Column: Meet Erika Pickles

Published 2:22 pm Friday, January 28, 2005

By Staff
I've been getting this question a lot, where's Adam and who are you?
Though I do know a lot of coaches and people in the Niles and surrounding areas, there are still a lot of people and coaches that don't know me and vice versa. So I should probably take some time to introduce myself.
I was born and raised in Niles. I attended Oak Manor Elementary, Ring Lardner and Niles High School.
Growing up I was always active in sports, getting my start at a very early age at the YMCA in gymnastics and through their t-ball and softball programs and their basketball programs, which at that time were made up of the actual school teams, not sponsored by companies. I also twirled my little batton for Bonnie Blue Bells for three years.
In elementary school I played on the first AAU team in this area with girls from Howard, Ballard and Oak Manor. We traveled all over Michigan and Indiana and played some of the best teams in the two states. We continued to play until we were sophomores.
Throughout junior high and high school I played basketball for the schools and softball for NBGSA at Firemans Youth Park as well as on the high school team. I also played volleyball for two years at Niles.
I graduated from Niles in 2000 and have since been enrolled at Southwestern Michigan College. My original major was Elementary Education, then I switched to Business, then back to Elementary Education and now to journalism in the spring/summer.
I had never even considered journalism, it never even crossed my mind. I was always told by teachers in junior high and high school that I was a good writer, but never really jumped on it.
I started freelancing for the Daily Star back in September and have not turned back since. When Adam Fisher left, I took his place, sort of. Scott Novak is actually the sports editor, I am the sports writer.
It amazes me how much sports have grown in this area just from when I was a young girl. There are so many different leagues around town. There are numerous baseball, basketball, softball, soccer, football, even floor hockey leagues. There are also a lot of all-star and traveling teams, which allow children and teenagers to play with some of the best kids around.
With so many leagues and so many good athletes to come, the future of sports in this area will remain very competitive.
I think having a sports background and being from Niles will be a benefit to myself and the readers. I will try my best to cover all of the sports in the area.
I also want to remind everyone that it is hard to get to every game in one day. Some days there are three or more local games going on, other days there are none. Scott, who covers Cassopolis, Edwardsburg and Dowagiac, and I try our best to get the results of games we are unable to attend. The coaches do a great job of getting them to us.
If you are at a game and snap a good picture of a player or think something should be in the paper, feel free to contact me. We actually have quite a few people who do that and it is a big help.
If you know of an athlete or anyone who has experienced or is going to experience something most people don't, let me know.
I have enjoyed talking with coaches and parents from my past who I will now be talking to on an almost daily basis.
I have also enjoyed meeting all of the new faces in high school sports. Everyone I have met so far has been extremely nice and very helpful.
Feel free to contact me anytime with any questions, comments, sports information or if you just want to say hello!
I look forward and am excited to continue covering sports in this area.