Where are they now?: Former Left Hand Valley Courier writer Jordyn Ballard


February 8, 2023

Photo courtesy of Jordyn Ballard

Former Left Hand Valley Courier writer Jordyn Ballard.

Jordyn Ballard has come a long way since interning with the Left Hand Valley Courier during her senior year at Silver Creek High School eight years ago.

Following a memorable three-plus year run working in the athletics communications department at West Texas A&M University, Ballard accepted the position of Associate Director of Athletic Communications at Kansas State University in December. She moved to Manhattan, Kansas, in January and is currently preparing for the Wildcats' upcoming spring baseball season.

"I never even thought about going somewhere else just because of how much I loved WT," Ballard said. "It would have to be the right school, the right location and the right sports. I was like, 'Kansas? I have family that's close, I know the area and it's a Power Five, so obviously I want to take a look at that.'"

A friend at Kansas State told Ballard the associate director position would soon be open and although she wasn't looking to leave West Texas A&M, advancing her career at a prominent Division I school became an opportunity too valuable to pass up.

In addition to overseeing K-State baseball media, she will also do the same for women's volleyball. Her biggest project leading up to the Wildcats' first baseball game on Feb. 17 is to make sure the team's media guide is ready.

Ballard's beginnings in sports media started with her senior capstone project for the Silver Creek Leadership Academy. Instead of a more traditional project, Ballard opted to undertake a newspaper internship where she covered high school sports for both the Left Hand Valley Courier and BoCo Preps (part of the Boulder Daily Camera/Longmont Times-Call).

Her connection to the Courier came through her mother, Megan Roth Matthews, and her stepfather, Bobby Matthews, Niwot High School's head softball/wrestling coach, who put her in contact with the Courier's editor, Bruce (Biff) Warren, and soon she joined the staff.

"It was a great experience getting me started in sports, just growing a passion there," Ballard said. "English was my favorite subject growing up, but then (I learned) that writing for press releases and sports is way different than writing an English paper or writing novels. Adapting to that side was a huge help, which is what Biff taught me."

Ballard's mother played competitive softball under Warren in an era before it was offered in St. Vrain Valley schools. Her grandfather, Dennis Roth, was one of the founders of what is now Niwot Youth Sports (NYS), and served as a softball coach as well as director of the NYS basketball program for several years. Growing up in a family that cherished sports and being a softball player herself, Ballard knew she had to somehow incorporate sports into her career.

"Picturing my life without sports in it was super hard...I honestly have no idea what I would want to do outside of sports, and I still have no idea what I would do."

After graduating from Silver Creek in 2015, she began her college softball career at Kansas Wesleyan University, an NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) school. There, she continued building her sports media resume by writing for the student newspaper and working as a video broadcaster for the athletics department. She transferred to Black Hills State University in South Dakota mid-year, and joined the school's sports information department. Ballard enjoyed the experience so much she agreed to forgo her final softball season to become a graduate assistant.

In 2019, she moved to West Texas A&M as a graduate assistant before later becoming an Assistant Director of Athletic Communications.

"I loved it there," Ballard said. "It's a great place to be (with) extremely successful programs. I got to be a part of three national championship titles just in 18 months."

Moments like those, she said, make the profession all the more gratifying.

"The hours are long, and the work sometimes sucks, and sometimes it's super frustrating but in the end, it's so rewarding," Ballard said. "I absolutely love watching my athletes compete. It makes me so happy."


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