I’ve tried sitting down to write this countless times over the past week or so, going back and forth over how to start this off the right way. I’m an overthinker at my core. So, naturally, I began to question why I, a journalist and lover of storytelling, couldn’t think of what to write. And what I came to realize is that the words couldn’t surface because I was struggling to emotionally separate myself from Testudo Times, that this publication had become such a huge part of my daily life that to even reflect on that ending left me perplexed.
With basketball season over and around a month until my graduation, I have decided to step down as managing editor. I’d like to sincerely thank anyone and everyone who has followed along with my coverage of the Maryland Terrapins throughout the past four years. I am especially grateful for all the support I’ve received since taking over Testudo Times in August 2019.
When I became managing editor, my main goal was to provide readers with a wider range of unique content. I wanted Testudo Times to be known for having more in-depth coverage than any other publication covering the Terrapins. It was important to me to place a huge emphasis on features, podcasts and videos to offer different perspectives and shed a light on the human stories behind the teams you love. I also aimed to raise our standards for game coverage across the board, no matter the sport.
The past year certainly brought unique challenges that forced me to grow even more as a leader. As a site, we navigated filling content for months without sports, followed by much more limited access. In recent months, my editorial staff and I nearly doubled the size of our staff and were tasked with editing content for every fall, winter and spring non-revenue sport at once due to the Big Ten’s decision to delay competition until 2021.
I won’t lie and say the past two years have been anything even remotely close to easy — nothing about producing professional quality news as a staff of college students is — but that is what has made this experience so rewarding. I’ve absolutely loved the grind of running this publication. I consider myself so lucky to have had the opportunity to put so much of myself into what I love every single day, and I hope that passion and dedication has shown through my own personal work and that of Testudo Times as a whole.
Before I announce the new leadership staff, there are a lot of people I’d like to acknowledge. First and foremost, I have to thank former managing editor Thomas Kendziora, who brought me onto the Testudo Times staff as a freshman. Thank you for your belief, encouragement and guidance, as well as your incredible friendship.
Along with Thomas, I also have to shout out the rest of the Jacksonville Five crew — Lamar Johnson, Justin Fitzgerald and Amy Jennings. Thank you for welcoming me to the amazing Testudo Times community with open arms through my first two years as a photo and graphics editor for the site. The highlight of my time in college will always be the amazing weeks the five of us spent together covering the 2019 Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments in Chicago and Jacksonville.
To all of Maryland Athletics, especially the media department, thank you for allowing me to have the best college experience I could ask for in covering the Terrapins from the day I stepped on campus. In particular, Missy Meharg, Mike Locksley, Mark Turgeon, Bino Ranson and Brenda Frese — you have all played a major role in shaping my growth as a sports journalist, for which, along with your kindness, I am incredibly grateful. The same can be said for every student-athlete.
It was an honor to work with you and I look forward to following your programs from afar.
To Terrapin greats Len Elmore, Bruce Perry and Walt Williams, thank you for your incredible kindness. Whenever I needed a source, podcast guests, background insight, or was just hankering for a deep, intellectual conversation, you were there. Your time and advice have meant so much. There are too many other football and basketball alums to list, but I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to interact with me.
The last group I’d like to thank is without a doubt the most important — the Testudo Times staff. I am incredibly grateful to everyone who has worked alongside me for the past two years. I believe two of a person’s greatest assets are their time and passion; thank you for sharing those with me and all of our readers. I’m so proud of the amazing work you have produced and cannot wait to see everything you do in your careers moving forward. To the current and past members of my editorial staff — Wes Brown, Henry Malone, Mike Touma, Cody Wilcox and Sean Montiel — none of this would be possible without you and I appreciate all of your hard work more than I can express.
Now, to the fun stuff. I am very excited to announce that Lauren Rosh will be the next managing editor of Testudo Times and Dylan Spilko will serve as the lead deputy editor. Wes and Henry will continue to run the site with them for the next few months.
Within a few weeks of Lauren joining our staff in the fall, I knew with certainty that I wanted her to fill my shoes and be the next leader of this publication. She has gone beyond what has been asked of her every step of the way, doing so with an incredible enthusiasm and work ethic. She has grown tremendously as a reporter in such a short amount of time and her coverage of Maryland women’s basketball this past season was a staple of the publication. The future of Testudo Times is in great hands.
As for my future: I will be interning with Sports Illustrated after I graduate. I truly feel blessed to join the publication that started my love of sports writing. Additionally, I will be going to Tokyo to cover the 2021 Olympics for the Olympic Information Service news wire (separate from SI).
Again, thank you for following along with my work. Stay safe.
Here is a message from your new managing editor:
Since I joined Testudo Times in the fall, Lila has been there every step of the way to offer valuable advice and guidance. I wish her the best of luck in the next steps of her career and cannot wait to see all that she continues to accomplish.
I am honored and grateful to take over her position and serve as the next managing editor of Testudo Times.
As a lifelong sports fan with a passion for storytelling, I couldn’t be more excited to work with Wes, Henry, Dylan and the rest of the staff to continue producing the high-quality game coverage and feature stories that our readers know and love.
It is of the utmost importance to me that we continue to tell the stories of athletes beyond their accomplishments on the field through long-form features. I am eager to work with each person on staff to produce those pieces for every sport we cover.
Coming onto staff was one of the best decisions I’ve made during my time here at Maryland and I am so thankful to everyone who has supported me along the way. I have grown as both a reporter and storyteller, and I am looking forward to continuing my development in this new position.
Before stepping into this editorial role, I was the beat reporter for the Maryland women’s basketball team with Dylan. We had the opportunity to cover some games in person. Doing so in a quiet Xfinity Center with empty seats certainly came with its challenges and we can’t wait to get back to games with all of you.