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The Hilltop


The Sport’s Editors Reflection

Kyle finishes up his second academic year as Sports editor. (Photo courtesy of Kyle Fisher)

In the sports world for The Hilltop, the centennial year of the newspaper saw many firsts even after 100 years of serving the Bison community.

A premium was placed on diversifying coverage and highlighting storylines from the most deserving teams and stars that emerged during the 2023-2024 athletic season.

There were several moments/stories that stood out for the sports section this year – Anim Dankwah securing an invitation to the NFL Draft Combine (the school’s first invitation in ten years), Howard men’s basketball making their second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance, football winning their first outright MEAC title in three decades, softball’s young coach leading the team to their winningest season in program history, spreading the word and aiding the induction of a men’s lacrosse club into a conference, women’s track and field’s unprecedented run of dominance and more!

A conversation that had gone dormant for many years rekindled once more and that is the prospect of Howard University being labeled as a ‘sports school’.

While labeling Howard solely as a ‘sports school’ would be an overstatement and neglect its academic prominence and cultural significance, athletics being respected on levels similar to the other aspects of Howard’s culture is a testament to the work and commitment shown by student-athletes and staff. 

Being able to facilitate the telling of the stories that went into this shift was a special thing.

During the centennial year celebration, there was a gala that featured former ‘Hilltoppers’ and offered a reminder of the legacy that the current staff is contributing to.

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Delving into athletic stories beyond Howard was an enjoyable and important process, considering the unwavering support from the D.C. community. 

With exclusive coverage of the grand opening of a new sports bar, coverage of one of the nation’s most diverse rugby teams in the country, collaborations with the Washington Wizards and more, we were able to provide dynamic, engaging content.

It is always special to watch the emergence of stars within Howard University programs, and this year we had the opportunity to document the growth of stars within the athletic program.

This year, the significance of showcasing the achievements of these athletes reached new heights, exemplified by milestones such as the Bison swim team gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated, Howard golf featured as the subject of a mini-series on ESPN, individuals on the basketball team dominating on TNT, track and field athletes partnering with the WWE and being featured on USA Toda, and multiple football players signing with NFL teams. 

In many cases, The Hilltop was the first publication to spotlight these athletes, highlighting our role in accompanying their journey to their well-deserved stardom, making our involvement deeply meaningful for our staff.

Speaking of our staff, I would be remiss not to acknowledge our editorial staff, which attacked this year with a special passion and embraced the legacy we are a part of as the centennial year staff.

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There was a clear commitment to raising the standard of the newspaper this year, and to see that happen is a testament to the great talent and commitment of Howard journalists.

As one of the very few editors returning to Howard University as an undergraduate next year, I am excited to build on the momentum that we built this year and carry on the legacy and standard established by the current staff.

Until next year! 

Copy edited by D’ara Campbell


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