April 2016 Cape Cod Times Roundup

I try to produce video at every game I cover this spring. There’s more time in between baseball or softball or lacrosse plays than basketball, making it much easier to take notes and record at the same time and then still produce a decent write-up for the print edition.

I shoot video on my phone, an iPhone 6 Plus, which I know has the battery and space to shoot for 2.5 straight hours, or the length of a high school football game. But because warmer temperatures still haven’t shown up on the Cape, lately my battery tends to get cold and shut down after only about 1-1.5 hours of continuous outdoor shooting.

Usually this means I get until about the fourth or fifth inning. That’s exactly what happened at one of the baseball games I covered below (Falmouth-Nauset, towards the bottom), and unfortunately almost all the scoring happened in the innings after my phone shut off.

I walked to my car, charged up the phone, then resumed recording for the final inning. But I was left with a lot of strikeouts by the winning pitcher and nothing about the offense behind him.

I could’ve scrapped the whole thing, but instead I came up with an alternative idea. I recorded a two-minute postgame interview with the pitcher, who’d performed more than well enough to merit it, then uploaded it and the game footage into my editing software.

Normally I’d write a script and do a voiceover for highlights, like you might see on “SportsCenter.” But this time I separated the interview into separate audio and video components, then systematically replaced portions of the video with shots of him striking someone out or fielding.

It took some fine-tuning to get it all synced up properly, but the end product turned out really, really well. I managed to both take a creative approach to producing multimedia content and fairly represent the game I’d covered. This is definitely a format I’ll use again.

The moral of the story is that a little creativity can turn a minor failure into a major success.

Here’s everything I wrote in April for the Cape Cod Times.

Continue reading April 2016 Cape Cod Times Roundup

February 2016 Cape Cod Times Roundup

After spending most of last month re-posting (or rewriting) old content, Goose’s Gabs is finally back on track with all of my February 2016 writing from the Cape Cod Times. And what a month it was! I got to cover a state swim meet, which I’d never done before, and then wrote my fifth story in less than a year about a local team winning a state championship when I covered Barnstable at the state gymnastics meet this past Saturday.

What made the gymnastics meet even better was an encounter with the mother of one of the gymnasts. I was put on the CCT “Innovation Team” a couple months ago, which is a small team of content-producers and editors who explore different apps, social media, programs and technologies that might be useful for reporters. In theory, our experiences are actually serving as a test case for the parent company, who’ll then come up with guidelines for papers across the country.

The two big technologies I’ve been playing with lately are Periscope, a streaming app related to Twitter, and SnapChat, the photo-sharing app. I’ve created two SnapChat stories so far – one from swimming, one from gymnastics – and during the gymnastics meet a mother came up to me and complimented the photos I’d taken so far.

It seems that a couple of the gymnasts had seen via Twitter that I would be doing this, spread the word, and most of the team followed the CCT SnapChat account so they could see my photos. Even better, they encouraged their parents and families to sign up as well, I think in a few cases even getting them to download an app they wouldn’t otherwise use.

Sure enough, when I looked at the final numbers, I’d gotten about 42 views – more than three times the number who’d viewed my swim photos – and many of them were either Barnstable gymnasts (including some of the best on the team) or shared a last name with Barnstable gymnasts.

We’ll never know if any of this drives traffic to the CCT website, though later we did embed the photos as a slideshow in the digital story. But instances like this, at least to me, are signs that a) we can use SnapChat to reach out to demographics that might not otherwise engage with a newspaper, such as teenagers, and b) promoting our SnapChat account ahead of a big event does generate additional followers and views.

Those are all good things. And as a final good thing in February, I won third place for a sports story at the New England Newspaper Association awards banquet!

Anyway, here’s everything I wrote.

Boys basketball: Canalmen too much for Rams

Boys basketball: Sandwich rallies to edge Falmouth

High schools: Sturgis schools to host “Sturgis vs. Cancer” night

Boys basketball: St. John Paul II defeats Sturgis West, captures C&I title

High schools: Snow wipes out Friday’s games

Super Bowl Predictions

School basketball: Fraser shoots Mashpee to win over Hull

Boys basketball: 33-point game by Ashworth doesn’t rescue Canalmen in loss to Apponequet

Sturgis East and West unite for cancer fundraiser

High schools: Mariners, Whalers meet with first place on the line

Girls basketball: Carly Whiteside scores 22 points in Barnstable’s first league win since 2013

Girls basketball: Clippers clinch league title with win

School notebook: Sandwich’s Collentro will get her kicks at Stonehill

Boys basketball: Happy berth day for Nauset

Girls basketball: Upper Cape’s Amber DiBona scores 1,000th point in 58-42 win

Hannah and Jack Johnson help Nauset swim team reach new success

Cape Cod Classic: Clippers settle for tie in regular season finale

High schools: Swimmers looking to make a splash

School swimming: Johnson leads Nauset at Div. 2 meet

High school swimming: Nantucket girls 10th, Nauset 17th at state meet

Doug Fraser named daily journalist of the year (I didn’t write this, but I’m mentioned for winning an award!)

Boys basketball: Ford’s 41 leads Mashpee to share of title

School basketball: Falmouth to host Endowment Game

School basketball: Falmouth High edges Falmouth Academy in MIAA Endowment Game

Wrestlers grappling for All-State titles

High schools: Barnstable readies for state gymnastics meet

Red Raiders win fourth straight state gymnastics title

Family ties bind Barnstable’s Spalt

Women’s defending champ conquers windy Hyannis Marathon course

 

December 2015 Cape Cod Times Roundup

Here’s everything I wrote for the Cape Cod Times in December 2015.

School football: Falcons use past to fuel present

School football: Mashpee strength program pays off

School football: Mashpee built to go the distance

TITLE HOPEFUL: Mashpee faces St. Bernard’s in Div. 6 championship

Senior captains help Falcons fly into title game

Dias leads Mashpee Falcons to title 28-8 over St. Bernard’s

Mashpee Falcons claim state football championship

Super Bowl notebook: Junior back Andrade powers up behind Dias

3-day competition draws nearly 3,000 skaters

Boys basketball: Defending league champion SJP II begins season with 66-29 victory

Boys basketball: Migliore hits for 23 points in Sandwich’s triumph

Girls basketball: Currence, Van Voorhis help Falmouth Academy to impressive start

Girls basketball: Seahawks survive Storm, win in OT

Boys basketball: Houston sparks 54-47 win over D-Y

NAVIGATORS’ WAY: Sturgis West comes back to beat Cape Tech

DRAMATIC VICTORY: Mashpee boys basketball tops Falmouth

Girls basketball: St. John Paul II shuts down Sturgis East in C&I victory

High schools: Middle school players essential to Cape athletics

 

November 2015 Cape Cod Times Roundup

Here’s everything I wrote for the Cape Cod Times in November 2015.

Nauset, Nantucket earn No. 1 rankings in boys soccer

FALCONS MOVE ON in girls soccer playoffs

Football ties a family tradition for Deshaun Dias

School volleyball: Storm serve up playoff win

BLUE CRUSH: Mashpee dominates Blue Hills

School field hockey: Sandwich wins to gain semifinals

High school volleyball: Sturgis East, Sandwich eliminated

High School Football Preview: Mashpee faces familiar foe

Shibles headed to Fairfield, Megnia to UMass

Barnstable sweeps Concord-Carlisle in semis

School Football: Offensive line key to Falcons success

Schools: Three more local athletes sign letters

Barnstable volleyball team ready for battle

Football: Mashpee vs. Essex Tech preview

Barnstable wins 17th state volleyball title

Video: Moment Barnstable volleyball team wins title

Canalmen face Vikings for 85th time

Falcons, Knights play in Cranberry Bowl

For Jamiels, Thanksgiving is D-Y football and family

Sandwich 7, Mashpee 6: Blue Knights edge Falcons with extra point

Girls hockey: Defending state champion Clippers open new season with new coach

October 2015 Cape Cod Times Roundup

Here’s everything I wrote for the Cape Cod Times in October 2015.

High school football capsules, 10/2/15

High school football: Couhig the master of Falmouth’s triple option

High school football capsules, 10/3/15

LaFrange, Couhig leads Clippers’ rout

High school football capsules, 10/4/15

ACL showdown: Unbeaten Falmouth faces powerful Marshfield

D-Y’s Andrew Jamiel scores 3 times in win over Nauset

3 dads and a team

High school football capsules, 10/16/15

School football: Lions, Falcons set for battle in Buzzards Bay

GROUND ATTACK: Mashpee football pounds St. John Paul II

Upper Cape 34, Holbrook/Avon 6: Johnson, Allen lead playoff-hopeful Rams to victory

School football: Playoff picture in focus as Falmouth faces D-Y

Upper Cape Tech 32, South Shore Voke 12: Johnson runs for 5 TDs in Rams’ victory

4th-seeded Clippers sail into home playoff game

MEMORABLE WINS: Falmouth football takes playoff opener

September 2015 Cape Cod Times Roundup

Here’s everything I wrote for the Cape Cod Times in September 2015.

Volleyball: Barnstable’s seniors ready to lead Red Raiders toward state title contention

Deflategate reaction: Cape coaches, players rally around Brady

Football: 1 week from opener, Falmouth displays muscle and quickness in scrimmage vs. Middleboro

Girls soccer: New coach Jennifer Peterson building program at Monomoy

High school football: Barnstable, D-Y ready for tonight’s season opener

High school volleyball: 700 wins began in 1988 for Turco

A RUNNING START: Jamiel leads D-Y past Barnstable

School roundup: Dolphins volleyball too big for Lions

SEEMS LIKE HOME: Ratches takes over SJP II volleyball

High school football: Mashpee ready for neighborly game against Falmouth

POWER GAME: Falmouth football beats rival Mashpee

PIKNICK TIME FOR RAIDERS: Barnstable wins field hockey battle

High school football capsules, 9/25/15

January 2016 Cape Cod Times Roundup, and an update

I’m not sure how many people still check this blog – at this point I basically just use it for roundups and Best American Sports Writing reviews. But those who do have no doubt noticed the following things:

1) I haven’t posted anything lately.

2) Everything I’ve posted since March 2015 has disappeared.

Well, the sportsblognet hosting server crashed, and it turned out the backup servers were woefully outdated. Long story short, there’s no way to recover what I lost, which amounts to nine monthly roundups (technically eight, as I don’t think I ever published a December 2015 roundup) and a BASW 2014 review.

Everything seems to be running again, so here’s what I’m gonna do. Below you’ll find everything I wrote during January 2016. Starting Saturday I’ll re-publish each of my previous monthly roundups, beginning with March-April 2015 and ending with December 2015 on Feb. 14. The following Wednesday (Feb. 17), I’ll republish the BASW 2014 review (this probably won’t be exactly the same as the original), and look for a new BASW 2000 review on Feb. 24.

From there, I’ll get back to publishing monthly roundups.

Was this a frustrating experience? Sure – having to redo something you already did always is. But sometimes technology fails, and sometimes it fails in such a way that it can’t be saved. Shit happens, and if there’s nothing that can be done about it, staying pissed off is pointless. I’ll backup my own blog more regularly from now on, and if it happens again, I’ll reevaluate.

Anyway, here’s what I wrote in January.

High school swimming: Barnstable girls defeat Sandwich; Blue Knights boys rally for win

Girls basketball: Gibson leads SJP over Cape Tech

Falmouth-Mashpee falls to gymnastics champion Barnstable

Red Raiders celebrate raising of championship banner

Girls basketball: Currence, Mariners double up Lions

Nauset grad Mike DeVito key cog for Kansas City

Girls basketball: Nauset rally comes up short against Marshfield

Boys basketball: Sturgis West tops Old Colony

Boys basketball: Nicholas Crocker scores 22 in Falmouth’s 62-59 ACL win over Nauset

Boys basketball: Woodbury’s 19 points helps Storm to victory against CCA

Boys basketball: Canalmen fall to unbeaten ORR in league showdown

NFL staff picks: Conference championships

High school roundup: Nauset swim girls tie, boys beat Barnstable

School basketball: Rams tough it out, get upper hand on Cape Tech

Boys basketball: Migliore scores 27 as Blue Knights sweep Nauset

Boys basketball: Ryan leads Sturgis West to playoffs

High school notes: Sandwich’s Hurley rallies support for injured player

Wrestling: Sandwich second at Cape Cod Invitational

Final McAlester News-Capital Roundup

This will be my last roundup of stories for the McAlester News-Capital. I summarized my thoughts on writing and working in McAlester pretty well in the last story listed here, so no need to repeat myself.

Instead, let me talk about how writing professionally affects blogging recreationally.

I moved to McAlester planning to continue regularly blogging on Goose’s Gabs. Maybe I wouldn’t match the five or six stories I wrote each week between the end of grad school and the start of my job in June 2012, but I figured I’d blog at least three or four times a week.

When you’re paid to write and spend all day doing it, the last thing you want to do is come home and then do it for another hour or two. For the most part I don’t even spend my hours watching sports, let alone writing about them.

The sports journalists who get off work and then go home and watch ESPN for another three hours astound me. I check ESPN.com daily and watch the occasional Patriots or Red Sox game, but that’s it.

I devote most of TV viewing to science fiction, superhero and fantasy shows. It’s how I create a clear line between work and home, and I’d like to think it leaves me more energy for the writing I get paid to do.

I started out blogging News-Capital roundups every week. Within a year that number dwindled to once a month.

I also soon realized ideas that would make for good blog entries would also make for good columns. My blogging creativity went down as my professional creativity went up.

I watched a lot of the 2012 Summer Olympics and blogged about them, but those occurred just two months into the job. Covering the Olympics is also one of my career goals, so it behooves me to watch as much of them as I can now so I’m better prepared when I get the chance.

But even that urge couldn’t rouse me to blog when the 2014 Winter Olympics aired. It also didn’t help that a) the United States didn’t do that well at Sochi; and b) Russia decided to invade Ukraine on the second-to-last day of the Olympics, killing any interest I had in watching two more days of Russian self-adulation.

I’m leaving the News-Capital for the Cape Cod Times, a paper that puts its digital product first in a way I think McAlester wants to but doesn’t yet do. And without a sense of how much actual writing I’ll be doing on a daily basis, I can’t predict if I’ll blog less, more or the same amount.

So maybe I’ll have the free time to start rebuilding this blog’s audience, which I’d guess has shrunk dramatically over the last 2.5 years. Or, maybe I’ll just abandon this blog entirely save for three or four Best American Sports Writing reviews each year.

All I know right now is that I’m about to begin my second job as a professional sports journalist after an almost three-year, extremely prolific and successful first job.

I’d say I’m on the right track.

Frink-Chambers to host ORES Area tournament

Krebs approves new fields for Pittco Youth Sports

Midweek Update: Red Oak teams second and fourth in Class B

Class A and B brackets released

Buffs edge rival Cougars

Wells leads Lady Cougars past Lady Buffs

Three Buffs, two Miners sign Letters

Cowgirls beat Haileyville, win Pitt 8

Cowboys double up Warriors

Senior Spotlight: Joseph Johnson makes one point count

Classes 2A-4A districts announced

Seven ORES teams still in playoffs

Midweek Update: Miners clinch conference title

Osife leads Miners blowout

Pocola’s defense stymies Lady Miners

Clift, Cowgirls beat Lady Warriors

Cowboys top Pirates, win District

Brackets released for Classes 2A-6A

Midweek Update: Ten teams make Regionals

Dawkins’ 37 fuels McAlester win

Hugo girls top McAlester

Boys and Girls Club joins PONY

Senior Spotlight: Chase Shearwood just keeps shooting

Ardmore sweeps McAlester hoops

Tigers too fast for Buffs

Lady Tigers shut down Lady Buffs

Davis, Savages win District

Lady Savages top Lady Eagles

Midweek Update: Cowboys, Hornets to play for State

Buffs tennis expects greatness

Know Your Foe: Lady Buffs face Grove at Regionals

Grove knocks out Lady Buffs

Know Your Foe: Buffs face Comets in Tulsa Regional

Buffs golf starts Monday

Buffs soccer goes coed

Weekly Update: Snow postpones basketball tournaments

Buffs baseball ready for new season

Young Buffs track team starts Friday

The journey continues

 

Monthly McAlester News-Capital Roundup

The annual Pitt 8 Tournament is always exhausting, but it’s also always extremely fun.

Here’s my coverage of it and everything else I wrote in January for the McAlester News-Capital.

Midweek Update: Canadian wins 2015 openers

Local tournament schedules

Savages come back, beat Demons

Lady Savages win, now 9-0

McAlester’s Curley to coach All State Cheer

Senior Spotlight: Diehl loves the Friday-night lights

Quinton sweeps Stuart basketball

Davis, Savages edge. No. 2 Hornets

Lady Savages win, now 11-0

Buffs third at McAlester Open

Lady Panthers win third straight Dee Foster Invitational

Midweek Update: Five teams win tournaments

Weiher, Cougars top Tigers

Oktaha beats Lady Cougars in overtime

McAlester sweeps Durant at Homecoming

Dawkins, Buffs tame Lions at Homecoming

Lady Buffs edge Lady Lions

Photos from McAlester Homecoming

Wrestling Homecoming to honor Fugitt family

Photos from McAlester Homecoming Dodgeball Tournament

100 Years of Pitt 8 winners

Porum Tournament schedule

Pitt 8 Tourney fun facts

Pitt 8, Day 1: Top seeds roll

Midweek Update: Lady Savages improve to 14-0

Pitt 8, Day 2: Four blowouts in four games

Pitt 8, Day 3: Top two seeds to play for championship

Pitt 8, Day 4: Haileyville and Crowder advance to consolation championships

Pitt 8, Day 5: Cowgirls and Hornets win

Final thoughts from the Pitt 8 Tournament

Pitt 8 All-Tournament teams

Buffs banquet honors seniors

Midweek Update: Pitt 8 Tournament wraps in McAlester

Ada sweeps Buffs wrestling

Two Buffs make OCA All-State team

Class A and B basketball districts released

Miners put Wolves away early

Lady Wolves beat Lady Miners

Savanna’s Weeks signs with Murray State

Monthly McAlester News-Capital Roundup

If a journalist goes his or her whole career without writing something that draws a strong negative reaction, chances are that journalist isn’t very good. I’ve been a professional reporter for 2.5 years, and I’ve already written a coupe articles that people haven’t liked.

Sometimes I’m prepared for that reaction, as I was when I wrote an article arguing against the death penalty (the specific issue was suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev). Sometimes the reaction catches me off guard, as it did when I used the seemingly innocuous word “fall” in a headline about a local team that had made a state championship but then lost.

I was also surprised that a statement about a former coach not fitting in drew such a negative reaction, including allegations of racism. I never mentioned the racial makeup of the community, team or coach, so how race played into it is beyond me. I also wrote that statement knowing that a) one of the team’s best players quit midway though last season; b) multiple parents and players had already told me they didn’t like the coach; c) multiple other conference coaches had told me they either didn’t like the coach or could see the kids not responding to him; and d) I’d been told a group of parents had gone to the school board trying to get the coach fired.

What I wrote was true, so what’s the issue?

Sometimes something I think will draw a negative reaction doesn’t draw any at all. When NBA player Jason Collins came out as gay, I wrote that I hoped it would open the floodgates and make countless other gay athletes feel confident enough to come out of the closet.

Maybe people hated that story, but nobody emailed me to say so.

I’m expecting the final story in this roundup to draw a huge negative reaction. Check it out, along with everything else I’ve written in the last month.

Midweek Update: Buffs win winter openers

Buffs coach wraps 2014 season

Hornets win, stay undefeated

Lady Hornets hang on in EOSC semis

Buffs Replay: McAlester vs. Lawton MacArthur

McAlester wins hoops home-openers

Local teams in Saturday tourneys

Buffs come back, win in OT

Robinson, Lady Buffs beat Poteau

Miners win Pick & Shovel Classic

Cougars top Diggers, take third in Hartshorne

All-District list released for 2A-6

Midweek UpdateKnow Your Foe: Quinton hoops starts 4-0

McAlester Pom preps for State

Schedules for local basketball tournaments

Disruptive Demonettes top Warriorettes

Demons bench big in win

Friday’s basketball tournaments update

Saturday’s basketball tournaments update

Lady Warriors slay Lady Dragons

Hanna Dragons frustrate Warriors

Lady Savages top Broken Bow for championship

Savages take third at home tournament

Midweek Update: McAlester pom wins at State

Kiowa’s Walters drops 28 on Rams

Cowgirls edge Rattan, win sixth straight

Wood leads Buffs All-District list

Nix, Lady Buffs beat Lady Warriors

Dawkins, Buffs beat No. 11 Warriors

Senior Spotlight: Shattee Robinson takes charge

Senior Spotlight: Derichsweiler carries heavy load

Midweek Update: Local teams wrap final week of 2014

Class A and B All-District released

Senior Spotlight: Jared Morgan back in action

Senior Spotlight: Katelynn Creekmore keeps Lady Buffs going

Senior Spotlight: Keaton Clements follows his instincts

Midweek Update: Basketball season resumes

The 2014 high school sports year

Pittco Youth Sports changes leagues