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Sam Oshtry: A farewell and thank you to Testudo Times

A message to our readers as Sam Oshtry and Ben Dickson step down as managing editor and deputy editor, respectively.

I remember walking into Knight Hall on the University of Maryland’s campus in the fall of 2019 to meet with then Testudo Times managing editor Lila Bromberg. I never could have imagined that meeting as a young freshman would shape the next four years of my life — formative and unforgettable years covering Maryland athletics that I will cherish forever.

No great writer buries the lede so here it is: With graduation pending and as we search for new endeavors, Ben Dickson and I are stepping down as lead deputy editor and managing editor of Testudo Times, respectively.

My journey at Testudo Times started as a general assignment reporter. It then expanded to covering Maryland baseball and creating film breakdowns on Maryland men’s basketball. I then served as a deputy editor for a year before becoming the managing editor of this prestigious publication last spring. Over the last two years, I have covered the football and men’s basketball teams in exciting, disappointing, and transformative times for both of those programs.

I’ve written over 330 stories during my time at Testudo Times, produced/hosted dozens of podcasts, and edited hundreds more stories from a remarkable group of fellow writers. It’s hard to put into words how grateful I am that I found Testudo Times and made it my home over the last four years. It didn’t come without its challenges and difficult editorial decisions, but in the end, it was a thrill. I’m proud of what we accomplished during my tenure.

With extensive travel —from Columbus, Ohio to Ann Arbor, Michigan to State College, Pennsylvania and Birmingham, Alabama; from New York to Indianapolis to Charlotte to Chicago — covering the Terps has allowed me to experience all different parts of this great country through the lens of collegiate athletics, specifically Maryland athletics.

This job has broadened my love for college athletics and storytelling, while allowing me to appreciate the passion behind the sport. And let me tell you, there is no fan base as passionate as Maryland’s.

More than anything else, Testudo Times has defined the last few years of my life. It consumed my thoughts, my actions and certainly my words. I’ve learned valuable lessons, made mistakes, improved, and grown through this position. It’s been the ride of a lifetime as I sought to provide the best coverage possible of Maryland athletics.

Anyone who’s accomplished something has stood on the shoulders of others. There’s a ton of people that make Testudo Times the best Maryland sports publication around.

First, thank you to the entire media relations department within Maryland athletics. To Rose DiPaula, Dustin Semonavick, Ben Kessler, Sean Ellenby, Keith Sneddon, Jason Yellin and John Sinnett – thank you for allowing us the access necessary to provide coverage to tens of thousands of Maryland fans. Your support and guidance were invaluable.

Thank you to everyone who I’ve worked with in any capacity over the years. To Lila Bromberg, who gave me that first opportunity as a freshman and has been a tremendous resource, to Wesley Brown, Lauren Rosh and Dylan Spilko, thank you for being incredible teammates and role models for how this site should operate.

Thank you to our incredible staff who work tirelessly to meet deadlines as beat reporters and who have been invaluable to our site’s success.

To Ben Dickson, the top deputy editor and my partner in crime – thank you for making this job never feel like a job. Work is fun when you do what we do, but it’s even more fun when you’re doing it alongside a great friend. Can’t wait to see all that you accomplish.

And most of all to anyone who has followed my work – read, listened, commented, criticized, and/or reached out for further conversation – my sincerest thank you. This publication, and really the entire Maryland athletic department, is what it is because of incredibly passionate fans.

When Maryland fans were in the spotlight last season after the departure of Mark Turgeon, I wrote a column explaining how Maryland fans are misunderstood and were being unfairly criticized. I realized how much Terp fans care about their teams and the school. For better or worse, they just want to see their teams succeed, which I appreciate. Connecting with our readers – whether at events/games, through email, direct message or in the comments – has been a joy.

Finally, let me introduce you to the current deputy editor and the next managing editor, Emmett Siegel. It’s been a privilege to work alongside Emmett for the last year and watch him grow as a writer and reporter. He’s an encyclopedia of Maryland sports and I can’t think of a better person to take over this publication.

I’m not sure what’s next for me. I’m currently searching for a job in sports journalism. But wherever I end up in my career, Testudo Times will always be the place that gave me my start.

Message from Ben Dickson:

“Saying goodbye to Testudo Times and the Maryland community is a surreal feeling.

Growing up as a diehard Terps fan, there was never much of a doubt of where I would end up going to school. Fast forward four years, I know the younger version of me would be proud of what I was able to accomplish in College Park.

I had known about Testudo Times for years leading up to my arrival, but I was unaware I could actually contribute to its coverage until I got to Maryland. I would be remiss not to thank my great friend and former Testudo Times writer Matt Levine for showing me the direction to get here. Thank you to Lila Bromberg for taking a chance on me thereafter; none of it would be possible without you allowing me to help the site and giving me great advice as I started.

Thank you to Lauren Rosh and Dylan Spilko for continuing to help me — both as friends and editors — evolve as a reporter and writer. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity you provided me to take on my role as top deputy editor.

To everyone in Maryland athletics that has granted me the help and gratitude to succeed over the years — Rose DiPaula, Keith Sneddon, Dustin Semonavick, Ben Kessler, John Sinnett, Josh Schmidt, Sam Allard and Jason Yellin — I send a million thanks.

To Sam Oshtry, thank you for being a great friend, managing editor, co-podcast host and more. I couldn’t imagine doing this past year with anyone else, and I’m confident we are leaving Testudo Times in a great place.

Congrats to my friend Emmett Siegel on being named the next managing editor of Testudo Times. This past year has been a pleasure, and I cannot wait to see what you and Andrew Chodes do.

To all the readers, listeners and followers, it’s been a blast. Talk to you soon.”

Message from new managing editor Emmett Siegel:

“I am honored to be taking over as managing editor of Testudo Times. Above all, I am so grateful for the generous people that have provided me opportunities here. To Lauren Rosh, Dylan Spilko, Sam Oshtry and Ben Dickson: all of your help has been greatly appreciated and there’s no chance I’d be in this position without all of you.

Having the opportunity to be Testudo Times’ deputy editor over the past year or so has been an unforgettable experience. Sam and Ben have been amazing partners to work alongside and I am proud to call them friends. They are both immensely talented rising stars that are going to accomplish great things no matter what awaits them next.

I’m also thrilled to announce that Andrew Chodes will be stepping into the role of lead deputy editor. Andrew is a very talented and hardworking journalist, and we will work together to achieve our goal of providing the top-notch coverage of Maryland sports that our readers deserve. We are excited to build upon what those before us have established here and take it to the next level.

Can’t wait to get started!”