GRAND ISLAND – When Lance Kush heads off to college next year, he will combine his two favorite things for a career.
Sports, especially tennis and golf, and writing down his opinions have been a part of his life for as long as he can remember. So next year, probably at either Hastings College or the University of Nebraska at Kearney, he will study mass communication and journalism, with an emphasis in sports.
Although the almost-18-year-old started playing tennis in about kndergarten and he has been No. 2 singles state tennis runner-up for two years in a row, Kush said professional tennis is not his goal.
“I never really wanted to be a professional athlete,” he said. “For some reason, it was always the reporting that I liked.”
Kush laughed as he described playing video games as a young kid when he would turn the sound down on the fake announcers and make up his own commentary.
“I’ve always come up with something,” he said. “I like seeing the different sides and like to analyze things.”
Kush is already getting experience toward his major. He has been on The Islander newspaper staff for three years. He started out as a reporter, then transitioned into a columnist.
This year Kush is one of the editors-in-chief at the school newspaper.
He has always specialized in sports during his years on the newspaper staff.
As a sophomore, Kush also won a state high school journalism competition for sports news writing.
He explained that the students were given a scenario ” his was about a girls track meet ” and then given quotes from key people. They were expected to turn out a story in an hour.
“We had to mesh it all together and make it a story,” he said.
Although Kush has done other types of writing, his favorite is writing about sports.
“I really like sports a lot. It’s my passion,” he said.
Kush said he started playing tennis when his mother would play. He became fascinated by the sport and practiced at home.
“I would just hit a ball against the garage wall, for hours actually,” he said with a laugh.
Now, during tennis season and the summer, Kush plays tennis nearly every day.
“I knew that would help me get better,” he said. “I plan on playing in college.”
To help both himself and the younger members of the tennis team, Kush went nearly every day to the tennis courts with the freshmen to play tennis.
“They wanted to play a lot,” Kush said, adding that although he saw improvement in the freshman players, the play also helped his game.
Kush said he hoped it would help out the Islanders tennis team, which lost a lot of its senior players before last year’s season.
“I knew we had some young talent coming up,” he said. “I saw a lot of improvement.”
Kush said his “dream job” would be a sports anchor for ESPN SportsCenter.
However, as much as he enjoys playing tennis, he believes he would enjoy announcing something with more action, such as football.
“Football would be the most fun, I think,” Kush said. “But I have the most experience in tennis and golf, so maybe I’d be the best at that.”
He said he has always wanted to do something for a living that he could enjoy.
“It’s what I like to do,” Kush said of sports reporting. “I don’t want to go into something for the money.”
Newspaper adviser Judy Lorenzen said she believes Kush could make it as a sports announcer ” or anything else he put his mind to.
“He is a superb writer with tremendous talent,” she said, adding that she believed his talent was not limited to sports writing.
“He is an extremely gifted kid in all areas,” Lorenzen said. “He is a talented writer, talented singer, guitar player and, of course, tennis.”
Besides tennis and newspaper, Kush is involved with golf, playing guitar in show band, is treasurer of the National Honor Society and a member Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
The Grand Island Senior High senior is the son of Greg and Dayna Kush. His dad is a math teacher at GISH and his mother is a day care provider. He has two sisters, Tiara, 19, and Carlye, 14.
His hobbies include bow hunting, especially deer and turkey, and playing guitar and posting videos of himself playing covers of his favorite songs on YouTube.