ARCO: Facing adversity

Sam+Arco+and+Tyler+Peters+broadcast+Marquette+mens+basketball+teams+first+round+in+March+Madness.+Photo+courtesy+of+Sam+Arco.

Sam Arco and Tyler Peters broadcast Marquette men’s basketball team’s first round in March Madness. Photo courtesy of Sam Arco.

Growing up, I always knew one day I would be able to call Marquette home.  

As a kid who lived for Marquette basketball, attending several summer basketball camps, going to home games at the Bradley Center and even sneaking into the P.E. office to watch the team compete in March Madness during elementary school, I was hooked.  

With my father, Paul Arco, being a fellow 1989 alum of Marquette University, everyone thought my obsession with the school was forced. But it never was, and we both knew that. 

So, when I arrived at Marquette, I thought my dream had finally come true.  

In the summer of 2018 before my first year on campus, I worked two summer basketball camps as a coach, trying to earn my way through the door into a job with the basketball program.  

After a great summer and the first couple of months with the team, the decision came on who to keep, and I was the last one cut, I was devastated.  

I remember calling my dad immediately after, walking back to my dorm with tears coming down my face. I had never been in this position before, but I knew I would have to get used to it down the road.  

For the remainder of my first year on campus, I used my time to just settle in with school and spend time meeting new people, all while wondering what my next calling would be.  

As the co-editor of my high school’s newspaper and because I was heavily involved with broadcast and the yearbook, I came into Marquette declaring to major in journalism.  

I had heard of the Marquette Wire through a friend in Matt Yeazel, who I met during SPARK, and decided to wait until sophomore year to give it a try. I applied to become a sports reporter, hoping that this will be my next path at Marquette. After interviewing for the position, I’m told due to an unexpected amount of returning seniors to the sports desk that there are no openings, but I could serve as an unpaid freelancer.  

I accept, starting my career at the Wire covering a couple of women’s soccer games, but nothing else.  

A few months pass by, and I’m told more applications are available, so I apply again, hoping to finally move up in the totem pole. To my dismay, I’m told yet again that I will not be receiving the position, but there will continue to be freelance opportunities for me. 

“Why does this continue to keep happening to me?” I thought to myself. I had placed third in the state in sports writing in high school and I couldn’t get a job doing what I love. I was ready to be done and give it up, it just wasn’t meant to be for some reason. 

February of 2020 approaches and I get a text from former executive sports editor Zoe Comerford saying I should apply once again for the position for spring sports.  

I’m thinking to myself, “at this point, this is just a sick joke if I don’t get it this time.”  

I text my friend Aimee Galaszewski, “third times the charm, right?” 

I receive the position, relieved that my dedication had finally paid off. Although I would only have the position for about a month before COVID-19 would stop me from getting to know my colleagues, it was a step in the right direction.  

As a junior, I returned to the sports desk, covering several sports throughout the year. Although hectic at times, I learned a lot and started to become closer with those that I would soon call best friends.  

Now, as a senior and a current assistant sports editor, I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given through the Wire. Covering the Marquette men’s basketball team and attending the NCAA Tournament in Fort Worth, Texas, this past year was an experience I will never forget.  

To John Leuzzi, thank you for believing in me, I know the sports desk will continue to be in safe hands. 

As my time at Marquette comes to an end, I’ve learned that not everything is given and that if you truly want something, then go for it. Don’t be afraid to fail, because you’ll never know where you’ll end up one day.  

This story was written by Sam Arco. He can be reached at samuel.arco@marquette.edu