I think I’ve vaguely touched upon the fact I was lining up a writing gig. It’s been confirmed for about two weeks, but I was waiting until all the paperwork was complete and I had my first assignment before I shared it with the world. This Saturday I will return to my earliest journalism roots and start covering high school sports for a local paper. I’ll be starting with a bang, too, as the first game I’ve been assigned will be played at the RCA Dome downtown. So while I’m watching a bunch of high school kids run around, I can pretend I’m watching Peyton, Dwight, and the rest of the Colts battle the Patriots or some other rival.
The paper is located in the county south of Indianapolis/Marion County and covers six high schools. Since they are a county paper (and a daily one at that) and independently owned and published, they still devote quite a bit of coverage to high school sports. I wasn’t sure if I would get to do any football right away because they have a pretty good crew of writers who cover football, but figured I would cover some other fall sports then really get into the mix when high school basketball begins later in the fall. I got a crash course on how to cover football today (although most schools keep stats, we’re responsible for tracking every stat on our own and submitting a complete box score with our story) along with some hints for how to craft a story to fit their style (Roughly 500 words, and since they don’t have a Sunday edition, my story won’t be the traditional “Here’s what happened” story).
It’s a pretty cool gig in that it fits into what I want and need to do at this point in my career. I want to work around my family commitments while still getting to write on a regular basis, building up my clip files, and honing my reporting skills. Another great thing about this paper is that they cover Indy pro sports closely since they are just 30 minutes from downtown. A friend of mine is their regular Colts beat writer. I like to think if I can handle high school hoops, I might get to do a Pacers game at some point. Actually, without knowing exactly what the process for getting to that point is, that’s one of my new career goals: to sit in press row for a Pacers game this season.
So, I’m about to go pro. Hopefully I’ll improve on those crappy, last-minute articles and columns I wrote for the Raytown Rayflector back in 1989.