Bryan Fonseca, MLS Class of 2012, tells us about his career in Sports Media & Journalism and how his college and career decisions were inspired by MLS’s small environment.
Bryan had only been back to MLS a few times since graduating in 2012 but says it is always exciting to come back and see how things have changed over the years. “I always look for my class sign because I put my name right under the numbers strategically,” he says. Originally from Ridgewood, Bryan remembers his mile and a half walk to and from school every day quite well…”I used to walk but now I could never. I stick to public transportation for my yearly visits.”
“I remember being in the guidance office with Mrs. Younghese. She didn’t tell me to go to St. Francis, she just reinforced my thinking and said it was a great fit for me. After MLS I didn’t want to be in a college class with 200 other people. I didn’t want to get lost in the crowd. The classes at St. Francis were just like they were here with more of a community feel. You can interact with the people around you.” After graduating from St. Francis in 2016 with a Bachelor’s in Digital Media & Communications, Bryan was able to stay on the staff. “I was on the student newspaper during my undergraduate years and then gradually entered into the Athletics Department as an Assistant. Now I’m the Assistant Director of Athletic Communications. I work on media for the school, communications, and even get to travel with the Women’s Basketball Team and Track and Field. I work on athlete profiles and report on games and practices.”
As a college senior, Bryan had the opportunity to start working with the Queens Ledger, covering local sports. “I was given the freedom to do my own stories…I cover anything from MMA, to boxing, and basketball from the college to professional levels. This opportunity allows me to be creative and write stories I think the community will be interested in reading.”
In March of 2016 he started working with Backpack Broadcasting, an independent media company based out of New York City. He also works with Nets Daily covering the Nets as a Beat Reporter. “As a Beat Reporter I go to practices, games and events with players doing giveaways and charity.” Bryan also founded the “Ain’t Hard To Tell” podcast in August of 2017. “This is my baby. We broadcasted our first episode in September of 2017. We talk about sports, pop culture, entertainment, and crack jokes on the side. We’ve had some interesting guests along the way.” Some of his guests include Spencer Dinwiddie from the Brooklyn Nets, Michelle Yu from SNY, Howard Beck from Bleacher Reports, Skyzoo the Hip-Hop Artist, Ian Begley from ESPN NY, Robin Lundberg from Sports Illustrated, and Chris Shearn from YES.
Bryan always knew he wanted to go the sports writing route, even when he was a kid. “When I was at MLS I would be able to incorporate that into my assignments. Ms. Forester, my English teacher, taught me formats and writing skills that I used in college and even now. I took so many things from that class that I still use today. I had such a good relationship with her even though I ticked her off sometimes.”
Bryan looked back on his years here remembering Penn Relays as an amazing opportunity. “It was a big track and field event based out of Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania. There were high schools and colleges and even some professional runners participating. You would think it would be nerve-wracking because you’re in a huge football stadium running, but it was amazing. We got to see different cultures coming together, which as a city kid, was familiar and comforting to me. I’ve gotten to cover the event in the last few years through my work. It is so fun to go back and not have to run.”
To this day, Bryan explains that he is still taking advantage of being in small environments, and that is something he says he got from being here. “You’re encouraged to stand out and take advantage of opportunities in small environments. You’re able to branch out and stand out here. To current MLS students, I say take advantage of the surroundings here…look at them as bigger opportunities than they seem. I’ve always done that…and MLS is where that started. If I went to a bigger high school, I wouldn’t have had the same opportunities. I was able to communicate with my peers and everyone on a personal level.”
“These people are here to help…these teachers want to help you. Here they will know you and always try to help you. If you want to build the connections and have those opportunities you may not have in bigger schools, this is a great choice.
You can find Bryan at the Barclay’s Center watching games or fights, or even at local college and high school games…covering stories and behind-the-scenes action. One of Bryan’s most recent pieces features a female MMA fighter, who is a Mental Counselor on the side. “I try to do pieces that are focused around diversity and progressive thinking.”
Thank you to Bryan for taking the time to visit us here on Maspeth Avenue.
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