Whether one is trying to recap 2016 through the eyes of the newsmakers, the news reporters, the sports journalists or the athletes, let’s admit, 2016 was pretty unique. It will be one of those years that will be hard to top in the next 12 months. But isn’t that the joy of a new year, the intrigue about what is in store?
Looking back, I believe I had hoped many of these things happened the way they did. Many did not, but we just have a knack for rolling with the punches and making the best out of any situation. 2016 was a year of new beginnings, adjustments, wonder and astonishment for many of us.
I believe 2016 stands out because of the experiences that made it unbelievable at times and breathtaking in others. My professional highlights stem from March 2016, when CSUB punched its ticket to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. It had been 13 years of work that was rewarded in a short period of about 10 seconds when CSUB hit a buzzer-beater to win the WAC Tournament and head off to its first NCAA Tournament.
Thirteen years came rushing back as I tried to remain composed courtside. I had several radio friends ask me, “Did you nail the call?” My response has always been honest: “No, I butchered it, I was too emotional to be poetic, too excited to care about what came out of my mouth.” Maybe in 2017 I’ll be a little more graceful if it happens again. I sure hope so.
It was a major championship for our athletics department, our city and Kern County. Fittingly so we were sent to Oklahoma, where 16 years earlier I was sent as a college broadcaster to the NAIA National Tournament in Tulsa. It was, as it turned out, my first of many out-of-state-radio trips. Sixteen years later, I was back with a team on the biggest stage of them all. It was as rewarding an experience as I could imagine, and such a great boost for our program, our student-athletes, coaches and administrators who made it all happen. What a ride.
Personally in 2016, I finished my master’s degree in Public Administration from CSUB in June, something I believed was important for my future. I met some great people during that two-year process, many of whom have grown into great friendships despite the fact that I was at least a decade older than most of them. Luckily, I still consider myself cool, but that’s up for debate. I wish them the best in the new year as they navigate the tricky waters of their young careers in this new job-seeking world.
2016’s biggest personal accomplishment will be the pace-setter for my family in 2017 as our son is born in January. Talk about not knowing what is around the corner. I can’t imagine what this year is going to be like with a little one in the house. I’m thinking peace and quiet will be a thing of the past, but that’s the price my wife and I are willing to pay for this experience. I hope for his sake that the world in 2017 taps the brakes a little and slows down, but I can’t really count on that.
2016 will officially be history in a few days’ time and we will all look to 2017 for the next set of blessings, adventures, challenges and triumphs. After the last 12 months, it is safe to say 2017 has big shoes to fill; I am excited to see what is in store. I hope it is a blessed one for you all. Happy New Year.
Corey Costelloe, a Tehachapi High graduate, is assistant athletics director for communications for California State University, Bakersfield.