Let me introduce myself.

I’m Jason Peake, and I’m the new sports reporter here at the Washington Missourian.

I’ve just moved to town, so I’m still finding my way around new surroundings. But I’m definitely excited to be here, and I can’t wait to get started.

I’m sure I’ll be getting to know a lot of new people, so I thought I’d share a little bit about myself.

I’m originally from west-central Illinois (Peoria-Galesburg area), and I graduated from Western Illinois University with a degree in journalism.

I’ve had a passion for sports as long as I can remember. I’ve been a lifelong fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Bulls.

I grew up toward the end of the Ozzie Smith era, and have loved the Cards since I was a little guy trying to emulate the Wizard’s diving stops up the middle. From Mark McGwire to Woody Williams to Scott Rolen, I’ve followed the Cards closely for years and years.

As far as hoops, I grew up during Michael Jordan’s greatest years with the Bulls. Those were great years to be a hoops fan in Illinois. That’s probably why my favorite sport is basketball.

Speaking of Illinois, my favorite college team is definitely the Fighting Illini. And just for the record, I believe we currently have the bragging rights against Mizzou. Not that I don’t have friends from Mizzou, though. Growing up I hated Indiana and Iowa more than any other opponent.

I’ve had some good memories of the St. Louis Rams, as well. During my college years in Macomb, Ill., the Rams were holding their summer training camp at WIU.

Back to me.

I’ve spent the last seven and a half years as a one-man show sports editor at daily newspapers, mostly in southeast Kansas — Parsons and Chanute. I wasn’t too far from Joplin.

I enjoy covering all sports, especially basketball and baseball. And of course, nothing beats Friday night football. I’ve also gained a big appreciation for sports like wrestling and track and field.

While it may take me awhile to get familiar with names and faces, I’m sure I’ll pick up everything quickly, especially with the help and tutelage of longtime sports editor Bill Battle.

I’m glad to be here, and excited to get started. I’ll strive to provide you, the reader, with stellar local sports coverage — day after day, week after week, and month after month.

Feel free to email me at peakej@emissourian.com or call 636-390-3042.

I’ll see you at the games.