Must-see TV for me occurs at 11:35 each Friday night during the high school football season. That’s when Friday Night Fever airs on KPNX-TV, Channel 12. It’s a high school football highlights show. And that’s where you can find Tresa Tudrick, a reporter and multimedia journalist for 12 News. She started working for 12 News in May 2016 as an intern and turned that into a full-time gig four months later.
She’s a Lumberjack. Near and dear to me, Tresa began her reporting career working as a sideline reporter for NAU-TV in Flagstaff, where she covered Northern Arizona University’s football, basketball, soccer and volleyball teams.
Tresa, time to share:
I was born and raised in Chino Hills, Calif. I’ve had dreams since I was a little girl to be a sports reporter. Back in elementary school, my mom wanted to take me shoe shopping. I told her, “Mom, we can’t leave yet, we haven’t seen the Top 10 highlights yet!” She laughed and told me to, “Go and be one of those sports reporters,” so I did. In sixth grade, I wrote my career ambitions in my yearbook and the boys in my class laughed at me because I was a cheerleader who wanted to talk sports. I made it a goal of mine to prove them all wrong so here we are!
Ironically, I ended up at Northern Arizona on a whim. My parents never went to college and I had no idea what I was really doing. I had the grades to attend any school I wanted, but had security because my older cousin attended NAU and would be there with me. I knew I’d have to pay for college myself so NAU’s WUE program was an attractive and enticing offer. It also motivated me to finish college early. That was back in 2011 and I’ve been in Arizona since.
I spent five years living in Flagstaff. As a first-generation college student, I completed my B.S. in Journalism in three years, at 20 years old. I then studied abroad for six months in the Netherlands at Tilburg University before returning back to NAU to complete my M.A. in Communication, at 23.
Oh my goodness. Where do I even start about Flagstaff?! I love the weather changes, the leaves, how it actually got cold, and just the overall feel of different seasons. I love the food! So many different restaurants like Hickory’s BBQ, Fratelli’s Pizza, and La Fondas were a few of my favorites. Before every NAU game that I worked, I would order the brisket from Hickory’s and a sweet tea. I also loved the teams that I covered and the coaches. All of them helped me get to this point working and reporting in a major sports market so early in my career.
Reporting and covering different sports in the Valley is a dream come true, (literally, see above). I love learning and discovering different things, especially the personalities of the players. Every team has their own persona and it keeps things different, exciting, and new. Our Friday Night Fever show is an opportunity to showcase the up and coming sports talent in the Valley and give these players a chance to shine and maybe get a few looks from colleges. I am a firm believer that athletics and sports brings a community together and getting the opportunity to tell their stories is a passion of mine. The hours are long, the schedule isn’t ideal, but it never feels like ‘work’ if that makes sense.
When I am not working, I am working. Lol! No, but I enjoy learning new hobbies, (currently working on learning Spanish and how to play the ukulele), I love working out, hanging with my dog Slugger, and being around family and friends. I have a huge Italian family so that’s a big part of my life.