TROY — Like many kids growing up, Luke Severt dreamed of one day getting paid to be in the world of professional sports.
It’s how the 2019 Troy High School graduate is going about chasing that dream that differs from many of his former classmates, however.
“When I was in the fifth grade, they asked us all as part of a graduation from elementary school yearbook thing what our dream job was,” Severt said. “All of my friends said they wanted to be a professional athlete of some sort and I said that I wanted to be a writer for Sports Illustrated.”
This fall, Severt will begin his college career at the University of Missouri, where he plans to study in the school’s prestigious journalism program with an eye on one day becoming a sportswriter. Severt recently was named the Press Pros Magazine 2019 Hal McCoy Scholarship winner.
The award is named after National Baseball Hall of Fame writer Hal McCoy, who has covered the Cincinnati Reds for the Dayton Daily News since 1973. For the past decade, Press Pros, a website that covers local and regional sports, has given out the award to an area high school graduate who wants to study journalism in college.
McCoy has the final say in who receives the award and said this year Severt was the easy choice.
“There were several applications, and when I read his, there was no doubt this was the guy,” said McCoy, who presented Severt with the award Wednesday, July 17 at Troy High School. “He reminded me of myself back when I was in high school. Everything that he said brought it back to pretty much the way it happened for me.
“Meeting him today, he’s just an absolutely wonderful kid. He’ll do well at Missouri because he’s gung ho, he’s polite and he’s very intelligent. I could tell by his application that he was something special,” McCoy said.
Severt said that while he was honored to receive the scholarship, one of the best parts was meeting McCoy, whom he has read religiously growing up.
“Honestly, when I walked in and saw Hal, he’s been one of my idols, it really hit me that I got this award,” Severt said. “It means so much. Obviously, the money will help for college, but it means more than that to me to meet one of my heroes and be recognized for all the hard work I’ve put in and all the teachers and advisers who have helped me along the way.”
Severt already has a head start on his sports writing career. In addition to working for the Trojan Tempo, Troy High School’s student newspaper, he also wrote for the Miami Valley Today, his hometown newspaper.
“(Trojan Tempo adviser Jeff Owen), who has been one of the greatest helps to me, asked if I wanted to cover a basketball game for the paper, and so I did that. I really enjoyed it, and from that first game, I knew it was something I wanted to get back into. From there, I had a great opportunity with Miami Valley Today, and so I did that for well over a year. Ever since then, I have had such great opportunities and memories in sports writing and I hope they continue.”
Throughout his high school career, in addition to sports writing, Severt also continued his own athletic career, playing for the Troy High School baseball team for four years. Even then, though, his future career never seemed too far out of his mind.
“During baseball games, he’d spend more time watching what I was going than he did watching the game,” Press Pros founder and managing editor Sonny Fulks said with a laugh.