Growing up, Kyle Emerson was always surrounded by sports. His mother, former University of Maine field hockey coach Sandra Emerson, would drag him along to practices. He was always the little kid that was hanging out during her practices, playing around with field hockey sticks that were twice his size.
This interest in sports continued when his mother signed him up for baseball when he was five years old, marking the beginning of his baseball career that continues today. Emerson, a Dexter, Maine native, has played baseball for 15 years and continues to play now for intramural teams at UMaine.
“The earliest memory I have of sports is being dragged to my local rec center for youth little league practices. I would kick and scream, cry and just not want to be there. I wanted nothing to do with it,” Emerson said.
His mother’s early interest in his development as an athlete fueled his love for sports. Emerson played soccer, baseball, basketball and golf in middle and high school. But a series of collarbone injuries and a tibia fracture halted his competitive career. Now he continues to play intramural floor hockey and baseball.
His injuries may have sidelined his competitive career, but he found a passion for sports that he wants to be a part of his life forever. He now works as the SID, or sports information director, for the women’s ice hockey, mens and women’s swim and dive, men’s and women’s track and field and men’s and women’s cross country teams.
Coming into his first year on campus, Emerson qualified for a work-study scholarship, and needed to find a job on campus. The athletic department was hiring camera operators and student spotters to help take stats for games. Emerson took the job and began filming hockey games. He was able to pick up the rules of hockey very quickly and understood the statistics. The former women’s hockey SID recently left UMaine and the position with the team opened up. Emerson took the opportunity and now holds the SID position, crediting his love and understanding of statistics for his ability to work well in this position.
“Growing up, I was always into the stats. I wanted to make the least amount of errors possible and play defense … You can’t argue the stats,” Emerson said. “I always knew what my batting average was. I always knew what my on-base percentage was and what all of these different numbers [were] for me. You can’t argue with stats. If a player hits 50 home runs, they hit 50 home runs. You can’t take that away from them.”
During his first year, Emerson was a marine science student, but made the swift decision to change. He found that science and math were not what he wanted to spend his time doing. Emerson is now a fourth-year journalism student. His supervisor in the athletic department recommended the major in journalism because it was the most directly applicable to what he wanted to do: communication and personal relations in athletics.
Emerson hopes to continue his career as SID after college and dreams of working for a professional sports organization in the future. He will continue to follow his favorite sports teams, the Green Bay Packers and the Colorado Rockies, no matter where he goes.