BY Devin Ream
Mick Lite is the creator of Arch City Sports, a blog about all sports in the St. Louis area. He covers high school, minor league, and other sports that many journalistic outlets don’t. He served 11 years in the military and took an unusual route to his current career. He has worked as the official scorer and social media manager for the River City Rascals, statistician for the Missouri Monsters arena football team, and as the team photographer and social media consultant for the St. Charles Chill.
What made you start a blog instead of working for a publication already existing?
I have loved sports my entire life. I moved around a lot, parents divorced, etc… sports was the main constant in my life. I wanted to go the journalism route but ended up joining the military instead. While in, I would write articles here and there and post them on our server. A lot of people would read them and enjoyed them. When I got out, I toyed around with it, but nothing serious. I then created a Facebook page and shared links to stories I would read. It started to build in popularity so I made my own blog and found other interested writers who wanted to get their name and opinions out there. It just keeps snowballing. It started as just covering the Cardinals, but now we try to do all the area teams, especially the minor league teams. That’s what sets us apart from everybody else, nobody really gives them consistent coverage. If all goes well, Facebook will be merging my pages (the Cardinals only one and the current one) at the end of the month, which should put my Facebook following on one single page to over 100,000.
What were the most important steps you took to get to where you are today?
Just the desire to make it grow really. A lot of people have ideas, you just have to follow through with them.
Are you working your dream job, or is that still something you are going for?
It’s all about dream jobs… I will never work a job I hate to wake up for. A long with running this site, I am also an entrepreneur with a small retail business. I had a shop for 3 years but do it online now. I also got into photography and became the team photog for a minor league baseball and hockey team…. that ties into my site because I can use my own pictures with the articles…. as well as getting into a ton of sporting events for free with my media passes. 🙂
What did you want to be when you grew up and where did you go to college?
I wanted to play baseball. I did not go to college, I served 11 years in the military. Every time I have thought about going to college, it has no worth for me in the end. I watched tons of people have problems getting their college money from the government…. gi bill, college fund, etc. I work for myself so, going to college isn’t going to get me a raise just a lot of debt. 🙂
Is it hard to balance your time with family/life and reporting?
Not at all, sometimes they go to games with me.
What has been the greatest achievement in your career so far?
I would say becoming a team photographer and beating out actual professionals who did go to school for it would be a great achievement. On the journalism side, I did an article about the GM of our local minor league team wanting to fine players for giving baseballs to kids… and it made it onto ESPN within a couple of hours.
What is the best advice you have received that can help someone get into sports journalism?
When you go to cover games, just play it cool and act like you belong there. I have found that journalists and photogs are the same…. they either help each other out or feel like you are competition. Networking is what it’s all about.