Jim Schiltz joined The Gazette team right after graduating from college in 1985. Two years later, he started as the “high school sports guy,” a position he’s held ever since.
While Schiltz has covered some college events, amateur sports and even the Empire State Games during his 34-year career, his primary focus has always been high school sports “ … from field hockey and volleyball to football and baseball, and everything in between,” he says.
He writes game stories, feature articles and a weekly “numbers” piece that highlights Section II athletes. In particular, he enjoys “writing about sports that aren’t among the big three — football, baseball and basketball — and giving those student-athletes the recognition they have earned.” He says he gets a “big kick” out of covering sports programs that struggle for a number of years, then reemerge with great success, for example, “ … the Bishop Gibbons football program that is now flourishing as Holy Trinity.”
Schiltz explains why he’s stayed with The Gazette for so long.
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“I enjoy working with student-athletes and hearing their stories, and of course, covering their games. It makes me feel good when I can write about someone and make them feel good. … Make their day, so to speak. … I really like the people I [currently] work with and have worked with in the past here at The Gazette.”
While those may be his main reasons, there’s a practical one as well: “I also have to pay the bills.”
Schiltz says he has “so many fond memories” of colleagues, individual athletes and sports programs from his time with The Gazette thus far. In particular, he’s eternally grateful for his first supervisor, Butch Walker, who hired him right out of college, and for Rick Stellrecht, whom Schiltz says was “a great influence.”
Among the most memorable events, athletes and teams he’s covered? “Schenectady’s state basketball championships in 1998 and 2001,” and “Joseph Girard III of Glens Falls” are the first that come to mind. In particular, Schiltz says that following Girard, the state’s career scoring leader, “was an absolute joy over the past few years.”