Sutherland: From athlete to writer

11/8/2018 | Column | By Jason Sutherland

I n sixth grade, my dad, who was also the guidance counselor, came into our classroom to discuss planning for the future. He ran us through a website that took all of our interests and gave us possible career choices. The computer gave me two possibilities: teacher or journalist. This website is going to give me the opportunity to do both.

Currently, I am pursuing my teaching degree from Michigan Tech, and now I am fortunate enough to cover high school sports alongside my education. It has been a pretty crazy few months since Bryce and I first discussed my involvement with Upbeat, and I am ready to get started.

Bryce had told me about Upbeat a few weeks before this particular conversation. He had a goal: To bring the UP high-quality sports coverage in the most accessible and creative way possible. If you know anything about Bryce, it is that he is very driven; he will not be denied of anything he sets his mind to. I could sense that when he said this project was going to be huge, he meant it. Listening to him talk about it with such enthusiasm was contagious. I asked him if there was a way I could help make this a reality. Here I am, two months later, introducing myself to the UP sports scene as a writer.

Jason Sutherland

I grew up in Ontonagon and lived there until I was 12. My dad was the head varsity football coach for four years and athletic director for many years before that. If you saw him at a game, odds are you saw me, standing at his side. We watched every game, every night, and I was there from bleacher setup to the closing of the concession stand. Sports consumed my life: When most kids were playing video games, I was drawing up new plays for my dad or watching film with him in the basement.

When I was 12, we packed our bags and moved to Lake Linden. It was there my love for all things sports took off. Playing sports for Lake Linden was truly a remarkable experience. I played with some great teammates, some great coaches and made some lifelong memories. No matter what was going on in school, it was always about the next practice, the next game or the next season. I loved playing against tough teams, in front of tough fans, in harsh environments.

And that is what sports in the UP are all about.

It’s about the tough kids, the tougher fans, and all of the great traditions that come with each big game.

And now it is all being brought to your computers and mobile devices.

This is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. Nowhere else will you be able to find sports coverage like this in the digital format. The opportunity to bring the experience of every game to anyone and everyone is something that I am so excited to do, and I am excited for you all to see what this website has in store.

I am joining Upbeat because I am ready to start my next involvement in the world of UP sports. This website is going to be incredible, and I truly believe that we will be the best at what we do. Bryce, Eden and Keith are all fantastic writers, with many years of combined experience. Together, we are going to bring something great to the UP, something that it has been missing.

And I’m very eager to get this thing started.

Jason Sutherland

Staff Writer
Jason is a staff writer for Upbeat. He is a former athlete who understands the passion in UP sports. He’s spent this past fall covering prep football and will assist in Copper Country basketball coverage. He's a full-time college student at Michigan Technological University.