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Bye Florida, hello Craig

John Vandelinder joins Daily Press staff

— STAFF REPORT

Sitting on a press box bench after four quarters of high school football, John Vandelinder remembered being neither fatigued nor agitated.

He was excited.

From the moment he witnessed that contest in 2004 and constructed his first story, he said he had found his dream.

Vandelinder said he is continuing that dream at Craig Daily Press.

“I’ve been working hard to get this opportunity, and I plan on providing the best sports coverage to the residents of Craig,” he said.

Vandelinder relocated to Craig from Boca Raton, Fla. There, it was common for him to drive two hours to attend games. The drive wasn’t important, he said. Getting the story was.

“There is no place too far when it comes to writing about sports,” he said. “The drive was painstaking, but I would do it all over again without hesitation.”

Vandelinder earned his communications degree from Palm Beach Community College and worked in radio broadcasting for two years, winning several awards.

From there, he got the writing bug and began his writing career as a freelance high school sports reporter at South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

It was a bigger community and newspaper, he said. But living in a place where people know each other’s name was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

“I’m excited to be part of a smaller community, where relationships are valued, and people remember your name. I have found that here in Craig,” he said.

“We’re very excited to have John here,” Daily Press editor Jerry Raehal said. “From the first interview on the phone to when he came out here to visit, I could tell John has a passion about sports writing.”

Covering a full range of sports, from high school to recreation, is a goal of Vandelinder’s.

“All sports are equal in my eyes,” he said. “Don’t hesitate to contact me regarding any event. I’m here to live the dream – sports.”

John Vandelinder can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or jraehal@craigdailypress.com


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