After college, Damien worked for the weekly Effingham & Teutopolis News Report in Illinois as their sports editor from Jan. 30 to June 7, 2013. In Oct. 2013, he accepted a position with Paxton Media Group out of The Herald-Palladium in St. Joseph, Michigan as a paginator. In January 2015, the company allowed him to do some reporting and photography. Between full-time jobs, Damien freelanced for various news outlets across Michigan.

Paxton Media Group


Herald-Argus, June 5, 2013


Irish QB Zaire ‘elite?’

During Notre Dame football’s media day on August 18, Head Coach Brian Kelly said that QB Malik Zaire has the mechanics and mindset to become one of college football’s elite quarterbacks.

Notre Dame QB Malik Zaire (8) hands the ball off to RB Tarean Folston during Tuesday's morning practice. Photo/Damien Dennis

Notre Dame QB Malik Zaire (8) hands the ball off to RB Tarean Folston during Tuesday’s morning practice. Photo/Damien Dennis

Eyeing the title: Notre Dame has championship aspirations in 2015

The 2015 college football season got it’s unofficial start for Notre Dame on August 6 when head coach Brian Kelly held a press conference for media before fall training camps begin.

Photos were taken for both The Herald-Palladium and The Pit: Sports and Entertainment.

Photos were taken for both The Herald-Palladium and The Pit: Sports and Entertainment.

Kizer shows he can play QB for Irish

After Malik Zaire was lost for the season due to an injury, doubts about Notre Dame’s backup quarterback arose. Redshirt-freshman DeShone Kizer silenced many of those doubters with his performance against No. 14 Georgia Tech.

Champions in the making

Ohio State wrestling coach Tom Ryan – fresh off his program’s first ever NCAA title win – joined Modus Wrestling at St. Joseph High School to instruct aspiring wrestlers and athletes in the basic forms and techniques of the sport.

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Age doesn’t matter

Two 55-year-old Michigan athletes compete in the Maytag Ironman 70.3 Steelhead triathlon in Benton Harbor, Mich.


Leading the way

When a thunderstorm forced a high school golf outing into cancellation, I sprung into action to whip up a feature on Watervliet’s top golfer, Chris Leblang.

Lakeshore girls roll past winless Portage Central

Morgan Kaiser scored 21 points for Lakeshore as the Lancers rolled past Portage Central, 65-22. Kaiser hit four consecutive three’s to push the Lancers to an early lead and stay undefeated

Coloma can’t keep up with BH

Despite some mid-game hiccups, Benton Harbor rolled to victory over Coloma behind the combined efforts of Jaton Gunn and Malik Hall.

Bobcats, Bison to play for title

What was expected to be an easy Class C girls basketball district win for Brandywine ended up proving to be a bit more difficult.

From tip to finish

Despite a slow start to the second half, St. Joseph controlled Monday night’s Class A girls basketball contest from the opening tip to the final buzzer.

Liverpool vs Olympiacos at Soldier Field

In addition to the story and photos running on The Pit, this photo also ran alongside an Associated Press wire brief in The Herald-Palladium.


Effingham & Teutopolis News Report

Beginning January 30, 2013, Damien began employment with the Effingham & Teutopolis News Report as a sports editor and reporter. The paper is a weekly that covers the city of Effingham and village of Teutopolis in south central Illinois. Duties with this position include writing compelling news articles and features about the three high schools in the coverage area (Effingham, Teutopolis and St. Anthony). The weekly design of the sports section using Adobe InDesign was required as well as photography skills for various sporting events and other news worthy items.

Effingham & Teutopolis News Report: Pages and Stories

Sports 3-21

Sports 3-28

Sports 5-16

Sports 5-23

Sports 6-6


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Chelsea Standard/Dexter Leader

CHELSEA: Local author Jim Utsler publishes first book

Jim Utsler, a native to Chelsea, published his first book, “Pura Vida,” after working on it for five years. The book takes a former Detroit homicide detective from the Motor City to Costa Rica in a tale of redemption. Utsler describes his book as a mystery/thriller with each chapter being it’s own story within the larger tale.

DEXTER: Blue Beacon Truck Wash announce new GM

Blue Beacon announced that they were promoting Dustin Brown to General Manager of the Dexter Blue Beacon location, one of two and the busiest in the state of Michigan due to it’s proximity to

Traverse City Record-Eagle

Gladiators beat Elks 36-26 in non-league game

The St. Francis-Traverse City Gladiators beat undefeated Elk Rapids Elks 36-26. A huge 93-yard kick return tipped the balance in favor of St. Francis heading into the half.

The Leader and the Kalkaskian

15-year-old racer racking up wins behind the wheel

Jimmy Hiller of Kalkaska is a stud behind the wheel, racing on dirt and clay tracks in his decked out Monte Carlo race car. And he is not even street legal.