The first Slater of the Month for the 2019-2020 academic year is sports editor Christopher Wurtz.
Wurtz is a senior communication/journalism major with an emphasis in print and online media. He also has a minor in business.
Wurtz has two younger brothers in high school — Jonny is a freshmen and Andrew is a senior. He also has an older sister who recently graduated from West Virginia University. His mother, Lisa, is a Spanish teacher at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts and his father is an English teacher at Clear Spring middle school.
The desire to become a writer came from his father, according to Wurtz.
“He’s a bit of a wordsmith,” he said.
Wurtz is a quiet staff member of The Slate, but he is a consistent and hard-working member who is not afraid to break form. His challenge for the first few editions has been to improve the sports section’s design and break out of the mold of using headlines, photos and stories that stretch across the horizon of the page and instead make the design and layout more fluid and varied.
His commitment to quality has been featured throughout the past several editions as he experiments with formatting, which, although it may take more work to assemble, are ultimately more beneficial to the publication as a whole.
Wurtz first decided to enter journalism as a young adult graduating from high school.
“I can’t be just a sports fan,” he admitted. “What are my best skills that translate into a job?”
Sure, he loved sports. But after his father, Wurtz knew words. He had an idea of what he would do — become a writer.
Wurtz played baseball as a youth, but switched to running in high school. He ran in both cross country and track, but decided not to pursue another four years as he says running is a mentally grueling sport.
In Wurtz’s free time, he leads the club ultimate Frisbee team as its president. The club team is a step above an intramural, but is not the same as an NCAA sports team. It competes with other schools at tournaments every few weekends.
Wurtz says he manages his time by staying on track and hashing out the important things.
“I’ve gotten better with time management over three to four years of school,” he said.
As a sports fan, Wurtz follows a few different professional teams. In baseball, he likes the New York Yankees as he has family in New York, and in basketball, he is a fan of the Denver Nuggets. However, when it comes to football, he is loyal to the New Orleans Saints.
Wurtz said he’s been following the Saints ever since Hurricane Katrina devastated their stadium. He recalls watching the Saints’ first game after rebuilding, and says he has been with them since.
Wurtz holds one piece of advice above all others. “Make the most of each day,” he said. Wurtz capture this in a tattoo he has that says, “It’s a great day to be alive,” the name of a song by Travis Tritt.