SANDPOINT — For the past 13 years, Eric Plummer has documented the scores, stats and achievements of young athletes in Sandpoint and Bonner County.
It was time, he said, to move on toward something “new and fresh.”
“I’ve got a couple things I’m leaning toward, and I’m excited to try something different, something new,” Plummer said. “Thirteen years — I did my tour.”
Plummer came to the Daily Bee in 2005 after living in Coeur d’Alene for about 10 years. He always wanted to come to Sandpoint, Plummer said, so when the job opened up, he jumped at the chance. Although his degree from the University of Montana was in broadcast journalism, after doing some radio in college and an internship with KXLY, he realized it wasn’t what he wanted to do at the time, he said.
What he enjoyed most about covering the local youth, Plummer said, was the games and the competition.
“I love the energy of the high school kids,” he said.
Plummer will be deeply missed, Managing Editor Caroline Lobsinger said.
“Eric has a passion for sports and dedication to the community’s athletes — of all ages and all sports — that you can’t fake,” Lobsinger said. “If it was important to the community and to the athletes, it was important to him and he would make it a point to be at that game, at that event, to capture it for the paper and, more importantly, for the athletes and their families.”
On a personal level, Lobsinger said the staff is sad to see Plummer go, but excited for him as he embarks on his new adventures.
“We will always consider Eric part of the Bee family and will miss seeing him around the office, lending a helping hand and being a key part of the team,” she added.
That kind of dedication and commitment leave big shoes to fill, but Lobsinger said the Daily Bee’s new sports editor Kyle Cajero is up to the challenge.
Cajero graduated with a degree in creative writing from Pepperdine University in April, where he worked as sports editor for the school paper. He also served as a writer and editor for the sports blogging network SB Nation.
“I’ve always gravitated toward writing,” Cajero said.
Cajero grew up in Tucson, Arizona, where some “awesome” English teachers inspired him to become a writer. Having been born and raised in a college town where the University of Arizona Wildcats are “your team,” Cajero said he has always been involved in sports as well. With the Wildcats serving as inspiration, he played basketball from kindergarten until ninth grade, when he decided to try out cross country running.
He quickly became a distance runner and ultimately left Arizona on cross country and track scholarship to Pepperdine, where he competed for two years. Just as he began to lose some of the thrill he got from running, he was asked by a teammate, who was also the sports editor for the college paper, to write some columns about Pepperdine basketball.
“From there my love of it really grew,” Cajero said. “I found that when I am talking to athletes or coaches, or I am working on deadline, I feel energized … I feel that same fulfillment that I got when I ran and I competed.”
Cajero said he believes covering the local high schools will be a fulfilling experience, and hopes it will be as fulfilling for those he works with in the community as well.
““I feel like I am really going to fall in love with this place,” he said.
Lobsinger said the Bee is excited to welcome Cajero and knows he will continue the tradition of excellence set by Plummer.
“We can’t wait for the community to meet Kyle and get to know him,” she said. “We know they’re going to love him and enjoy reading his work.”