As Ozzy Osbourne’s “Centre of Eternity” blasted through a high school gym in South Plainfield, N.J., Troy Heilmann stood in the darkness.
When the PA announcer began to read his name, Heilmann emerged. He walked into the Eye of the Tiger — a spotlight trained on the middle of the wrestling mat — as the crowd banged on the metal bleachers, again and again.
Five years later, Heilmann described this scene to The Daily Tar Heel. And in a story chronicling his wrestling career, from New Jersey to Chapel Hill, that’s what stuck with me: the music, the atmosphere, the superfan known as ‘The Tuna,’ who had been banging on those bleachers for almost 30 years.
As sports editor last year, my favorite job by far was helping my writers put together feature stories like this one. It was always a three-week process, full of interviews and transcribing and editing, but it always ended in the same way: an in-depth look at the life of a UNC athlete, and something the writer was always proud of.
Here at the DTH, we have the unique opportunity to feature athletes from every varsity sports team. That’s what we’ve done for years, and will continue to do.