Shepherd: Thank you — Bailey’s final recap


Bailey Shepherd poses for a portrait on the campus of Colorado State University April 2022. (Photo courtesy of Rebecca Flores)

Bailey Shepherd, Sports Reporter

Editor’s Note: Traditionally, graduating seniors working at The Collegian are given the chance to write a farewell note at the end of their tenure at CSU.

Friends, the time has come. After three academic years and what seems like countless regular seasons, my time as a sports reporter for The Rocky Mountain Collegian is coming to a close. While I look forward to graduation and beginning this next amazing chapter in life, I’m privileged to be able to share a few words of reflection on my time at this amazing publication.


Let’s go back to the beginning. It was fall 2019, and having just figured out my major and moving off campus, the possibilities seemed endless for a young Bailey. I was eager to become more involved on campus when my roommate came to me with a Rocky Mountain Student Media Corporation flyer saying, “Your student newspaper is hiring!” 

I thought to myself, “I can get paid to write about sports?” and that seemed like a no-brainer for me. I remember my first desk meeting, being nervous in the basement of the Lory Student Center. They were assigning beats for the fall semester, and I was assigned the women’s soccer beat.

My first ever assignment was a weekend double-header where my colleague — and the best NFL draft analyst in Collegian history — Bailey Bassett and I grabbed some lawn chairs and set up on the sideline of the Colorado State University soccer field.

I must’ve annoyed him so much with all the questions I was asking. I didn’t know the first thing about crafting post-game questions or handling interviews with players and coaches, but I quickly became acclimated to it.

“Thank you to all the other journalists, radio hosts, photographers, designers, marketers and editorial staff who work so hard to make this one of the best college publications in the country.”

I remember my first official press conference that same semester. The women’s basketball team had just suffered a tragic loss at home, and I remember being face-to-face with Ryun Williams in the press room as other reporters fought and talked over one another to get their questions in. I only asked one question that night because I was so nervous, but being exposed to that type of environment became addictive for me, and I felt I had to be at every press conference I could.

Then COVID-19 happened. The world lost sports for the better part of a year, and we as sports writers had to get creative for content. 

When we finally got college sports back and we could cover them in person, I almost teared up the first time I stepped into Moby Arena again. When fans were allowed back into venues, something became clear to me: It wasn’t so much the sports that were the missing piece for me during that year, it was the people.

I got to interact with my fellow writers more, I got to interact with players again and I got to interact with the Fort Collins community again. It reminded me how important community is, and that is ultimately what I will take away from this incredible experience. 

Sure I got to cover some incredible games and have the opportunity to talk to some prolific athletes, but the people I’ve met and the connections I’ve made with people through my work for this publication will be the things that stick with me forever.

I would like to thank previous sports directors Ryan Loberger and Scott Nies for helping me come into my own as a sports writer and becoming friends I will cherish for a long time. Thank you Taylor Paumen for being such a gracious and effective leader this year — you are a true trailblazer, and I will miss working alongside you. I’m excited to see what you’ll do in your new role next year, my friend.


Thank you Jake Sherlock and Pete Waack for always giving me words of praise and providing invaluable support to all the students to make this company tick. Thank you to all the other journalists, radio hosts, photographers, designers, marketers and editorial staff who work so hard to make this one of the best college publications in the country.

And most of all, thank you to all the students and community members who loyally read and watch all of our articles and content. We do this for you all.

It has been an honor. Go Rams!

Bailey Shepherd was a sports reporter and can no longer be reached at but can be reached on Twitter @B_Sheps .