Yorks assumes duty as sports editor
By ROBERT PIERCE
• Daily Leader
Shawn Yorks got his start in sports writing in the early 1990s in the Florida Panhandle, and after making a few other stops, he has made his way to Liberal.
Yorks started Monday as the sports editor for the Daily Leader, and he said he became interested in writing about sports early on in his career.
“A buddy of mine from high school was working for a paper about 30 miles away,” he said. “I had worked at another paper nearby, and he asked if I’d be interested in going over there. I was, and I ended up being there about four-and-a-half years.”
Prior to working at that paper, Yorks worked as a photographer at a weekly in Florida, and following his nearly five-year stint at the other Sunshine State newspaper, he moved to Texas to be closer to his family.
“I’d been in the Texas and Oklahoma area since the late ’90s,” he said. “This is my first time working in the State of Kansas.”
Yorks most recently worked for the Guymon Daily Herald in many capacities, including managing editor, sports editor and news writer. So far, he has liked his time in Kansas.
“You always had to come to Liberal if you wanted to have decent shopping,” he said of his time in Guymon. “For ball games, every now and then for basketball and football in the last couple years, you had to come up here. I like it. When they approached me about the job, I was intrigued. I thought about it, and I thought that Liberal would be a good place to be.”
When asked what he enjoys most about sports writing, Yorks said photography, which he considers his pride and joy.
“I’m sort of a shoot first and ask questions later guy,” he said. “I got my start as a photographer. When I go to cover a ball game, I enjoy shooting the photos.”
Yorks said he also enjoys getting to know coaches and athletes.
“I had that kind of relationship in Guymon to where you kind of get to know the athlete,” he said. “It’s a smaller town. You see them around. I like to talk to them after games and get their perspective on things.”
Yorks said many news outlets will only interview coaches after a game. He said he likewise does this, but he wants to get to know those playing the game as well.
“Being in Guymon, I’ve covered games where Liberal has played, and there’s some top-notch athletes out there,” he said.
In addition to those aspects of the job, Yorks also enjoys the creativity Leader Publisher Earl Watt allows in page design.
“I like that part about it,” he said. “I had that in Guymon, too. It was pretty much I was a one-man show, and they let me do pretty much what I wanted. I think the work that I was doing there was what caught Earl’s attention. That’s why when he was going to add a sports editor here, that’s why he asked me. Hopefully, I won’t let him down.”
“I’m excited to have Shawn join our team. I love sports, and I know Shawn shares the same enthusiasm for covering the games as I do,” Watt said. “Shawn will be a great fit for Liberal.
“At the Leader, we try to recruit the best talent in the region to provide the news. Shawn is not only a talented writer but a strong photographer, as well. While our expectations are high, I believe Shawn will live up to every one of them and will entertain our community by telling the story of our athletes in the best way possible,” Watt added.