Dear Sports Editor,
As someone who used to hold the position you are sitting in, I know your job just got tougher yesterday with the loss of Steve Michaels.
It didn’t matter what the sporting event that was going on, Steve was there with his camera.
For more than 40 years, he was on the sidelines, always smiling, always ready to take the picture of a young boy or girl doing their best on the field of play. He took the picture of me hitting my only homer of my life in Pee-Wee baseball and every team picture of every team I had ever played on.
It didn’t matter what or when I called, if I was asking Steve to take a picture of a Tyrone or Bellwood athlete, he was there.
In 1999, when the Golden Eagles won the State Championship, Steve was in the endzone taking the photo of the team celebrating with the Gold Ball. When Tyrone won its only District Basketball championship, Steve took the pictures of the net being cut down at St. Francis College.
When I was president of the Tyrone YMCA, Steve took the photos of the youth basketball teams, gymnastics teams and any other event that took place at the YMCA. He didn’t take the photos to get rich, because he barely charged what the supplies cost him, he did it because he truly believed in the youth of Tyrone.
I graduated with his oldest daughter Leslie, and when her oldest son Devin was old enough to look through the lens of a camera, Steve had him on the sidelines of Tyrone football games, taking pictures.
There are many things in Tyrone that people take for granted. The fact that the community of just over 5,000, has a daily newspaper, a local radio station and people like Steve Michaels who took photos of their children for as long as you can remember.
Steve always had my thanks for making my job easier when I was the Sports Editor of the Herald and always will.
My prayers go to Mary, Leslie, Lori and Heather. God Bless Steve Michaels and thanks Steve for all of the photos you took of all my teams that I played on and coached and being there for every great moment in Tyrone athletics.