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Jeff Schudel Celebrates 50 Years as News-Herald Sportswriter – News-Herald

When Jeff Schudel was old enough to read, he used his abilities to do one thing every day.

“I’ve been reading sports pages since I could,” said Schudel, 69, who turns 70 in November.

Schudel took that passion to the sports page and turned it into a journalism career of sorts. On October 2, Schudel will celebrate his 50th anniversary as a sports writer in the News Herald.

Technically, Schudel’s journalism career began at the age of 18, as a junior at West Gauga High School, when she covered a high school game part-time for Gauga Times Reader. About a year later, at the age of 19, former News Herald sports editor Bob Roberts hired Schudel to NH as a sports writer.

he never left

For Schudel, 50 years spanned many teams, players, beats, quotas, games and thousands of coverage in the ever-changing world of journalism.

He remembers the days of lugging heavy typewriters to games with pens, pencils and notepads, to the present day when much lighter laptops and smartphones are the primary tools. That notepad doodle was replaced with a tweet.

The News-Herald’s Jeff Schudel began his career in NH after riding the swings in the 1984 Charity Media vs. Browns game, covering the adult softball scene and more. (news herald file)

Schudel’s first gig with NH consisted of covering the community’s adult softball, golf and bowling scenes as well as high school games. He was particularly fond of bowling and called his Sunday column “Life in the Gutter”.

“I have an idea,” Schudel said with a smile.

His first career goal was to one day cover the Browns. About ten years later, in his 1981, he was offered the opportunity and coverage for the Cavaliers and accepted.

News Herald's Jeff Schudel at the Old Municipal Stadium before the Browns' game.  (news herald file)
News Herald’s Jeff Schudel at the Old Municipal Stadium before the Browns’ game. (news herald file)

Until 1985 (until 1986), it was a memorable time when Schudell covered the Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs and the Browns were chasing Miami Hurricanes quarterback Bernie Corser in the supplemental draft.

“I will never forget that year,” Schudel said. “It was a rush to cover those two things.”

The Browns have been his main focus for over 30 years, but Schudel has done a little bit of everything. Once, he covered the story of a crocodile that got loose from the Gauga Lake Amusement Park. He thought it might be fun to describe in first person what it was like to be a beer vendor at an Indians game in old Cleveland at Municipal Stadium. that’s what he did.

“I thought it would be a fun story,” Schudel said.

News Herald's Jeff Schudel on duty as a beer vendor at an Indians game at Old Municipal Stadium in the 1980s.  (news herald file)
News Herald’s Jeff Schudel on duty as a beer vendor at an Indians game at Old Municipal Stadium in 1985 (News Herald file)

Any tips for that game?

“There was almost no one in the stadium. It didn’t go very well.”

No story was too big or too small for Schudel, who still covers Cavaliers, Guardians, Monsters, High School Sports and more today. All that while adapting to the ever-changing business of newspapers and news media in 50 years of service. The NH staff noticed.

“Almost everything about how the news business works has changed since Jeff started his career at The News Herald 50 years ago,” said NH Editor Tricia Ambrose. “And he has weathered all these changes with a positive attitude and has always been focused on serving our readers. We are fortunate to have him in our newsroom.”

Howard Primer, longtime sports copy editor and page designer, said: He took the time to meet each of the new hires working that night and ask them about their career goals. He then stunned us with how he was reporting his story on a typewriter from the top row of the bleachers. His enthusiasm for finding the next story and our entire product line is as strong today as it was then. ”

“Jeff’s longevity is amazing and something we all covet,” said longtime NH sports writer Chris Lilstrong. “It’s impressive to see the respect and rapport that Ozzy Newsom actually has, like coming in as a Ravens executive and greeting Jim Donovan by name during a halftime store conversation. And I’ve always admired his ability to ask difficult questions.He’s a consistent beacon to audiences and colleagues alike.”

Schudel recently spoke about his 50 years at NH and various other topics.

• On whether he’s ever considered leaving NH: “When you got the Browns (Beat), why go anywhere else? Friends are here, family is here. increase.”

• On his most memorable journalistic moment: “When the Monsters won the Calder Cup (in 2016), they scored with 1.9 seconds left in extra time. We would have missed the[printing]deadline, and it was the excitement of the moment and the excitement of meeting the deadline.”

• On print deadlines: “I always say, ‘We can’t afford to fail in our business.’ Many people rely on you.”

• On his goal of covering the Browns team at the Super Bowl: “I may be getting pretty old.”

• Favorite player to cover: “(Former Browns QB) Brian Sipe.

• Favorite coaches to cover: “(former Browns head coaches) Marty (Scottenheimer) and Sam (Rutiliano)”.

The News Herald’s Jeff Schudel during the Browns rib-eating contest, 1990 (News Herald file)

• Favorite decade as a sportswriter: “The 1980s. Those days were the best for the Browns.”

On not being afraid to ask difficult questions: “I try to ask questions that fans want answers to. I think I ask them without using a hostile tone. Players and coaches understand that.” I think.”

Schudel is grateful for his 50 years at the News Herald and for the opportunity to “cover the sports and teams I play.” Schudel said of how long he plans to continue as a sportswriter:

“I want to continue as long as I am healthy.”