Schott: Reflections from my sports writing journey at Northwestern

Drew Schott, Senior Staffer

Graduation Issue 2022

On the morning of Dec. 19, 2020, Peter Warren and I walked into Lucas Oil Stadium to cover Northwestern football’s second Big Ten Championship appearance in three years.  

Up to that point, I had covered the Wildcats’ football season from my living room. Underclassmen were still not allowed back on campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Yet I was fortunate. Peter, Andrew Golden and Ella Brockway took a chance on me my sophomore year by inviting me to join The Daily’s gameday staff and so, I embraced every game, media availability and interview to pursue unique, informative and engaging stories, despite being more than 1,500 miles away from Evanston. 

That’s what made the trip to Indiana so meaningful. Despite being the only NU football game I reported live from that fall, it was the latest moment that solidified my passion for sports journalism. 

I have The Daily to thank for that. The various experiences during my nearly two-and-a-half-years with this newsroom are still clear in my mind. 

Taking the elevator up to the third floor of the Norris University Center in Sept. 2019 and being assigned my first article  — a soccer match between the Cats and Ohio State  — just days later. The road trip to Indianapolis to cover the Big Ten Tournament and the next stage of NU women’s basketball’s historic season, which ended just days later due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Late nights helping lay out the paper, then boarding flights the next day to Big Ten destinations, including Ann Arbor, Michigan. 

I wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything. They allowed me to become the writer I am today, and gain the confidence to chase stories I hoped would pique the interest of The Daily’s consumers and Northwestern fans alike. 

Exploring the lasting legacy of former Cats football coach Randy Walker, profiling athletes including Brandon Joseph, Abi Scheid and Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman, looking back on one of NU football’s greatest victories and spearheading the Illinois Divided special issue marked just a few of the stories I was grateful to tell. 

It was always my dream to join this paper, which is why it feels so surreal writing this column a week from my graduation from Northwestern. 

I attended the Medill-Northwestern Journalism Institute as a rising high school senior in summer 2018, an experience that not only solidified my aspiration to attend the Medill School of Journalism, but also gave me my first published article for The Daily. 

A few weeks after the program, I remember sitting in the parking lot of a Connecticut train station, smiling as my piece on Ryan Fieldhouse and the correlation between new facilities and recruiting was published online. 

As I near my walk across the stage at Ryan Fieldhouse, various moments from my time with The Daily are coming back to me, including that trip to Indianapolis. It’s one of the many experiences that have given me the tools to progress in my sports journalism career — one that was started thanks to The Daily. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @dschott328