Back in the day, whenever my Long Beach Wilson water polo team played (and usually beat, by the way) a high school from Newport-Mesa, early the next morning I'd drive down to Orange County to pick up the Daily Pilot.
This newspaper covered (and still does) the minor sport of prep water polo like it was Major League Baseball, which was quite thrilling to a 17-year-old who longed to see his name in type. I'm sure my mom still has the yellowed, musty clips somewhere in her garage.
More often than not, the byline on the water polo articles read, Roger Carlson. And I noticed he didn't just write about water polo. Each time I paged through the Pilot's sports pages, his byline seemed to be on every other story.
I remember thinking, "This guy is something else."
For almost 40 years, Carlson chronicled the Newport-Mesa prep scene for the Daily Pilot, first as a reporter and later as an editor. His labor of love had a positive impact on literally tens of thousands of high school athletes who, like me, are forever grateful for having achievements from their glory days published in the Pilot.