Cowley '94 grad finds success as sports writer
Kary Booher, a 1994 graduate of Cowley College, has gone from writing for the Cowley Press to covering the World Series win of the St. Louis Cardinals in last year’s Major League Baseball World Series.
Perfecting his craft as a writer while at Cowley College, Booher went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Oklahoma State University in1997. While at Oklahoma State, Booher served as the sports editor of the Daily O’Collegian student newspaper.
After graduation, he went on to work at the Topeka Capital-Journal, The Morning Sun in Pittsburg and The Jackson Sun in Jackson, Tenn.
He currently is a beat writer for the St. Louis Cardinals’ Double-A affiliate, Springfield Cardinals, for The Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader. He earned an opportunity to cover the Major League club when they advanced to the 2006 World Series.
“I had clubhouse access and was right there in the champagne celebration, then was interviewing manager Tony La Russa in his office when the World Series trophy was brought in and placed on his desk,” Booher said.
Booher has spent five of the past six years, including the last three in Springfield, Mo., covering Double- A baseball. In covering Double-A baseball, he has the advantage of knowing some of the inner-workings of the organization from the low minors to the major leagues. It also helps that the Springfield Cardinals play in a beautiful $32 million stadium.
“It’s definitely an exciting time,” Booher said. “The St. Louis Cardinals own the team, and their front office, I must say, is first class.” He has wonderful memories of his time at Cowley, specially having had the opportunity to learn from former Public Relations Director/Cowley Press advisor Stu Osterthun.
While working as the sports editor at the Cowley Press, Booher recalls a turning point in his career as a writer. During his freshman year at Cowley, Booher attended the Kansas College Newspaper awards banquet in Wichita, where he failed to garner an award.
Booher remembered riding in the back of the van on the way home, thinking he had a long way to go in the business of sports writing. However, Osterthun helped him regain faith in his writing abilities.
“A few days later, Stu pulled me aside one afternoon there in the Cowley basement, where we had our classes, and told me that he believed in me and that he thought I could have success if I worked at it,” Booher said. “It was just what I needed to hear, and I have to say that pep talk set up a lot of things for me in my career. I’ve had some ups and downs along the way, made mistakes, but that pep talk got the ball rolling, so to speak.”
Booher believes he owes a lot to Cowley and the mentoring he received from Osterthun.
“It is difficult not to become emotional about Cowley and the mentoring I received from Stu,” Booher said. “The College and Stu provided a foundation for my career, and for that I will always be grateful.”
Booher’s mother, Barbara, and sister, Sharon, graduated from Cowley in 1991. His younger sister, Jennifer, graduated from Cowley in 1997. His father, Kent, played football at Cowley during the 1970 season.
Booher thoroughly enjoys the opportunity to cover minor league baseball games, but would also like to someday cover major league baseball or NCAA Division I football.
“Covering a Major League team would be amazing, especially
if I could begin as the No. 2 guy on the beat,” Booher said. “A
lot of that is just from having covered the World Series and the big-league
playoffs, plus spring training the past few years. But I also have an
eye on covering big-time NCAA Division I football. I saw it done when
I was in Tennessee and think I could be
successful at it.”
With Cowley College helping him achieve his goal of covering professional baseball teams, Booher hopes to one day give back to the college.
“Someday I would like to contribute financially to the college’s journalism department, or perhaps become an instructor in hopes of giving back what was once given to me,” Booher said. “I’m proud to be a Cowley grad.”