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Buck Ringgold: Betting on myself and coming up a winner

Excited to announce my new full-time capacity with SBLive Sports

By Buck Ringgold 

Nearly eight months ago, I took a big gamble.

On paper, it was a decision that seemed to be a no-brainer. I was coming to work for SBLive Oklahoma, and I was being reunited with Nate Olson.

I had enjoyed covering Oklahoma high school sports in my previous capacity, writing sports for the newspaper in Fort Smith, Ark., where I still reside. With SBLive Oklahoma, I was going to be expanding my horizons, getting to see more teams and more players across the state and building a new audience.

As for Nate, we worked together in 1999-2000 for the same newspaper chain in Northwest Arkansas — Nate at Bentonville and myself at Siloam Springs — and we continued to stay in touch ever since.

I went to his wedding in 2001, and he was with me nine years later the first time I sent a message via a dating site to my now-wife. We also made it an annual thing where I drove down to see him in the Little Rock area and we would take in an Arkansas Travelers baseball game.

When he became an SBLive regional editor last summer, overseeing Arkansas and Oklahoma for the company, he really wanted me to contribute to the Oklahoma website while also helping with the Arkansas site from time to time. It didn’t take me very long to respond.

Heck, yeah.

And since then, it’s been everything I thought it would be and more.

Covering seven state championship football games in Edmond. Going from “The Big House” to the Lloyd Noble Center and right back to “The Big House” on Championship Saturday. Sitting up in the press box at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark on a sweltering Saturday afternoon in mid-May watching two baseball state champions get crowned.

Getting to know some of the state’s top athletes, from Braylin Presley to Ben Harman, from Laci Steele to Darianna Littlepage-Buggs, from Solo Skalnik to Trevyn Stewart. Meeting legendary coaches like Bixby football’s Loren Montgomery, Edmond North girls basketball’s Pete Papahronis and Owasso baseball’s Larry Turner.

So, yes, the decision I made to come aboard SBLive ended up being a great one. But here’s the funny thing: I was actually taking a giant risk.

I was leaving a full-time position with benefits at a paper I had worked at for more than 20 years for a part-time position with a company I essentially had never heard of until Nate got his job. It was indeed a big risk.

But I felt like I had more than run my course with the paper, and I was ready for a new challenge. I was enticed by the position with SBLive because of the company’s love of high school sports and the excitement of writing for an Internet site. And, like I previously stated, the chance to build my brand for a new audience.

Plus, I had the assurance that if I went to SBLive and did a phenomenal job, I could eventually get a full-time position.

A few weeks ago, I received the news I waited more than half a year to hear. I am now officially a full-time employee with SBLive.

In addition, I am pleased to announce that like my friend Nate, I am a regional editor, too. I am now overseeing Oklahoma as well as our Missouri website, SBLive Missouri.

I am taking over Missouri from Nate, who got a promotion as well. Nate is overseeing the company’s start-up sites in Iowa and Nebraska as well as continuing to oversee SBLive Arkansas.

There are a few ideas I would like to implement with SBLive Oklahoma along with SBLive Missouri that I really didn’t get the chance to with the now-completed school year since I started with the company last Oct. 1, and make both sites even more powerful. But what I would really like to have at this juncture is some assistance.

That’s where you, the reader, comes in. We are actively seeking to add more writers and photographers to our ever-growing company and I would love to extend an invitation to you about joining us.

If you have had significant writing and photography experience, either for newspapers or Web sites, drop me an e-mail at and let’s talk.

For SBLive Oklahoma, I would especially prefer to bring aboard people who either live in the Panhandle, western Oklahoma, northern and southern Oklahoma. If you live in the eastern part of the state, that’s good, too. Eventually, we would like to have the entire state covered.

Likewise, if you would like to help out with SBLive Missouri, drop me a line and we’ll see what we can do. Nate has done a fantastic job getting that site up and running with several talented people, and I would like to keep that going as smoothly as possible.

We’re already making plans for the upcoming high school football season and the 2022-23 athletic year. Personally speaking, I am excited about the future of our company and am anticipating bigger and better things.

Almost eight months ago, I made a big bet on myself, and ended up on the winning side of things. Maybe you can do the same.