Dean Trombino has been a sports fan ever since a stuffed dolphin caught his eye as a child.
Trombino and his family were on their annual summer vacation to Lake Tahoe, and when they stumbled upon a street fair, the toddler was taken by a certain stuffed NFL mascot.
“My 2-year-old self picked up a dolphin plushie and never looked back,” he said, explaining that he’s been a committed Miami Dolphins fan ever since.
Trombino is a second-year College of the Desert journalism student who joined The Desert Sun staff this month as a sports intern. Born in Palm Springs, the 2021 Palm Desert High School graduate has lived in the Coachella Valley his whole life.
Growing up, he always had an appreciation for writing, but it wasn’t until he took a journalism class as a senior in high school that Trombino started to consider a future in media. He’d joined the school’s football team a couple years prior and quickly realized his future career also needed to involve the sport.
“As I was playing football, I realized, man, I really want to be around this sport in some way,” Trombino said. “And I really enjoy writing about it. So sports journalism seemed like a cool route to go down.”
During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, inspired by the sports commentators he’d watch regularly on TV, Trombino started recording his own NFL commentaries on YouTube. He hopes to further his understanding of video as a storytelling medium by working with The Desert Sun’s visuals team.
Trombino said his family thought he’d just “be getting people coffee” for his internship, but after publishing three stories just a few weeks in, he’s thrilled to have proven them wrong.
“I’ve already gotten to interview some really cool people,” he said. “I just talked to Fabrice Voyne, who is a player for Army right now. And I got to talk to Rosie Casals, a really cool tennis star. The experience has just been phenomenal so far. I’ve enjoyed every second of it. “
But the best is yet to come for Trombino, who will be part of The Desert Sun’s prep football coverage this season. Although he’s used to being on the football field with shoulder pads rather than a notepad, Trombino is eager to cover his first game by him as a journalist.
Football, after all, isn’t just his favorite sport — it’s his “favorite thing,” period.
Trombino joined The Desert Sun this month thanks to contributions to the Bruce Fessier Internship Fund at the College of the Desert Foundation, which underwrites this paid internship.
The internship fund was named for longtime Desert Sun arts and culture reporter Bruce Fessier, who retired in June 2019 after more than 40 years on the beat. The fund gives College of the Desert students the chance to get work experience and learn new skills at The Desert Sun to further their dreams of careers in media.
Contributions to the fund are tax-deductible, and all contributions go directly to the student interns. To donate, you can send a check payable to College of the Desert Foundation. In the memo line, please write “Bruce Fessier Fund.” Send it to College of the Desert Foundation, 43-500 Monterey Ave., Palm Desert, CA 92260.