Well, the Hinkle Fieldhouse stuff was technically a lengthy reporter’s notebook entry. But I still need to get you caught up on the last month of work.
The final regular season football game I covered came over a month ago, the same night as game one of the ALCS as a matter of fact. My team was down 24–0 before the first quarter was over. It had poured rain all day and was still raining steadily with chilly temperatures. The jerseys were so muddy that we could barely read uniform numbers in the press box. So the stats guys, the clock operators, and I would all yell out who we thought made the tackle or the catch or had the run. If at least two people agreed, we decided to go with that player.
Things got really interesting at halftime when the opposing coaches climbed down from the roof to go join their team. The stats guys started yelling at them for running up the score. Which they kind of were. You don’t throw the ball downfield when you’re up by 50 and it’s not even halftime. Sadly there was no fight, which would have been the most exciting thing about the night.
Then I covered the CGHS boys soccer team through a few rounds of the state playoffs. They were really good this year, and I was set to cover them in the state championship game if they made it that far. Unfortunately, they got bounced in the semi-state round. Which was another new thing for me. The game was in Evansville, too far away to send a reporter. So I followed the game on Twitter and then called the coach as they bused home to get some details for the story. Oh, as I was following a pretty crazy 4–3 game on Twitter, the Royals were building, and then blowing, a lead in game four of the World Series. Symmetry. Or synergy. Or something.
Then two weeks ago I covered the cross country semi-state meet that was right up the road from my house, on the course where I have been running lately. It was pretty sobering to see the girl who won, who I’ve reported on for a couple years, her knock out a course that I run in just under 30 minutes in just over 18 minutes. And in the boys race, the winner just missed breaking 15 minutes.
I’ve also written one girls basketball preview and am in the midst of writing the boys and girls swimming previews.
But, in the spirit of burying the lede, the big news is that I began working for another paper last week. This is the county paper that covers the county I actually live in. I met the new sports editor when I was covering a team for my original paper that came north a month ago. We chatted, he gave me his email address and said to send him a message if I was ever interested in working closer to home.
Last Friday was my first assignment for him. I got to cover the Catholic school that’s right up the road in their football sectional championship game. It ended up being a really good game. I was actually covering both teams, so by the time the game ended (at 10:00!) and I had a chance to talk to both coaches, the extra hour this paper allows for deadline really came in handy.
This paper covers eight (I think) high schools, from the second-biggest in the state down to a 1A school, so it’s a similar spread to my other paper. Although up here the big schools have more high-end talent. My local high school sends kids to D1 in every sport every year. There are at least two guys playing in the NBA from schools I will follow. And it will be cool to get to cover, and learn more, about all these schools that are in my backyard as opposed to two counties away.
The bummer is this new paper does not pay very much. Not that my other paper does, but they certainly pay more and throw in mileage, so when I have to make a long drive at least the gas is covered.
But it’s a chance to get some more work, hopefully closer to home. If I can swing it, I’d like to keep taking assignments for both papers. I have seven years of knowledge and relationships built up down south. I’d like to keep those. And it will be nice to occasionally not have to leave 90 minutes before a game starts to get there on time. We’ll see how that all works out.
Oh, and the other aspect of working for this new paper is I’ve finally put my Twitter account to use. While using Twitter to send out scores was never discouraged by my OG paper, neither was it something they asked or encouraged us to do. Some writers did it; others did not. I just never tried to get it into my game night workflow.
But the new paper asked that we send out updates at least quarterly. So, dutifully, I did just that. As I got more comfortable jumping from the game to my stats to Twitter, I sent out a few in-game updates when big plays happened. The paper retweeted my stuff, so by the end of the night I actually had a new follower. I’m not ready to jump into using Twitter full time, but it was kind of funny to actually send things out when I’ve just been using it as a tool to read since 2008.
Finally, tonight I’m off to cover the opening night of girls high school basketball in the state. I’ll have the CG girls, who are ranked sixth and are always fun to watch.