News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

April 21, 2014

Hall of Fame not end of storytelling for Andy Amey

INDIANAPOLIS — The best compliment that can be made to Terre Haute Tribune-Star sportswriter Andy Amey is oft-repeated by his subjects.

When you’re out and about in the Wabash Valley, especially at Vigo County’s high schools, student-athletes will say that a story written about them is an “Andy Amey story.” Given Amey’s 43 years of service at the publication, he’s earned that level of esteem.

On Saturday night, the Indiana Sportswriters & Sportscasters Association recognized that as it inducted Amey into the ISSA Hall of Fame.

Amey was introduced by Mark Bennett, current Tribune-Star feature writer/columnist and former sports editor. Amey spoke for 10 minutes and relayed memories of his career, his courtship of his wife of 20 years, Jenny, and the business.

“This is an amazing experience and I am awed by the company I’m keeping in this Hall of Fame,” said Amey, who said he’d written about sports as early as when he was in the second grade and joked that he “had no other skills.”.

“Sportswriting is a job that picked me, not one that I picked, but I am extremely fortunate that it’s come this far, and it’s going to go farther. What am I going to do? Stop going to games?” Amey said. “It’s as big an honor as I’ve ever had.”

Andrew Smith, the former sports editor at the Greenfield Daily Reporter and outgoing president of the ISSA, said Amey’s induction was long overdue.

“Andy Amey is someone that, if you’ve crossed paths with him on a sideline or press box, he’s a friend to every reporter and a mentor. He really embodies what this business is all about,” Smith said.

Among those who attended the event was former Indiana State sports information director Ed McKee. He gave Amey a job with the ISU Sports Information Department shortly after Amey graduated from ISU in 1971.

“Andy knew everybody on the coaching staff, the administration and all of the athletes in all of the sports. I walked in as the newly hired guy and I didn’t know anybody. He was so helpful and so eager to get started in his writing career,” said McKee, who traveled from the Washington, D.C. area for the event.

 Amey has worked for the Tribune-Star since 1971 in a part-time capacity and since 1987 in a full-time capacity. He’s covered nearly everything, but he is most identified with high school coverage, a beat that keeps you in tune to the community more so than most other sports beats do.

“It’s very important from my standpoint and their standpoint. It’s a comforting feeling [to cover high schools] because I’ve been there and I’ve lived it,” Amey said. “The people I’ve met are the best part of the job, and I’ve met a lot of nice ones. Getting to hear from them for the last few days has been the best part.”

Amey, 66, isn’t ready to retire, and while being feted isn’t his cup of tea, he was proud to be a Hall of Famer and to be recognized for his work.

“It’s kind of a pinnacle thing. I don’t know anything else that’s going to compare to it. I don’t look at it as the end of anything,” Amey said.

“I’m a little uncomfortable with the attention and adulation. … That’s just not the way I work,” Amey added. “[Northview athletic director] Charley Jackson hit it right on the nose. He said, ‘You weren’t going to tell anyone were you?’ That put it in perspective for me. I do think I do good work, but I don’t look at myself as doing something terribly hard. It’s something I enjoy so much. It’s not work.”

Joining Amey in the 2014 ISSA Hall of Fame induction class was longtime Indianapolis Star Indianapolis Colts beat writer Mike Chappell; former Bloomington Herald-Telephone writer Tracy Dodds, a women’s sportswriting pioneer who became the first female ISSA Hall of Famer; and Columbus radio host Tom Rust.

Amey is the second Tribune-Star inductee. Former sports editor Tom Reck was inducted in 2002.

 

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