By Ernesto Santos
Guest Student Journalist
*The following article was not written by a KTSW staff member, but by a student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. It does not reflect the opinions and values of KTSW.
Award winning sports writer Kirk Bohls, of the Austin American Statesman, remembers the day he began picking cotton on his father’s farm in Taylor, just northeast of Austin. He was eight years old.
“I got my work ethic from my dad. It’s back breaking work but that taught me so many things,” Bohls said. “It taught me the value of hard work. Another thing it taught me is, I don’t want to be a cotton farmer.”
Bohls said that experience helps him appreciate covering sports today. He covered Tiger Woods’ recent Masters win at Augusta National Golf Course. However, this was not his first encounter with Woods. Bohls recalls covering the U.S. Open in 1997.
“I’m looking and there’s Tiger and behind him is the Pacific Ocean and I’m going ‘What in the hell am I doin’ here?’” Bohls said. “It was such a privilege to be there and to be put in that kind of position. So, I’ve always considered it just a blessing to do what I do.”
Bohls visited Texas State last week to speak to Larry Carlson’s sports media class. Bohls has been with the Austin American Statesman for over four decades and he and Carlson are longtime friends. Amid his busy career, Bohls finds the time each Tuesday morning at six a.m. to feed the homeless.
“My dad, he was the community leader in Taylor, he was president of the church vestry, and the school board, and the Boy Scouts and the Little League and president of other things that needed presidents,” Bohls said. “That taught me about volunteering and giving back to the community.”
In the end, Bohls hopes that people remember him for the time and effort he puts into his stories.
“I’m never gonna let anybody outwork me,” Bohls said. “I never wanted people to go, ‘Boy, Kirk, he just doesn’t work that hard,’ you know? If they said I suck that’s OK, but just don’t say, ‘He’s lazy.’”