Christopher Detwiler: The Washington Post's Steven Goff to receive first annual Paul Miller Sports Citizenship Award at inaugural Sentinel Players of the Yearanquet

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Jun. 4—Steven Goff has been following his passion for pretty much his whole life.

Goff — a Keene native — has been a sportswriter since he was 10 years old (he made his own publication called Sports Profile, which he sold around his neighborhood for five cents apiece).

Now, he covers the United States men's national soccer team for The Washington Post, a position he's been in since the early 1990s.

Despite his head start when he was 10 years old, Goff officially started his journey in sports writing in 1984, as a senior at Keene High School. He spent a year covering local sports for The Keene Sentinel as a freelance writer, stretching from the summer before his senior year to the summer after he graduated high school.

"It gave me my first real taste of my passion," Goff said. "And I was doing it in a practical way for a daily newspaper. When you're in high school, any chance you get to make a little money doing what you want to do is a great bonus."

He covered local high school and college sporting events in the evenings, then went into the Sentinel office early the next morning to write his story for that afternoon's edition.

"My high school senior year schedule was arranged in such a way that I didn't have any classes right away," Goff said. "So, I was in the newsroom early in the morning then I'd go off to class.

"It gave me a head start to learn the craft and become a better writer and work with editors," Goff said. "Learn to take photos, write on deadline. It was beneficial in so many ways."

In addition to covering various high school sports for The Sentinel, Goff covered basketball and soccer at Keene State College, and he covered the annual Lion's Cup soccer game between New Hampshire and Vermont high school All-Stars over the summer.

"It cemented my belief that this is what I wanted to do in my life, because I was actually doing it," Goff said. "I think it also got me into college. I was able to apply to schools with all these newspaper clips, and I think that really helped gain acceptance into college ... because they could see my potential.

"Sports writing was always my passion as a kid," Goff said. "Just the idea of going to events and covering them and writing about them was just such great thrill."

After high school, Goff followed that thill to Washington D.C., where he studied journalism at American University. He graduated from the School of Communication in 1988. He began working part-time at The Post as a sophomore in college and has been there ever since (minus a summer in 1992 which he spent covering the Summer Olympics with NBC Sports).

Now, Goff once again returns to Keene (he comes back to town about once a year) to accept the first annual Paul Miller Sports Citizenship Award. The award highlights excellence from locals, and Goff certainly fits the bill.

Goff will receive the award at the inaugural Sentinel Players of the Year banquet, which will be held Thursday June 9 at the Keene Country Club starting at 5:30 p.m. For more information and to buy tickets to the event, visit https://www.sentinelsource.com/playersoftheyear.

Goff worked with Miller during his time as a freelancer at The Sentinel. Miller was one of The Sentinel's sportswriters when Goff was freelancing.

"My history with Paul goes back to 1983," Goff said. "It's a great honor. I owe much of my success in my career to The Sentinel and to the editors who took a chance on a teenager with no prior experience and allowed him to spread his wings and pursue a passion. That part of me will always be indebted to what The Sentinel provided and the opportunities that it led to."

Chris Detwiler can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1411, or cdetwiler@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @Chris_Detwiler.