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Senior Goodbye: Andy Yamashita

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andy yamashita

I’ve been putting off writing this for hours. 

It’s currently 11:38 p.m. and my deadline is in 21 minutes. After four years, countless instant basketball recaps, and more than 300 published articles, you would’ve thought I’d be better at this. 

I’m not talking about the deadline. I’m thinking more along the lines of procrastinating, but how am I supposed to put all the thoughts and feelings I have about The Daily into words which portray exactly what these past four years have meant to me?

I’ve traveled to different states, covered future professional athletes, and told stories that meant so much more to me than I ever could have imagined the first time I walked into the newsroom. The first baseball game I covered in person was a perfect game, and I had a front row seat to watch and share the stories of some of the best athletes the country has to offer. 

Plus, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I had regrets. I still haven’t signed my desk. I never had a wall quote. During my yearlong run as sports editor, I’ve been to the newsroom once. I didn’t get to write some of the stories I wanted to, didn’t get to meet some of my writers in person, and didn’t get to help them improve in as many ways as I wanted to. 

But perhaps, I should write my thanks first, because there are so many people at The Daily who I owe so much to for where I am today.

To the writers I had a chance to work with as sports editor — Nathan, Luka, Mendro, Lombroia, Rajan, Spencer, Evie, and James — thanks for sticking with me and helping cover sports these past few, chaotic months. You all put so much time, effort, commitment, passion, and energy into your work. I’m so excited to see what you all do next, either with The Daily or outside of journalism. You’ve only scratched the surface of your talent, and at the end of the day, it was your hard work that inspired me to keep working when the sports editor job felt overwhelming. 

To the photographers I worked with, thank you for the cooperation and the patience during the past four years. Your work is so often the most underappreciated part of the newsroom, but it always helped make our articles so much better. I have to shout out a few specific photogs too. To Shelby, thanks for spending all that time with me freshman year at the Ballpark. To Caean, thanks for showing me what the grind really looks like. To Lydia, thanks for all the patience, the hours spent on road trips listening to random spotify playlists, and admitting In-N-Out is the best burger in America. And lastly to Conor, thanks for working with me on the 48 Hour band piece. It was so fun to share and work on a project with you. I know it won’t be the last time. 

To the writers I had a chance to learn from early in my time at the Daily — Kyle and Chris specifically — thanks for allowing me to follow you guys around and learn. It was such an eye-opening experience for me and helped make me the writer I am now. 

To professional journalists who I had the chance to work with and to the UW Athletics staff — and especially Brian Tom — thanks for treating me like a professional while allowing me to learn and grow on the job. I’ve picked up so much from watching and working with all of you. 

To the athletes who gave me the privilege of telling their stories, thank you for trusting me to share them. I hope I was able to give you the fair, accurate portrayals you deserve. 

To the UW fans who took the time to read my stories, thank you for allowing me to tell them. I also have to apologize, because I’m kind of a jinx. Hopefully for you all, now that I’m gone, Washington will squeeze out a couple more wins. 

There’s so many people to thank and so little time. 

To the other members of The Daily editorial board, thanks for having patience with me when I was the sports editor — all the problems I inevitably had trying to figure out the job in the middle of a global pandemic and the ones I create occasionally by being my chaotic self.

Specifically:

To Trevor and Diana, thanks for putting up with me whenever we clashed about the copy desk. I know how crucial you are to what The Daily does and how fantastic you are at your jobs, even when I didn’t agree with you on something. I was so lucky to have you, even if I didn’t always show it. 

To Ash, Rachel, Armon, Mo, Kyle, Nicole, and everyone else who made the newsroom so much fun for the short time we were all there in person, thanks for letting me join in and welcoming me as an editor. Your work inspires me. 

To Jake, I still remember meeting each other before school had even started as freshmen. Who would’ve thought we’d still be here four years later? You’re a superstar, and if you can’t make it, we’re all gonna be out of luck. 

To Dylan, thanks for putting up with me as we tried to create a Game Daily, in the middle of a pandemic, for a game that ultimately got canceled. I legitimately don’t know what I would’ve done without you that night, and I can’t even imagine being as talented as you are. 

To my first three editors-in-chief — Rebecca, Andreas and Mira — thanks for allowing me to pursue and write the stories I wanted to and always supporting me when I needed it. 

To Mac, I wasn’t sure what to expect when you were elected editor-in-chief. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit concerned at how things were going to go. I’ve never been more wrong. Your leadership was astounding, and the support you provided me as sports editor was unmatched. I wouldn’t have been able to keep my section afloat without your guidance and help. 

To Anthony and Sydney, I’m so appreciative for everything you two have done for me. You both stepped up when I needed it, and I can’t wait to see what you do next with the section. Your enthusiasm and determination blew me away as writers, and as editors, the sky is truly the limit. 

And lastly to Alec, Hailey, and Josh. Words can’t express how much I owe you. The three of you took a chance on me, just a few weeks into my freshman year of college, and let me learn from you. I’d never worked in journalism and never even wrote an article before coming to The Daily. The three of you taught me everything I know. You worked with me on writing and interviewing, encouraged my curiosity, and forced me to think outside the box. I couldn’t have dreamed of better mentors, guides, teachers, or friends. The three of you opened doors for me that I never could have achieved by myself. You also all put up with me, dealing with late night calls, or bothering you on socials, or asking you to change specific words in articles. You included me in some of your work and introduced me to deadlines and sources and breaking news. I’m not sure I’ll ever meet anyone else who has more impact on my future trajectory than you three. I guess I was wrong, there is a word to express how much I owe you three: everything. 

So much of this turned out to be an acknowledgement of the other people who helped me at The Daily, but I think that’s because it’s the people who make The Daily so special. Someone once told me that years from now, when the places and the events and the stories are all forgotten, it’s the people who you’ll still remember. 

I will always remember all of you — the people who made the stories, the moments, and the newsroom so incredible for the four years I had the privilege of being a part of it. 

 

Andy Yamashita 

Sports Editor — Spring 2020 - Winter 2021

The Daily — Fall 2017 - Spring 2021

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Editor-in-Chief Mac Murray Design Editor Dylan McKone Photo Editor Nicole Pasia Illustrations and Cartoons Editor Elijah Pasco
Special Section Editors Chamidae Ford & Estey Chen Copy Chiefs Diana Davidson & Trevor Hunt