Hilden: Starting my new adventure at the sports desk

Natalie Hilden, Wadena Pioneer Journal sports editor

I have known that I wanted to tell stories since I was 8 years old.

I remember frequent trips to a local children’s museum that had a mockup of a local tv station studio and telling my mom that I wanted to be a news anchor. But, since then things have changed, my interests have evolved and my passion for storytelling is as fiery as ever.

My passion has brought me here to the sports desk at the Wadena Pioneer Journal. I couldn't be more excited to start my newest adventure in my journalism career especially in a community I have come to love and call home. I am so excited to showcase the heart of athletes, coaches and fans from all around our community. Because isn't that heart what makes small town athletics so great?

Even more now, with the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 sports have become even more cherished especially in our small town communities. The excitement, passion and anticipation surrounding sports in the Wadena community is fuel to my flame and I cannot wait to continue to tell its stories.

But, it isn't just that small town sports feel that I thrive off of. My journey has taken me from high school sports coverage to D1 athletic coverage at South Dakota State University where I recently graduated. During my time as a Jackrabbit I covered the women’s soccer beat, wrestling and cross country. I watched Jack’s soccer clinch three summit league titles and watched even more athletic programs prosper.


College is where I found the love for game day action and the opportunities to experience it whenever and wherever I could.

Beyond just the college sports scene, I also had the opportunity to work with game day operations crews for ESPN’s College GameDay when they came to Brookings, S.D., to cover the much anticipated Dakota Marker Game. I don’t think I will ever forget making a cup of tea and bringing hand warmers to Lee Corso on that blustery South Dakota morning.

Outside of the journalism realm, I enjoy painting and drawing. Most often I have a cup of coffee or tea in my hand. I love to just get outside and enjoy the beautiful scenery that this area has to offer. I enjoy spending time with my family, four wheeling in the summer and enjoying the Northern Minn. living.

I have learned a lot and grown a lot through my career as a journalist and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for me behind the Wadena Pioneer Journal sports desk.

Natalie Hilden is the Sports Editor at the Perham Focus and Wadena Pioneer Journal. Hilden graduated from South Dakota State University in May of 2020. She came back to Northern Minnesota the place she has called home since she graduated from Nevis High School in 2017.
What To Read Next
Get Local