Nomadic journey leads to Prince Albert

In recent years, I’ve come to the conclusion that the life of a sports reporter is similar to the one shared by the long-haul truck driver.

You spend a period of time in one town, all the while traveling from place to place throughout Canada and the United States to report on events, before packing up everything you own and moving on the next locale along the way.

All of this is a bit of a roundabout way of saying, hello there; I’m the new sports reporter at the Prince Albert Daily Herald.

My name is Lucas Punkari and I’m looking forward to covering everything in the athletic scene here in the city in the months and years ahead.

Notice I said years as I plan on sticking around in one spot for some time.

I guess I should fill you in a little bit about my journey to get here, as it involves many a packed car and U-Haul truck as I travel along the nation’s highways.

Having grown up in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., I made my way to Fort Frances, Ont. to start my journalism career in 2011.

After two-and-a-half years in Northwestern Ontario, I ventured out to Airdrie, Alta., where being on the doorstep to Calgary seriously affected my budget when it came to attending a ton of rock concerts.

I spent nearly a year-and-half there before making the move to Saskatchewan in December 2014 to work at the now defunct Moose Jaw Times-Herald.

In July 2016, I made my way north to work at the Battlefords News-Optimist, which was where I was for the last two years before coming to Prince Albert Monday.

I consider myself pretty lucky and fortunate with the amount of amazing events I’ve had to chance to cover over the last eight years, which ranges from the Alberta Summer Games, Memorial Cup, Saskatchewan Winter Games and Scotties Tournament of Hearts among others.

Plus, it was cool to walk across the street in Moose Jaw to see Brayden Point play on a nightly basis with the Moose Jaw Warriors and I still can’t believe that I had a front row seat to watch the Battlefords North Stars go 12-0 in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoffs last year.

As a junior hockey junkie, which is something you’ll probably notice if you run into me around town as I’m probably the only person in the area that will be wearing Soo Greyhounds gear, I’m naturally looking forward to getting to cover the Western Hockey League again here in Prince Albert.

However, there’s a ton of events besides the main team in town that I’m looking forward to covering besides the Raiders.

With the Mintos and Bears always putting together strong squads, a vibrant high school sports scene, the Junior Men’s Softball World Championship coming here next month and the Canadian Junior Curling Championships in town next January, I’m excited to see what else is on the horizon.

Also, Prince Albert has two Kentucky Fried Chicken locations. I’m not sure why I wasn’t informed of this during the interview process, but I was sold on the city from that moment on.

At any rate, I’m excited to get things underway at the Daily Herald and looking forward to meeting many of you along the way.

Well, after I started to unpack everything in my basement apartment, but that’s another story for another day.