The Independent sports staff gains a new face, but it will be a familiar face for those who follow Marshall athletics.
On Monday, Marshall native Travis Andries joined the Independent's sports staff, filling the long-time vacancy left by former sports writer Jenny Kirk, who moved across the news room to take the education beat.
Graduating from Marshall High School in 2006, Andries played baseball for the Tigers, and was a standout goaltender, garnering All-State second team honors in 2005-06.
Back in his high school playing days, Andries remembers what it was like getting interviewed by the town newspaper.
"I remember (former Independent sports writer) Wayne Cook wanted to interview me for an athlete of the week story, and being a goalie, I was superstitious," Andries joked. "He interviewed one of our guys earlier in the year and he struggled after, and I couldn't have that happen to me. Sections was coming up, I thought, 'I can't have any bad luck.'"
A die-hard University of Minnesota hockey fan, Andries went to the U of M where initially, he looked to go into journalism before ultimately getting a bachelor's degree in communications in the summer of 2011.
But that desire to work in journalism never left, and that's what has brought Andries back home, and to the Independent's sports desk.
"What drew me back was the community. ... At the big city papers, their focus is the metro, and you're not going to find stories on things like local businesses or other things in the community," Andries said. "Maybe being from Marshall, I liked having that tight-knit community.
"It was always fun to see your name in the newspaper, and it'd be nice to give that opportunity to other kids."