New Jersey Youth Soccer Alumni
GoalNation’s Women In Soccer Series: Samantha Yarock found her passion for sports, reading and writing at a young age which helped her achieve a career in sports media today.
Samantha Yarock, a soccer loving native of Tenafly, is currently the broadcast reporter and producer for the Portland Timbers after being an on-air talent and content producer for MLSSoccer.com. Yarock contributes to Timbers television broadcasts and online at Timbers.com.
Before working at MLS, Yarock, earned a master’s degree in multimedia communications from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where she reported for the university’s men’s and women’s NCAA basketball games. Yarock, who also holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, hosted and produced segments for GoStanford.com and interned for the sports departments at KPIX-TV/CBS 5 and KTVU/FOX 2 while in the Bay Area.
GoalNation interviewed Yarock to learn more about her passions and how that helped her achieve a career in sports.
Diane Scavuzzo: How did you get started playing soccer and when did you know it would play a key role in your life?
Samantha Yarock: I started playing soccer in Elementary School. I loved it, as I did all sports while growing up, and knew it would always be a part of my life.
Diane Scavuzzo: What attribute has contributed to your success in soccer?
Samantha Yarock: While I no longer play competitively, I think that my general love for being around the game has contributed to my success in covering it. A job, like the one I have, where you’re living, breathing and sleeping soccer, you have to love it as much as the players or you’ll burn out.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is an athletic attribute that you possess that has contributed to your professional success?
Samantha Yarock: I really enjoy staff soccer games and see my ability to see where someone is going to go next, as my strength. That same skill is valued off the field so I try to apply it professionally as well.
Diane Scavuzzo: Was working in sports media always a part of your career plan? What inspired you to focus on this field?
Samantha Yarock: Yes, it always was my plan to work in sports. Growing up, I always loved playing and watching sports and was also passionate about reading and writing. When I got to college, I realized the perfect combination for me would be to report on sports. I applied for the Journalism school and covered our sports teams for the school’s paper. I fell in love with it and knew it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is your favorite NJ Youth Soccer memory?
Samantha Yarock: I just loved getting to play with friends and my sister. I remember looking forward to the weekend so we could play.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is it that you enjoy most when covering a soccer game?
Samantha Yarock: I pretty much love everything about it…I love the environment at our stadium Providence Park, I love our supporters, the Timbers Army, and all of the energy they bring and I love the ceremony when the players walk out before the anthem. It’s my favorite part of every game. As for actually covering the game, I know it’s the obvious answer, but I love when my team scores a goal. There’s nothing better than being able to interview a player that has scored after seeing him work hard all week at training. Getting his reaction and feelings after the game is the best.
Diane Scavuzzo: What advice would you give to someone who is interested or has just started playing organized youth soccer?
Samantha Yarock: Don’t stop! It’s the best and most popular sport in the world, it will connect you to people everywhere you go.
Diane Scavuzzo: What advice would you give to someone who is interested in having a profession in journalism?
Samantha Yarock: It’s a lot of work, but totally worth it if you love what you are covering. The key is to find what you’re passionate about and to focus on that. Journalists work crazy hours and are usually the first and last people to leave the event/game they’re covering. If you don’t love it, you’ll burn out.