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Meet David Troppens

Times’ sports editor evolves from pro sports fan to champion of high school sports

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Posted: Thursday, August 24, 2017 3:28 pm

 David Troppens, sports editor for the Times for the past 15 years, has become a local sports legend in his own right.

 He has stacked up more awards for his sports writing than many athletes have trophies, yet that doesn’t mean nearly as much to him as the success of the young athletes he covers.

 At age 48, Troppens has seen the thrill of many victories out on the high school field, and has also experienced the depths of defeat. “Their story becomes part of my story, too,” said Troppens.

 Troppens grew up playing backyard sports like baseball, kickball and dodge ball, with a competitive twin brother, younger brother and a sister. “Our whole family is competitive,” he said.

 Meanwhile, he was following pro sports teams all the time, especially the Detroit Tigers, then the Lions and the Pistons. “I always had a transistor in my ear,” said Troppens.

 He knew from a very young age that he wanted to become a sports reporter, asking his teacher for a chance to put out a school newspaper in the fourth grade — with him writing the sports section. He also worked on the school newspaper in high school, choosing to write about sports more than play them.

 Troppens’ passion for sports writing guided him toward the well-respected journalism program at Central Michigan University, after graduating from Utica High School in 1987.

 His first job out of college was at the Albion Recorder, where he not only covered sports in a one-man department, but also read to kids in a mentoring program at Albion schools. He also ran a junior girls softball league. “I coached, too,” said Troppens.

 His greatest memory at Albion was covering the Albion College football team’s journey to an NCAA Division 3 National Championship all around the Midwest. “I went to all of them,” said Troppens.

 After 4½ years at Albion, he earned a Lifetime Achievement Award, from the community for his coaching and mentoring work, then decided to move on for better career opportunities. Reporting jobs in Marshall, then Morris, Illinois, paved the way for a job closer to home at The Daily Press & Argus, where he mostly covered professional sports.

 Meanwhile, a romance developed with a young reporter, Anna, whom he had hired in Marshall. The job at the Daily Press & Argus brought them closer to Anna’s family in Argentine Township. The couple recently celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary.

 A job opened up at the Times and Troppens was glad to have an opportunity to exclusively cover local sports teams. “That’s my main beat,” he said. “The cool thing is, you get to watch a handful of schools, seeing kids grow up and sports programs develop. It’s fun; it’s way different than pro sports.”

 Troppens enjoys watching teams that aren’t expected to win surprise everyone. “Like the Fenton girls soccer team, when they made it to state finals. You become a fan.”

 He says he still brings up the 2004 Linden baseball, a team that played just above .500 baseball during the regular season only to eventually end up in the state championship game.

 “I still see the coaches and bring it up. It’s fun to see these things happen,” said Troppens. “This year, it was the Holly varsity softball team that has struggled for decades, and won a league title.”

 High school sports are Troppens’ life now. “I can see myself going to the high school games when I’m older, just for the fun of it,” he said.

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