Veteran sportswriter joins

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 August 2013 at 12:00 am

Mike Wertman will cover the local sports scene

Mike Wertman

Photo by Tom Rivers – Mike Wertman covered local sports for 35 years for The Journal-Register in Medina. He started this week with

ALBION – today will add coverage of local high school and community sports to our online news site. Veteran sports writer Mike Wertman will be reporting on game results, previews and other sports news.

Wertman covered sports for 35 years for The Journal-Register in Medina. He has earned many awards in his career, including an honor from the New York State Public High School Athletic Association for his coverage of girls sports. The Orleans County Chamber of Commerce gave him a “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his many years devoted to local high school athletes. The Albion Central School District named him a “Friend of Education.”

“People have asked me if I ever wanted to cover the Bills or Sabres,” Wertman said. “I tell them, ‘No, because I like working with the kids and the local coaches.’ It’s pure sports.”

Wertman will cover the games, often from the sidelines with a notebook. Many of the coaches will talk to him during the contests.

“Where else do you get that kind of access?” Wertman said. “Do you think Marv Levy would do that with the Buffalo Bills?”

Wertman’s wife Cheryl will also attend many of the games, taking pictures. She did that for The Journal and will now take photos for

Wertman is a lifetime Medina resident. He wrote a book about Medina’s High School football program from 1929 to 1980. In another book, he chronicled the exploits of the Medina MAC’s, the Medina Athletic Club’s semi-pro football team from 1946 to 1961.

Wertman said many of the current high school players are children of players he wrote about two or three decades ago. He covers many of the athletes when they are in youth sports leagues. He then watches them mature and often excel as varsity players, sometimes becoming Sectional or State champions. That is always a thrill, for the community and for him, when a team makes a big run in the playoffs.

Nothing can top a game back in 1988, Wertman said, when Albion and Medina both advanced through the playoffs in football. The teams met at Rich Stadium under the lights. Medina won a close game, 14-7.

“Mike has a reputation as a hard-working sportswriter who works well with the local coaches and athletes,” said Karen Sawicz, the publisher. “We’re happy to have him join our team.”