My name is Jake Henry, and I'm the new guy at Gateway City Sports. Born and raised in St. Louis, I’m glad to be from the country's best sports town. I’m even happier that my journey in the journalism field has led me to this site. I could not be more excited to provide quality articles every week for you all. I hope the excitement is mutual and that you all are as excited as I am.
Some of the teams I will be covering are the St. Louis Blues, Cardinals, BattleHawks, and St. Louis CITY SC, to get into specifics. I will also write some miscellaneous articles about several leagues like the NFL, NBA, XFL, MLS, NHL, and MLB. So now that you have a little taste of the content I’m going to provide, here is some background information about me. If there are any questions, I will gladly answer them promptly.
Before I started with journalism around two years ago, I thought I wanted to be a pro-athlete. I've played and been involved with plenty of sports in my life. Most recently, Baseball and Football. When I played baseball, I was a pitcher. I played baseball my whole life, and It was enjoyable. Now I am currently only playing football, and I am a kicker and punter. Before I started with special teams, I was an equipment manager for my school's football team, and even before that, I recorded a film for that same team. I looked up to some of the best athletes in their sport. Some of those athletes include Nolan Ryan, Stephen Strasburg, and Adam Vinatieri.
My sports career did not pan out. In the past two years, I was cut five times in a row in baseball. After the pandemic started, I decided to stop playing entirely. I did, however, pick up writing. Another part of why I started writing was because I had to find a different outlet to talk about the XFL. I love talking about the league to the point where it’s annoying. So I had to find a way to get my thoughts about the league out to the world. Since I started, I have written 18 articles for two other sites. Those sites are XFL Newsroom and Unhinged Sports. My first article went up on August 12th, 2020, for XFL Newsroom. After that, I never looked back. I am very thankful to have an excellent start to my journalism career, and I am thrilled to be a part of Gateway City Sports.
One of the main reasons I decided to join Gateway City Sports is the people. They have been so welcoming to me, and it seems like they are already part of my family. Like them, I am an avid St. Louis sports fan. Whether it’s life or a replay, I am always looking for games to watch. I'm ready to put my sports fandom into my writing while remaining professional. I will be writing about specific topics that are interesting to me and interesting to the reader.
Even though I started writing this year, I got started with journalism earlier. My journalism journey began on Instagram when I started as an XFL fan page. I had no idea what would come after I created that page. My first post went up on December 2nd, 2018, and on that day, my life changed for the better. I had that outlet I needed. I created a podcast, and it would eventually be called the “XFL BattleCast.” Shortly after I started covering the XFL on the podcast, I attended the Jonathan Hayes introductory press conference on April 18th, 2019.
A few months later, I found myself in Earth City for the XFL Summer Showcase as a media member. During the Jonathan Hayes press conference and the first BattleHawks home game, I met the XFL’s former commissioner Oliver Luck. He was very kind and friendly. However, I was unable to secure media credentials for the BattleHawks during the season. I was disappointed with that news for two reasons. First, I put a lot of time and effort into covering the BattleHawks, and I felt a lack of communication with the smaller media members like myself. Those were significant factors that lead to my disappointment. Shortly after the XFL went into bankruptcy, I knew I had to find more teams to cover.
The next team I ended up covering is St. Louis CITY SC. The media relations team there has been so great to talk with. They have also been accommodating. I'm happy to continue covering the team and working with them. One final event I attended because of this journey was the St. Louis CITY SC stadium round-table. It was great to see how the team plans to change Downtown West and make it a thriving part of the city. I am excited about the team and can not wait for more news to release them. I hope to continue going to events like the round-table in the future and covering even more teams in the St. Louis metro area.
As I mentioned earlier, I am a huge St. Louis sports fan. I come from a huge sports family too. We have a bunch of St. Louis sports fans in my family, as well as athletes. I've been a Cardinals and Blues fan my entire life. I've also been a BattleHawks fan since the very beginning. When I became a fan, the BattleHawks were only an idea by Vince McMahon and Oliver Luck. There was no Kurt Hunzeker, no Jonathan Hayes, no players, and there wasn't even a name yet. The Alliance of American Football was also just an idea at that time too. It's a similar story with St. Louis CITY SC.
I was a fan immediately after #MLS4TheLou group announced the bid for a team. I love watching teams and leagues build from the ground up. That's why I like to cover teams like the BattleHawks and St. Louis CITY SC. It's fun to cover as a member of the media, and especially as a fan. I also really like covering teams or leagues that don’t get as much publicity. A team that instantly comes to mind is St. Louis Ambush. If the media gave more publicity to smaller local teams, they might increase revenue and help the team's longevity.
Something else to look for in my articles is lots of stats. I love analytics and seeing how teams or players have progressed over time. In my eyes, stats are a great way to engage fans and honestly give them an inside look at how players have done in a season. They are also perfect for teaching newer fans about the sport. If you love stats as much as I do, do not worry. I will have plenty to look over and analyze.
I also hope to be a writer that helps teach about sports. That should be every sports journalist's goal. I do not want to drive people away from sports with stupid takes and boring topics. It has to be fun for all. However, I will give some occasional hot takes in my articles, but they will not take over my pieces. I also want to be informative, which is a huge part of journalism. How I look at sports journalism is taking information, news, or stats and distributing it to fans or whoever improves their knowledge of the sport. I also hope to look into how some players prepare for games or practices when I interview them.
Another key thing I want to do is be as interactive as possible. I want to answer the questions you have. Suppose I have to research to find the answer, that's fine. I love to research, and it's another essential piece of the journalism puzzle.
Like all things in life, this new journey for me will not be comfortable at the start. Balancing school and providing articles for this site will initially be a challenge for me. However, I will do whatever I can to get these articles published on the site every week. I am also going to have to do more research than I ever have before. It won't be easy at the start. When I get into the groove, it will be fun for myself and you as the reader.
I am excited for you, the reader, to show you that my love and knowledge of sports are as big as the next fan or media member. I’m excited about this new opportunity and can’t wait to get started!