongside Lauren and Dylan, who I know are both going to do incredible things as they embark on the next chapter of their lives.

Now, as managing editor, I am excited to continue to provide the best Maryland coverage around for an incredibly loyal and passionate fan base that frequents our site. Ben Dickson and I will put our spin on Testudo Times while providing the content that has made this site exceptional for years. Let’s get to work!”