Andrew Schnittker here.
As you may have guessed by the title, there’s going to be a temporary change to Canes Country’s leadership as we navigate this pandemic. I’m going to be temporarily stepping into Brian’s shoes as editor.
I’ll get more into my background and plans in a moment, but first, a note from Brian:
Over the past month-plus, when every aspect of our lives has been turned on its head, it seems that we learn new things about ourselves every day. Over the past couple of weeks, one of those things has become abundantly clear: I am not, and will likely never be, a child care professional.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of the fortunate ones: my wife is still working from home, and we’re trying to make things as relatively normal as I can. The teachers at my daughter’s school are saints, putting together virtual lessons that require little more of parents than simply being present. It’s difficult, it’s frustrating, it certainly isn’t normal, but it’s functional.
That one phrase, though - “being present” - is taking up almost all of my time.
Being present means I need to be on call for just about anything, for the majority of the day, while also redirecting an easily-distracted six-year-old. It keeps me on my toes. As a result, everything else in my life is effectively on pause - and that includes this site.
As I mentioned above, I’m in a fortunate spot where I can help myself while also giving a hand to a good friend. Andrew was furloughed from his job at the Mountaineer about a month ago, so suddenly he has a lot more free time on his hands - time that I suddenly don’t have. So, to me, the solution was obvious, and would help both of us: I could furlough myself, devote my attention and time to being a stay-at-home dad, and Andrew could step in to mind the shop in the meantime.
So that’s what we’re doing. The plan is for Andrew to fill in for me until one of two things happens: either his newspaper un-furloughs him, or my daughter goes back to school. Whenever either of those happens, I’ll jump back in.
I know the site is in good hands, better than it would have been with my necessarily divided attention. I also know that I can’t wait to get back to some semblance of normal, whenever and whatever that is, and to me “normal” will include when I’m back up to speed again.
So this isn’t goodbye, it’s see you later - and, hopefully, later will actually mean sooner. Stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll see you on the other side.
I just want to start by saying thank you to Brian. I’m honored that he thought of me to step into his shoes. He’s been a friend and mentor since my first Hurricanes game on press row, and I’m going to do my best to fill in for him.
A little bit about my background in sports journalism and covering the Canes:
I graduated from NC State last May with a major in communication media and minor in journalism.
From June 2018 through July of last year, I covered the team here for Canes Country, writing away game recaps and postgame analysis, as well as longer form feature stories.
Before that (my one year at Canes Country and senior year were concurrent), I spent four years covering the team for Technician, NC State’s student newspaper. I also covered Wolfpack football, basketball and baseball, and served as sports editor my junior and senior year.
I also spent two years at Pack Pride, NC State’s 247Sports site, and am currently covering the Wolfpack for Inside Pack Sports.
After graduating, I took some time to find a job in my field, but, last July, I landed one as sports editor of The Mountaineer, a community newspaper in Haywood County, NC (mountains, west of Asheville). I spent the past eight months there primarily covering local high school sports.
As Brian alluded to, I’ve been furloughed until local sports return, and am back in Raleigh. This situation made perfect sense: Brian needed to step back, I’ve got experience covering the Canes and leading a sports staff and I’ve got the time to do it.
I’m honored to be leading the team at Canes Country in this interim, and looking forward to providing fun coverage to get us all through this hockey void.
You’ve seen our series as part of SB Nation’s “Best Teams to Not Win” week, and I’ve got some more ideas to revisit important moments from the team’s past.
We’ll keep trying to find new, fun story ideas while the league is on hiatus, and when a decision is made on either resuming the season or pulling the plug and starting the offseason, we’ll be there to bring the best coverage possible.
For however long I’m steering the ship here, that’s going to be my number one goal: Coordinating our team to bring Hurricanes fans the best coverage possible.
Got a story idea, or something you want to see? I’m all ears. Shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or drop me a line on Twitter (@aschnitt53).
Stay safe, stay healthy and thanks for reading.