Lindsey King dutifully jots down notes, interviews players and then sprints back to her desk to type up stories on deadline. The budding sports journalist has landed a good beat. She’s covering a red-hot San Dieguito Academy volleyball team, which gives her a front-row seat to an unbeaten crew ranked 13th in the state by MaxPreps.com.
“I think it’s incredible being 11-0,” she said. “I feel that that’s a very rare occurrence.”
King, however, isn’t just an observer to this story. She’s very much a part of it.
King is a senior starting setter and a co-captain who teams up with fellow senior setter Megan Scherer (also a co-captain) to form a powerful 1-2 punch in SDA’s dual setting system. Both have Junior National backgrounds and play for the Wave club team.
She’s the third-year sports editor at SDA’s student newspaper, The Mustang.
“I think it’s a really great opportunity for her, because she can interview anybody on our team,” Scherer said.
King’s passion for sports and writing compelled her to try out for the student newspaper in her sophomore year.
“I went out and covered one of the field hockey games, and the guy who’s in charge of (The Mustang) ends up loving the story, so he made me the sports editor,” King said.
King said she prefers covering action sports such as soccer and field hockey. She likes lacrosse, but admits it’s hard covering a sport she doesn’t fully understand.
Slow-moving sports such as baseball and softball don’t appeal to her.
Being in the thick of the action, however, offers journalists advantages not afforded to those relegated to a court-side desk.
“I know exactly what’s going on, each play,” King said.
But there are challenges, too.
“Sometimes I want to interview people while I’m playing, but it’s hard asking someone ‘What do you think of that?’ and not being able to write it down.”
All indications are that she’s rising to the occasion. King has won high marks from her coach for her volleyball and her journalism.
“She’s a great setter, a great defensive player and a great team leader,” first-year coach David Savage said of King.
And a solid reporter, according to Savage, who didn’t realize an article he was reading about his team had his player’s byline until he was done.
“I didn’t even know she was a reporter,” he said.
King freelanced a story about her team winning the Las Vegas Invitational earlier this month. The Las Vegas championship was the first major tournament win in school history.
“Right after reading this nice long article, very detailed and with quotes and really interesting, I looked to see who the author was and I was like, ‘Lindsey King was our writer. Wow!’ No wonder she knew all the details and how everyone was feeling. She had everything right, with all the emotion and all the drama of our season so far.”
The team’s success is especially dramatic for a school more known for academics.
“We’re not known for our sports; it’s something that’s rare,” King said. “It’s once in a blue moon that we have a team that has this kind of record.”
King believes that sports journalism has helped make her a better athlete. She said she learns about effective leadership from interviewing team captains in other sports and applies those lessons to her own game.
“Hearing what they have to say and how they helped their team succeed helps me be a better player and a better leader,” she said.
King prides herself on her leadership as much as her ability. She credits Abra Amwake, her former Wave club coach when she was playing 11’s, with helping her develop leadership skills.
“She inspired me to take on that leadership role as a setter and to be a person that a setter is supposed to be,” King said.
King and Scherer’s friendship play a big role in the team’s success, too.
“We’ve been playing together since seventh grade, and it’s so fun,” Scherer said. “Lindsey and I make each other so competitive and I wouldn’t change that for the world.”
Being a reporter and one of the team’s stars offers King a unique perspective, which allows her to talk about her team as if she’s at 30,000 feet and on the ground at the same time.
“I’m super-excited to see where the season goes and how much longer we can stay undefeated and how we end up having to deal with that loss and how we turn it around and fight back,” she said.
“It’s a good story.”