More than scores: Heath strives to tell the stories behind the results as new sports editor
GREENFIELD — Steve Heath was recently promoted to sports editor for the Greenfield Daily Reporter after splitting his time as a reporter for both that paper and the Pendleton Times Post over the past three years.
Heath, 59, who lives in Greenfield, began work as the sports editor on June 6.
The Hancock County native has embraced a lifetime love for sports and considers it a privilege to cover high school athletics and other hometown sports interests.
“I’ve always had a passion for the county and a passion for sports and local sports teams, and not just the high school teams. Whether it’s a local auto racer or some neat human interest stories, I have that same passion for sports throughout the entire county,” he said.
Heath follows the mindset that a good sports story can cover much more than just the box scores.
“I think it’s good to know people’s stories — not just who won the game, but how they won the game. It’s fun to look into the players’ backgrounds. There’s more to it than how many points you score,” he said.
Heath — who played “a little bit of tennis and baseball” at New Palestine High School — has embraced the opportunity to bring those types of stories to the page while covering Hancock County sports.
He has especially enjoyed covering Eastern Hancock High School boys basketball the past few seasons.
“Their run to the semi-state was just a joy to cover,” he said. “There are so many teams that have done well since I’ve been here. Mt. Vernon and New Palestine have won state football titles, and Greenfield-Central has a lot of great teams and kids too,” he said.
Heath credits his wife, Julie, for having the patience to support a career that involves long, often late hours.
“I’ve had great support from her throughout all these years. She’s been very encouraging and understanding,” he said.
Heath has focused on sports throughout his entire career.
After graduating from New Palestine High School, he earned his communications degree from Indiana State University in 1987.
He then went to work as a sports writer and managing editor for the Mooresville Times, where he worked for 10 years until moving to Tennessee to work as the sports prep editor for the Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro.
Ten years later, he and his wife moved to Arizona where he started working as the associate sports information director at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, taking part in the school’s transition from a Division II to a Division I school in the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
In a quest to return to his Hoosier roots, Heath moved back to Indiana to become the sports information director at Anderson University, where he worked for more than three years before being hired at the Greenfield Daily Reporter in early 2019.
Heath is now happily content, covering sports in the county where he was raised.
He and his wife — who spent their honeymoon watching Chicago Cubs games at Wrigley Field — make no secrets about their favorite professional sports team. They even named their two miniature dachshunds — Wrigley and Waveland — with the Cubs in mind. Wrigley Field sits near Waveland Avenue in Chicago.
“I’ve always been a Cubs fan, and a sports fan in general for my entire life,” said Heath.
“That’s why I’m so excited about this new sports editor position. I just want to tell the stories of our county athletics, which often goes beyond high school sports. I want to dig up those stories that people don’t necessarily know about and tell those stories,” he said.