Josh Weir covers sports for the Canton Repository and CantonRep.com

Local journalism needs local journalists. Every two weeks, we will spotlight the staff members of the Township Repository who serve the Stark County community. Today’s profile spotlights Josh Weir.

I am a proud native of the village of Gnadenhutten (population approximately 1200) in Tuscarawas County and a Mount Union graduate who has called Stark County home for the past 19 years. My wife is the education editor at the Repository, Kelli Weir. We have a firecracker from a 4 year old daughter who makes us laugh every day (and cry some others).

I’ve worked at the Repository since the fall of 2002 and have experienced a wide range of beats, including the Cleveland Guardians, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Canton Charge of the NBA G League. But the majority of my work over the years has focused on high school sports, which have always been the most meaningful and rewarding subject for me.

What I like most about my job

I like sports. As soon as I realized I wasn’t talented enough to play them in life, I wanted to work on them. I knew I didn’t have the patience to coach, so being the next Joe Tait or Tom Hamilton seemed fine. I phoned football and basketball games for our college radio station.

After graduating and starting to feel like I wasn’t the next Joe Tait or Tom Hamilton, I started working in the athletic department at the Repository as a part-time seasonal worker, just answering the phone and taking the scores from the boxes. It was supposed to be a temporary job until I found something else. Two decades later, I’m still here!

My favorite stories to write

I’ve always loved stories where people let me into their lives and entrust me with sensitive topics. It means something to me, and I take that responsibility seriously.

One example that comes to mind is former Jackson High School basketball star Kyle Young, who told me openly about his father’s suicide after a long battle with multiple sclerosis.

Kyle, his brother Mark and his mother Mary were all incredibly generous with their time and the information they shared. The result was a compelling story that showed how hardship and tragedy made Kyle Young the person and athlete who, days later, would lead Jackson to the 2017 state championship.

I also love stories with a historical element, like the story I did in the summer of 2017 about Stark County’s first men’s basketball state champion, the 1938 Canal Fulton team. I spent a few hours with 95-year-old Jack Lehman – at the time the last living member of the team – in his Canton Christian Home apartment. It was a team I knew little about at the time, and it was fascinating to research and listen to Jack bring the details to life.

And first-person stories can be really fun. I participated in Charge’s Open Player Trials in their first year in Guangzhou in 2011 and wrote a series of stories guiding readers through the process. To this day, readers mention this story to me more than anything I’ve ever written. Here’s the series intro, and here’s the story from the first day of tryouts.

The biggest challenge I face

Hit the fairway with my driver.

What I do when I’m not working

Most of my time off work is spent rounding up my daughter, trying to get to the gym, and talking trash to the guys in my golf league. I miss basketball, but not my lower back. Also, give me a good HBO show or a great basketball game on TV, and I’ll be pretty happy.

How to reach me

You can email me at [email protected] or contact @jweirREP on Twitter.

How to register with the Cantonal Depot

To support my work and the local journalism the Repository does, go to CantonRep.com/subscribenow.

Meet more staff members

Kelli Weir:Meet Kelli Weir, Educational Writer of The Canton Repository

Cassandra Nist:Meet Cassandra Nist, Journalist at the Canton Repository

Tim Botos:Meet Canton Repository reporter Tim Botos

Malcolm Hall:Meet longtime Canton Repository writer Malcolm Hall

Charita Goshay:Meet longtime writer Charita Goshay

Ed Balint: Meet Entertainment Writer Ed Balint

Paige Bennet:Meet Paige Bennett, Editor of the Canton Repository

Scott Hekel:Meet Canton Repository Photographer Scott Heckel

Ryan Maxin: Meet Canton Repository Intern Ryan Maxin

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