My name is Matthew Narvaiz, and I’m the new guy at the Valencia County News-Bulletin.

I’ll be covering the village of Los Lunas, town of Peralta, Los Lunas Schools and the School of Dreams Academy for the newspaper.

You know, journalism has always been an industry I’ve wanted to work in. Some kids change what they want to become as they get older, but for me, it was always journalism in some capacity.

Matthew Narvaiz

As a young boy growing up in the South Valley, I had aspirations of becoming the next national reporter on ESPN. But as time went on, I began to realize that going live on television wasn’t really my thing.

But I still knew I wanted to become a journalist –– I just had to find my niche. So in my senior year of high school, I interned at ESPN Radio 101.7 The Team for Bob Brown, who used to host the local afternoon show, “The Locker Room with Bob Brown.”

While interning at ESPN Radio, I was able to learn a ton of new things, such as writing scripts, controlling the sound board and answering phone calls from people in the community who wanted to talk sports. I again realized that this job wasn’t for me.

I wanted the hard news.

Now that I’m here in this position, it strikes me as somewhat of a coincidence that I’ve gotten into the realm of writing. Growing up, I was an avid reader of Sports Illustrated, ESPN The Magazine (RIP) and Grantland (RIP). I still have stacks of magazines in my bedroom, and occasionally I’ll pick one up for inspiration.

I would always read the Albuquerque Journal, too, and was heavily influenced by local sports writers like Rick Wright and Ken Sickenger, who are now technically my teammates. It amazes me how these writers could piece together a story so well that it makes you feel like you were right there in the thick of the action. I wanted to report in that same manner.

And so came the idea of joining the student newspaper at UNM my freshman year of college. I was hired by David Lynch, the former editor-in-chief and news editor of the Daily Lobo, with no knowledge in how to piece together a story for news.

I remember him asking me if I knew what a “lede” was or how to write in AP style. I knew nothing. He still gave me a shot. From there, I covered sports at the Lobo for around four years, and was able to cover the biggest beats, such as football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball.

I worked alongside Cameron Goeldner, the sports reporter at the VCNB, at the student newspaper, too, and we even covered the Mountain West Tournament in Las Vegas two different times.

But I got my first real shot outside of my student newspaper when I went to go work for the Taos News in September 2019. Finally finding a breakthrough in this cutthroat industry, without a doubt, was one of the most accomplishing moments in my 23 years.

At the Taos News, I started off by covering sports ­— something I was comfortable doing — but quickly shifted to education coverage during this pandemic.

At first, working on the news desk was tough, as there were new things I had to learn. But as time had gone on, and news writing became just as familiar as covering sports, I realized that this was something I was more than capable of doing — and it was something that brought me joy.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love covering sports and hopefully here at the News-Bulletin I’ll have the chance to cover some high school games, but I’m excited for the new challenge ahead. I am not the type of person to back down from anything, not even cancer.

Yes, cancer. In the spring semester of my senior year of high school I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and battled the disease for half a year before I was officially declared in remission. It was one of the toughest — if not, the toughest — challenge in my life. I beat it because I knew it wasn’t my last challenge during my time here on this earth.

A quote that has stuck with me for quite some time comes from someone I truly admire, Stuart Scott, a former SportsCenter host. He said at the ESPYs some years back: “When you die, it does not mean you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and in the manner in which you live.”

While fortunately my time hasn’t come just yet, everyday I’m proving why I was able to beat this disease — by how I live, why I live and in the manner in which I live.

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