ASHEVILLE – I’ve made it to the mountains.
My name is Evan Gerike, which, if you were wondering, rhymes with turkey. I’m an Indiana native, Indiana University grad and now the high school sports reporter for the Asheville Citizen Times.
All my prior knowledge of North Carolina comes from my college roommate, who lived in Chapel Hill. Outside of a summer internship at the Baseball Hall of Fame, I’ve never lived outside the Hoosier State. So, why am I here in Asheville?
My goal when it comes to WNC preps is simple: Earn your trust and honor it.
I started in journalism because I wanted to be a play-by-play broadcaster. Growing up, listening to home run calls from White Sox broadcaster Hawk Harrelson kept my eyes locked onto the TV more than the on-field play itself, since it wasn’t like the White Sox were any good.
When I arrived at IU as a broadcast major, I decided to join IU”s student newspaper, the Indiana Daily Student, as well. I was starting from scratch on the microphone, but I had experience writing with my high school newspaper, so I figured I could continue to write while I began my broadcasting career.
After joining the IDS, I had an inkling I could do this writing thing for a long time as soon as I wrapped up my first interview with Indiana golfer Jack Sparrow. (No, I’m not joking. Yes, he was the captain.) My hunch was confirmed by the end of my first-ever broadcast, which didn’t go particularly well.
By the time I graduated, I was all in on sports journalism. I covered three years of Indiana football — the good, the bad and the ugly. I reported on Indiana men’s basketball and Indiana women’s basketball, covering two program greats in Trayce Jackson-Davis and Grace Berger. I also reported on the soccer program’s run to the national championship, a softball season cut short by the pandemic and the Little 500, called “The World’s Greatest College Weekend.”
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Now I’m here in Asheville, ready for a new opportunity. For the first time, I’m on a high school sports beat. The best part about high school reporting is there’s a treasure trove of stories. The star football player, the upstart coach, the benchwarmer who’s an integral part of the locker room. It’s now my privilege to find those stories and share them with you.
While I’m getting accustomed to the locale, feel free to reach out with questions, share story tips or recommend hiking trails.
I’m excited to bring a little Hoosier Hospitality to the South, and I hope the South welcomes me back.
Evan Gerike is the high school sports reporter for the Citizen Times, part of the USA TODAY Network. Email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @EvanGerike. Support this type of local journalism with a subscription to the Citizen Times.