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Student sportswriter recognized with national award

Sarah Moomaw didn’t plan to be a sports journalist. But pretty much everyone else knew she was destined to be one.

“I didn’t come to Northeastern under the assumption I would be a sports reporter,” said Moomaw, a senior journalism major. “I didn’t have dreams since I was a little kid to be a sportswriter, which is the case with so many others who do this.”

Moomaw intended to be an arts and lifestyle reporter. But sports had long dominated the Saint Louis native’s life, so much so that she has made her family eat vacation dinners at sports bars so she could watch her beloved Cardinals play baseball. Even the stories she wrote while on co-op with The Boston Globe tended to focus on sports.

“People kept saying, ‘Are you sure you don’t want to cover sports?’” Moomaw said. “And more than anything I heard at Northeastern, people kept saying ‘You really need to talk to Chuck.’”

Moomaw heeded this advice, enrolling in the sports writing class taught by journalism professor Charles Fountain. She also started working part-time on nights and weekends as a “hawk” at the Globe’s sports desk, collecting box scores and covering games for the print edition and the paper’s website.

And last spring Moomaw became the sports editor for The Huntington News, the independent student newspaper that covers the university. She will resume the role this fall, overseeing a team that writes, edits and designs the sports pages for the publication’s weekly print edition.

Moomaw found out that she was one of four students nationwide to earn the Associated Press Sports Editors Scholarship while she was in Argentina this summer on a Dialogue of Civilizations program. The scholarships — awarded to help motivate talented students to pursue a career in sports journalism — were announced in a news release written by Boston Globe sports editor Joe Sullivan, who noted the four scholarship recipients were part of “the best group of writers who ever applied.”

“The winners are an outstanding foursome who all have a big future in our business,” wrote Sullivan, who is Moomaw’s editor at the Globe.

Earlier this year, he assigned her the all-important task of compiling a daily “this date in Fenway Park history” feature, a spot that ran online and in print to mark the storied ballpark’s 100th anniversary.

The work was grueling, Moomaw said, noting the need to pore over decades of archived stories and box scores to find a historic event from each day — a difficult task even for a park as old and beloved as Fenway.

“The first month was really fun, the next six were really painful, and I still have about two weeks left to do,” Moomaw said.

Though she never intended to be a sportswriter, Moomaw now knows that she has found the perfect career. “A lot of my writers at the Huntington News have had dreams of doing this since they were little kids,” she said. “That wasn’t the case for me, but I know it’s exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.”