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Amber Salas ('17) — from Lion Report to SDSU Sideline Report

Class of 2017's Amber Salas knew she wanted to be a sports reporter even before she officially became a Lion. As an 8th grader at Our Lady of Fatima in San Clemente, she visited JSerra and got to do a mock newscast in the Lion Report Room. Instantly, she knew she was hooked.

Always the go-getter, Salas emailed the school to inquire whether she could take the Introduction to Sports Broadcasting class as an elective her freshman year. The answer was yes.

"I was a part of the Lion Report my sophomore year through senior year, and the experience was invaluable," said Salas. "I learned how to be on camera, how to have poise, confidence, a reporter's voice and fluctuation, when to smile and when to not. I now have the confidence to do any job in broadcast journalism — whether it's editing, creating a package, being behind the scenes, or producing. The Lion Report gave me the confidence to do any job, and that makes me versatile in the industry."

Now as a junior at San Diego State, Salas has taken all the steps necessary to continue reaching every milestone with sports reporting; in fact, she has already reached her first major milestone when she was recently hired to be a sports reporter for the Daily Aztec, the university's news TV show and newspaper. She also writes game recaps for the paper and reports from the sideline at different sports events for SDSU.

Salas explained, "Getting onto the Daily Aztec is definitely competitive. I tried for two years but I knew I had to get ready for the right opportunity, and when it showed up, I was ready."

This past summer Salas attended a weeklong broadcast bootcamp held by one of her professors. She learned how to quickly jump on a reporting opportunity.

"Back in the day you had to have a full-blown camera set up with all the right tools, but now we're so lucky to have phones that can record right away, which lets you go for whatever you can find,"

Soon after Salas learned that her favorite hockey team, the Ducks, were having a development camp that was open to the public. She decided to use her newfound skills when she came across Ducks player Troy Terry, who was out owing to an injury. She introduced herself, explaining that she was a journalist and a student; he agreed to an interview on the spot.

Salas went back to the Daily Aztec with the film and approached the head of the sports section, whom she had networked with previously. He had recognized her talent and tenacity, and asked her to stop by at the beginning of the school year. Salas showed him her footage and she was promptly asked to join the sports team.

Her first assignment for the Daily Aztec was covering a women's soccer game. She looked up stats and studied key players, which allowed her to easily execute a pre-game standup (a video about what to expect in the game). After the game, she interviewed the coach and players, and quickly wrote a game recap that was printed in the next issue of the paper.

Since joining the Daily Aztec, Salas has also covered men's soccer games and was most recently assigned to do hockey. She has hosted the sports segment of the TV show a few times but primarily enjoys being a sideline reporter, catching all the action live.

"I came into college so prepared prepared without a doubt from all the classes I'd taken at JSerra," said Salas. "It was at JSerra that I learned to be a strong writer and manage my time."

Aside from Lion Report, Salas was also a part of the Arts Magnet Program, Cheer Team, Link Crew, National Honor Society, and Caritas Christi.

Salas plans to graduate in 2021 with a major in Journalism and hopes to get a job as a sideline reporter or working in the sports department of a news station.

Salas interviewing fellow alumnus Blake Reed ('19).