Weekly McAlester News-Capital Roundup

So when I see “donkey basketball” on a local school’s calendar, I just know I have to cover it. I mean, given my love for alternative sports — underwater hockey, quidditch, Ultimate — how could I not?

I had planned to write a pretty tongue-in-cheek account of the game, but the game actually became suspenseful in the fourth quarter. There was a legitimate comeback, some actual basketball plays, and an air of tension that seemed markedly different from the lighthearted, semi-invested attitude the crowd took through the first three quarters. I took some notes, did some interviews, snapped some pics and went to write it up.

When I finished the recap, I wasn’t crazy about it. Some of the story read as silly, and some of it read as serious. Maintaining tone through a piece is a critical element to journalism, and I hadn’t done that.

Granted, I’m always a harsher critic of my own work than others tend to be, and I do recall inserting a sentence or two that basically said the tone of the night shifted in the fourth quarter. But whether my transitional sentences were enough to explain the tonal inconsistencies, I won’t know until I see my editor Tuesday morning.

Anyway, here’s a week of stories by yours truly.

Jonathan Barickman at home in McAlester

Buffs soccer moves to Savanna

Vanoss sweeps Crowder doubleheader

Miners come up short against Chieftains

Zach Dugan always focused

Tuesday Night Jackpot fishing tournaments return Tuesday

Broncos shut down Buffs

Chad Aldridge’s baseball family

Nick Clark aims high

Cowboys switch to donkeys for fundraiser

Bowling Bulletin: Monday Housewives League still wide open

Weekly McAlester News-Capital Roundup

When you’re basically the entire sports department, balance is a major issue. I have to constantly juggle my time between McAlester High School and the other 11 local schools, each of which some percentage of my readers cares about.

I covered McAlester football really well in the fall while still giving a fair amount of coverage to the other six football teams. I did an alright job with McAlester softball, a slightly less alright job with regional softball, and absolutely no job with fall baseball. Even still, I think I achieved a pretty appropriate balance between McAlester and the other local schools.

During the basketball season, I definitely shifted pretty heavily towards the small schools. I didn’t plan on doing that, but between the high quality of some of those teams (Kiowa, Stuart, etc) and McAlester traveling so much (and farther away), covering the small schools was way, way easier.

I know readers in McAlester got frustrated with how unbalanced my coverage was in favor of the small schools, but since the season changed over, I feel like its flipped. Now almost all of my coverage is about McAlester, and McAlester baseball more specifically.

Because I can’t possibly cover every team, I hope readers respect the attempt at balance, even if I don’t always achieve it. And as this is still my first year as a full-time sports reporter, I guess all I can do is keep learning with each new season.

Anyway, here’s what I wrote this week.

Buffs track starts Friday

Rain helps Buffs beat Savages

Stringtown three-hits Pittsburg softball

Buffs win state powerlifting title

Troy Meadows always a Buffalo

Photo gallery: McAlester Maulers soccer

Crowder native leads OSU Quidditch

Buffs stampede over Braves

Local All-Conference selections released

Bad defense costs Buffs against Bears

Bowling Bulletin: New’s dominate Wednesday Open Trio

Weekly McAlester News-Capital Roundup

In the span of one week, I wrote about golf, basketball (boys and girls), tennis, bowling, baseball, soccer and paying NCAA players. I think that makes this past week one of my most creative to date, and also shows how cool my job often is.

Here’s what I wrote:

Buffs golf seeks return to state tournament

Cowgirls run ends in semis

Buffs soccer prepares for inaugural season

McAlester tennis sweeps Freeze Out

Charles Joyce comes prepared

Bowling Bulletin: Hits & Misses leads Fun Bowlers

Cougars maul Warriors for first win

Buffs lose soccer home-opener

NCAA players deserve their share

McAlester wins baseball opener

Weekly McAlester News-Capital Roundup

Transition weeks are always a challenge, but they’re also a reprieve. Instead of spending multiple hours each afternoon covering games, I write previews of the games that will soon be happening. And as a general rule, previews take less time to report (interview and take pictures) and also less time to write.

My weekly schedule in the weeks between sports seasons isn’t always as obvious, but once I do figure out what I’m writing about, in some ways it’s the least stressful part of the year. And it gives me a chance to write about all-new sports!

Here’s what I wrote this past week.

Donald Cannon wins state wrestling title

Playoffs Update: Kiowa reaches state tournament

Savanna coach among state honorees

High hopes for Buffs tennis

Senior class leads Buffs baseball

Bowling Bulletin: Fonzie’s Girls retakes Women’s City League

Buffs win powerlifting Regional