Monthly McAlester News-Capital Roundup

My fall sports coverage is always McAlester-centered  (and really, McAlester football-centered), and last spring’s coverage was pretty balanced between MHS and the smaller schools. But my winter coverage last year shifted noticeably towards schools like Stuart, Canadian, Kiowa and Hartshorne — smaller schools with solid basketball teams.

While I devoted most of January to the Pitt 8 basketball tournament (first prepping the magazine and then covering it), since then I’ve almost exclusively covered McAlester teams. The Kiowa Cowboys will play in the Class A state tournament this week, and unless they make the state championship Saturday, there’s a decent chance I won’t cover them at all.

I don’t know if this is the right approach to the winter or not. Probably the majority of my readers live in McAlester, so obviously the Buffaloes need to be covered the most. But I also get the feeling that fans of one small school — Savanna, for instance — appreciate coverage of other small schools — Haileyville, for instance — almost as much as they appreciate coverage of their particular school.

I think covering teams like Crowder and Pittsburg show the McAlester News-Capital isn’t so focused on the big-city teams that it ignores everyone else. And if I’m right, and small-school readers do indeed appreciate coverage of not just their particular school, but all the Class B, A and 2A schools, then focusing on McAlester so much runs the risk of alienating not just one non-McAlester school district’s readers, but possibly all 11 of them.

Then again, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe our readership is so concentrated that even if we lost every reader who doesn’t care about the Buffs, we’d still be appeasing the majority of our readers. Or maybe because the News-Cap is the only paper in Pittsburg County, our readers aren’t likely to stop their subscriptions just because Quinton and Wilburton’s sports teams rarely make the B section.

As I said, I don’t know which is the right way to go. I just know that lately it’s felt like almost all my live coverage and features have surrounded McAlester only.

Anyway, here’s everything I’ve written since Feb. 11. Monthly roundups will now publish the first Monday of every month.

Midweek Update: Kiowa sweeps Pitt 8 Conference

Lady Buffs wrap pom season

Lady Buffs edge Durant 36-34

Buffs flat in loss to Lions

McAlester weekend wrestling results

The biggest man on campus

Falcons win ORES Area Championship

Classes 2A-6A brackets released

Avants, Antlers beat Buffs

Lady Antlers top Lady Buffs

GBOF’s ‘10 For 10’ league

Buffs’ Scott turns one into three

James Remedi overcomes speed with strength

Midweek Update: Kiowa reaches area finals

Buffs tennis aiming high

Know Your Foe: Lady Buffs face Lady Comets in Regionals

Four Buffs wrestlers make State

Know Your Foe: Buffs face Cardinals at Bishop Kelley

New coaches take over Buffs golf

Lady Buffs upset Comets

Buffs take down Cardinals

Lady Cardinals rain 3s on Lady Buffs

Comets blow out Buffaloes

Bond, Buffs ready for new baseball season

3 thoughts on “Monthly McAlester News-Capital Roundup”

  1. If you decided to quite covering any school or one of there sports you would loose readers. An may I be frank; you covered the Kiowa Cowgirls like crazy last year. Which as a member of the team I had no complaints. However for you to not cover these boys while making history is a shame. Shame on you for not considering it; shame on your boss for not making you cover these boys. You missed three amazing, no EPIC ball games, great boys who played with class and poise. As well as one of the best coaches this area has EVER seen in all classes. So to answer your question; I would be more than happy to boycott McAlester News Capitol if you stopped covering any school sports from Kiowa to Canadian, or Stuart to Hartshorne. It doesnt matter the name on our letter jackets we are Pittsburg County and we support each other.I know several people who would agree.
    -Jill Weaver KHS Alumni.

    1. Thanks for the comments Jennifer and Jill. I’d encourage both of you to contact my editor to voice your opinion on this matter, because while I’ve made these exact arguments to my bosses, they always carry more weight coming from a reader.

      To clarify: at no point have we considered “quitting” covering anyone — I’m the only sports reporter at our newspaper, and that’s unlikely to change any time soon. Because of that, ANY coverage choices involve sacrificing one team to cover another. That’s unavoidable. The question is what’s the proper percentage each school should get — McAlester football will always get top billing, but after that there are 11 schools and 20+ teams, all of who have at least SOME claim to coverage. Even a school like Indianola, whose teams don’t win a lot, should get a story at least once or twice a year, I think. And while schools like Wilburton, Stuart and Quinton are far away, if we don’t cover them, I’m not sure anyone will. No matter what I do, someone’s going to be unhappy, and my strategy so far has to make sure that whoever I do choose to cover, I cover that team with the same diligence and professionalism regardless of how many of my readers might be parents of athletes on that particular team.

  2. I am a mom of a kiowa player and do find it aggrivating to not see our kids recognized for their efforts. to see mostly mcalester sports is disappointing. a lot of great kids and their efforts are getting overlooked

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