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Going pro: Former Catholic Herald intern is sideline face of Brewers, Bucks Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Jul. 23, 2015 -- 12:00 AM
Sophia Minnaert
Sophia Minnaert is the sideline reporter for the Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks. (Contributed photo/Fox Sports Wisconsin)

MILWAUKEE — If you've watched Milwaukee Brewers baseball or Milwaukee Bucks basketball broadcasts on Fox Sports Wisconsin the past couple of seasons, you've probably seen her.

Madison native Sophia Minnaert is the sideline reporter for the two teams.

A few years ago, she got her "start" as an intern at the Catholic Herald in Madison.

Minnaert's parents are well known in the Diocese of Madison. Her father, Al, is the head football coach and a religious studies and physical education teacher at Edgewood High School in Madison. Her mother, Sylvia, is the receptionist at Our Lady Queen of Peace School in Madison.

Internship experiences

After Minnaert graduated from Edgewood High School in 2005, her mother -- who then worked in the diocesan Office of Finance -- told Sophia about the internship with the Catholic Herald.

Her duties over the next two summers included: writing, going out on stories, and "all kinds of projects."

One of her stories discussed her experiences participating in a Marquette University service program helping with the recovery effort in the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina.

"Being an intern at the Catholic Herald was a really good experience for me," said Minnaert. "It was a really nice environment to learn. Everyone on the staff was so friendly, so warm. I enjoyed my time there a lot."

While at the Herald, Minnaert learned the value of making connections and communicating from the experienced staff.

"I was just always struck by how connected she [Editor Mary C. Uhler] was," said Minnaert. "She seemed to know everyone, whether it was in the office or we went out somewhere, or even just in conversation, she seemed to have a connection with everyone.

"That's a big part of what we do is connections and relationships and it's certainly part of what I do now," added Minnaert. "[That's] aside from just the actual skills of being able to do interviews and writing well and all of those things."

Career beginnings

Following her graduation from Marquette University in Milwaukee with degrees in journalism, literature, and Spanish in 2009, Minnaert began her professional career for a company that live-streamed high school sports on the internet and produced Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association high school sports championship games for television.

This later led to her appearing on Fox Sports Wisconsin's Prep Zone high school sports show, where she did feature stories on local teams, athletes, and coaches.

In May of 2012, she started doing social media work for Fox Sports Wisconsin’s coverage of Brewers games "with the idea that it would turn into on-air work."

That happened in August of that year, when she became the sideline reporter for the Brewers, and in the following NBA season, added being the Bucks' sideline reporter to her resume as well.

Prior to the 2014 baseball season, Minnaert had a "once in a lifetime" opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic for feature series on baseball there, with a look at the backgrounds of Brewers Carlos Gomez and Jean Segura.

The series continues to air in repeats periodically on Fox Sports.

"It was an awesome project to work on," said Minnaert. "We got great feedback on the shows."

Staying close to family

While it seems like she's on TV every day, she does have opportunities to spend time with her family in Madison.

"I know a lot of people in this business don't have an opportunity to work in their home market ever, let alone to start here, so that has been a big blessing for me," she said.

After some Sunday Brewers day games at Miller Park, she’s able to "drive home, make it in time for dinner, hang out for a while, and then come back [to Milwaukee]."

For Minnaert, the most important part of her job is "dealing with a lot of different people, personalities, situations. Just trying to go about your job the right way [and] being ethical and being a good person. I think that's just that biggest thing in how you go about your daily life."

 
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