May 2016 Cape Cod Times Roundup

One of my most prolific writing months since joining the Cape Cod Times ended with a regatta in which a photographer cussed me out in public for getting seasick and sitting where the captain of the press boat told me to sit. Apparently I should’ve known this would happen after it happened last year – which this person was clearly still pissed about – and insisted on getting to Nantucket through alternate means so as not to get in her way.

I considered blowing up at her on social media about this later, but I decided against it because a) the person in question and I aren’t Facebook friends, so the likelihood of her ever finding out would be minimal, and b) many of my colleagues and editors at CCT and I are Facebook friends, and they probably wouldn’t think it very professional of me to air dirty laundry in a shameless plea for validation from my friends.

So the first two sentences of this post are all I have to say about the incident. I’d still be pissed about it, I ran my first official half marathon a day later and it went great, and as I type this I’m enjoying a week-long vacation. And feeling angry while on vacation is a waste of a vacation.

Anyway, here’s everything I wrote in May.

Continue reading May 2016 Cape Cod Times Roundup

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

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

August 2015 Cape Cod Times Roundup

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

Sweeps day: Harbor Hawks advance in Cape League playoffs

Team Cape Cod ready for another run at World Series

Cape League: Hyannis strikes first in West finals

Spiking for the USA: Olympic volleyball player Megan Easy makes Cape her home

Cape League: Y-D swings early, strikes often

Cape Cod Baseball League: Red Sox cement dynasty with second title

Nauset duo runs for Cape Cod

Cape League: Former U.S. ambassador Bill Richardson pitches for ballpark

High school football: Preseason kickoff is Monday for Cape teams

Running and sliding for charity

Preseason football opening-day sessions attract big numbers

New coach Alfredo Alvarenga focused on developing boys program at Sandwich

All-State cross country runner Callie Schadt hopes to lead Nauset to another ACL title

Mary O’Connor has D-Y field hockey targeting 3rd straight league title

 

March/April 2015 Cape Cod Times Roundup

Here’s everything I wrote for the Cape Cod Times in March and April 2015.

March: Snowed out: Weather blasts away at spring seasons

School lacrosse: Sandwich edges Barnstable, 9-8

Spring breaks in time for golf

April: Softball: Falmouth blasts Martha’s Vineyard in season opener, 15-3

Barnstable grad is finalist in NESN competition

Baseball: Dolphins overcome 3-run deficit for win

Girls Lacrosse: Rogorzenski leads Barnstable to a 10-8 win over Falmouth

School tennis: Barnstable overpowers Nauset

Girls lacrosse: Amelia Way scores 4 goals in CCA’s 14-4 win over Sturgis West

Softball: Unbeaten D-Y defeats Vineyard for 5th straight win

School volleyball: Sawyer Jr. leads Red Raiders over Quincy

Monomoy softball powers up

High school Girls lacrosse: Lakers dominate Canalmen in SCC showdown

Girls lacrosse: Nauset uses draws to defeat Barnstable, 10-8

College baseball: MMA’s Bob Corradi gets a boatload of hugs — and jersey 12

School softball: Willette walk-off homer powers Sandwich

Matt Santos helps lead defending state champion St. John Paul II

Boys lacrosse: D-Y beats Nauset in ACL showdown, 11-5

Monthly McAlester News-Capital Roundup

I’m about a month away from wrapping up my third football season with the McAlester News-Capital. And while it’s not always easy to see my own improvement, there are a few things I’ve recently noticed that I think show progress:

1) I’m faster: During my first football season, I usually had to get in between 8-9 a.m. Saturday mornings to be able to write all my content and get it paginated on deadline. Now I’m able to do more Friday nights, then drift in around 10-10:30 and still get it all done. I can write a raw gamer (no quotes) for most sports in about 30-40 minutes, then need only about 10-15 minutes to insert the quotes (and that’s if I’m transcribing an interview, not copying and pasting quotes over the phone). It takes me slightly longer to do features, but I’m still faster at that than I used to be.

2) I’m more confident: Two years ago I let a coach dictate the angle of a feature I wanted to do on his team. I recently was at a game where one his players hit a major individual accomplishment, and even though he asked me to downplay that in favor of a story on the team overall, I point-blank and repeatedly told him “No” and that the accomplishment would be both the headline and the first part of the story. I maintained this response even when he grabbed my jacket in what felt like an equally jovial and hostile manner.

3) I manage my time better: I try to avoid requesting overtime when I can, and in the last few months I feel like I’ve needed it far less than I would’ve two years ago (the one exception being the week I had to focus on the football preview magazine, but that’s unavoidable). Despite more or less living at the Jr. Sunbelt Tournament in June, I still finished at most a couple hours over 40, and at least two-thirds of my weeks this fall have ended right at 40. I used to occasionally work off the clock just so I wouldn’t be slammed the next day — now I don’t have to.

Here’s everything I’ve written in the last month.

Pitt 8 announces fastpitch All-Conference team

Midweek Update: Red Oak returns to State

Buffs Replay: McAlester at Bishop Kelley

Lady Buffs swept at Regionals

Buffs host Bulldogs in top-10 showdown

Buffs miss chances against Bulldogs

Box score: Skiatook 27, McAlester 26

Region Roundup: Miners top No. 3 Vian

Pittsburg holds annual elementary hoops tourney

Tuesday Night Jackpot ends 2014 season

Senior Spotlight: Kyle Morley part of McAlester tradition

Senior Spotlight: Keaton Slater leads from the sideline

Midweek Update: Buffs drop in football polls

Senior Spotlight: Mills finally gets to shine

Buffs Replay: McAlester vs. Skiatook

Know Your Foe: Bears welcome Buffs to Noble

Wood’s 7 TDs fuel Buffs blowout

Box score: McAlester 63, Noble 20

Senior Spotlight: Riley Smith hits. Hard.

Region Roundup: Warriors win, end three-year drought

Buffs coach to leave next semester

Midweek Update: Red Oak fastpitch wins State

Senior Spotlight: Matt Ferrell holds the line

Senior Spotlight: Dalton Wood can’t be stopped

Buffs Replay: McAlester at Noble

Know Your Foe: Buffs face winless Rangers in Tulsa

Buffs shut out Rangers with ease

Box score: McAlester 63, Hale 0

Region Roundup: Miners win district

McAlester Pom holds Zombie Run 5K

Senior Spotlight: Football a family matter for Robby Stephens

Midweek Update: Buffs and Miners climb in rankings

Senior Spotlight: Michael Mines settles in McAlester

Buffs Replay: McAlester at Hale

Senior Spotlight: Jacob Patterson hits his spots

Senior Spotlight: Shelton Fry can’t stay away

Senior Spotlight: Tanner Talbot stays active

Know Your Foe: Buffs host Wolves in district showdown

Buffs lead Wolves 42-7 at halftime

Buffs crush Wolves on Senior Night

Box score: McAlester 56, Shawnee 30

Region Roundup: Savages win Homecoming game

Clift nets milestone in Cowgirls win

Veterans lead Cowboys to victory

Monthly McAlester News-Capital Roundup

Even for a monthly roundup, this one seems especially long. September is arguably the most intense month in the high school sports calendar, so that’s probably the biggest reason why. There’s softball and baseball playoffs, volleyball and football and cross country.

Despite all the different teams to cover and all the seniors (and there were a lot of seniors playing fall sports at McAlester) to spotlight, this is still far and away my favorite time of the year. It’s hard to believe the softball season is already over and the football season is half over.

And to be honest, I’d much rather be busy and stressed about having to do many things to write about than be bored and scrambling for stories (which is the case in the summer).

Here’s everything I’ve written in the last month.

Continue reading Monthly McAlester News-Capital Roundup

Monthly McAlester News-Capital Roundup

So we’re in our weekly staff meeting Wednesday, talking about the ways in which we’re going to start prioritizing our digital product. At one point in our discussions, one newsroom person loses it and begins to rant about how we can’t neglect our older readers, many of who don’t use computers and are nowhere near digital-first news consumers.

Another person responded that print will always be our anchor, but there’s a larger point that should’ve been made: if we don’t start prioritizing digital now, the newspaper could close in the next decade.

Yes, we have a portion of our audience that only reads the print edition. But our newspaper has followed a print-first approach up until now, and in the last 10 years that’s resulted in a shrinkage in our overall circulation, not growth.

To make money, we need digital readers. No matter how great our print product is — and it is pretty great considering how few reporters we have — quality doesn’t seem to raise print subscriptions.

McAlester isn’t so different from the rest of the country. The largest demographic here is people my age (or even slightly younger), and it’s no secret that my generation just doesn’t buy newspapers.

Many of my generation also seem to think that because information should be free, the news should be as well. To survive in this world that grows more digitized with each passing day, newspapers have to convince younger readers to pay for the news. And the first way to do that is to present the news in their preferred format.

Maybe some old people will suffer slightly, though the majority of our content does print eventually, and that’s unlikely to change soon. But if our readers are that heavily skewed towards the elderly, then at some point soon we’re looking at a massive dropoff in subscribers.

The only way to replace that loss is to already have in place a strong base of paying digital readers.

I’ve been a full-time professional journalist for just over two years. I don’t think the News-Capital will be the only stop in my career, and I know whatever job I get next will either require me to have these digital-first skills or at least look more favorably upon me for having them.

I get that people who’ve been working here a lot longer are more deeply set in their ways. I’d hope a desire to best serve our readers would trump that inertia and inspire people to put in the extra work, but unfortunately I don’t think that happens in real life in any industry anywhere.

Like it or not, print is quickly becoming (or has already become) the least popular form of communication. If newspapers had been a little bit smarter 15 years ago, they might’ve realized that and jumped into the digital age before it crippled the industry.

Instead, both our industry and my paper is very close to a cliff. And if some of us have to learn a few new skills to keep our jobs, then frankly we ought to do it.

Here’s everything I wrote this past month.

Midweek Update: New school year kicks off Thursday

The Firm scoring relentless against Downtown Detail

Say I Won’t overcomes Late Comers

Local CrossFit trio returns from competition

Hartshorne wraps record travel baseball season

Lady Hornets edge Warriorettes

Tubbs repeats as Hartshorne 5K champ

Friday Night Lights 5K medalists

Lady Buffs softball starts today

Midweek Update: All schools start fall seasons

Lady Savages beat Lady Miners

Lady Buffs volleyball ready for new season

Savanna Alumni to host softball game Saturday

Lady Hornets sting Lady Cougars

McAlester alum named OKC Thunder Girl

Midweek Update: Latimer Co. teams off to hot start

Lady Buffs crush Lady Eagles for first win

Senior Spotlight: Vhitney Garner keeps eyes open

Senior Spotlight: Clarissa Salinas prowls the back row

Lady Panthers topple Cowgirls

Know Your Foe: Buffs head to Wagoner for scrimmage

Buffs fast and physical in Wagoner

Porum wins Robbers Cave Shootout

Coffeyville wins Eastern soccer debut

Midweek Update: Lady Hornets, Lady Bulldogs and Lady Eagles ranked

Demons come back, beat Hornets

Buffs cross country season starts Thursday

Senior Spotlight: Breeze McLaughlin feels right at home on court

Savanna wins Pitt 8 fastpitch tournament

Know Your Foe: Buffs hosting four-team Classic

Pitt 8 Tournament results

Buffs shut out Classic opponents

Lady Buffs sweep Lady Chargers

WSL “Choctaw Casino Classic” tournament results

Buffs eighth at Early Tiger race

 

Monthly McAlester News-Capital Roundup

There are all kinds of sports groups in and around McAlester. There’s a Little League baseball league, plus teams representing several other youth baseball and softball leagues. There’s a softball complex that hosts leagues multiple nights a week and has been home to several larger tournaments.

There’s the Boys and Girls Club. There’s a bowling alley with its own dozen or so leagues. There’s a group of fishermen who compete in a weekly tournament series.

There’s at least one gym that sends people to mixed martial arts tournaments, and a tae kwon do studio that travels for competitions as well.

And on top of that, there are 12 high schools  and junior highs — 13 if you count Lakewood Christian’s small athletics program — all of who compete in anywhere from three to 12 different sports throughout the school year.

Every one of those groups wants as much sports coverage as they can. I get that — I don’t think less of any of those groups for that. And no matter which group it is, chances are at least a few of its members think it is the most important athletic activity in Pittsburg County and should therefore be covered more than all the others.

I learned pretty quickly that you can’t please everyone. Every time I choose to cover one thing, I do so knowing I’m sacrificing covering something else and risk angering that other thing’s fans.

So every day I make choices about what I want to cover. And one of the criteria I use to decide on my coverage is how much information the group I’m covering has provided.

If a group takes the time to send me information, that sends the message that they want coverage. If a group doesn’t, that sends the message they don’t want coverage.

I’m the sole member of our sports department. I don’t belong to a church or any social organizations in town, and I have a very, very small group of friends I see outside of work.

I try to know as much about what it’s going on around town, but there’s a limit. Contacting me is the only way to make sure I know about a particular event.

When I came into work Tuesday morning, I’d discovered that other members of my newsroom had been harassed over our lack of coverage of a certain team. Once I got to my office, I found a press release from another group, which was also mad about a lack of coverage.

The people harassing my boss and colleagues hadn’t tried to get in touch with me once in the last month. Now they were mad an event of theirs wasn’t covered despite alerting us to it just two hours before it happened.

There are people in the newsroom who have seniority over me, but no one knows or cares more about the local sports scene than I do. Trying to go over my head to get coverage is a bad strategy — the people you’ll wind up talking to a) are less likely to think your event matters; b) have had a lot longer to develop the journalistic backbone necessary to tell people to piss off.

If you want sports coverage and you don’t want to buy an ad in our paper, I should always be your first call. I can’t always say yes, but I promise I’m your best chance to get anything in the paper at all.

So when I got in Tuesday morning, I prioritized the group that had sent me a press release. Here’s my story on that, plus everything else I wrote last month.

The two fronts of the NCAA-players war

Softball Complex ready for WSL Qualifier

Firm beats Swag in extra innings

Rain cancels Downtown Detail blowout

Ultimate slowly growing in McAlester

The Firm splits first WSL games

Nothin’ Personal wins WSL tourney

WSL “Bash for Bats” tournament results

US finally catching on to soccer

School board certifies MHS adjunct coaches

The Firm wins men’s league tournament

Schedule released for Little League Regional

Volleyball camp wraps in McAlester

Photo gallery: McAlester volleyball practice

Kiowa’s Doyle signs with St. Gregory’s University

Williams looks back on Hartshorne coaching era

Ramsey wins Eagle Hill tourney

Thomas key to McAlester disc golf growth

Ex-Buff Fernandez reaches golf semifinal

WSL returning to McAlester

Softball Complex field crews hard at work

Disc golf takes local overseas

Lady Hornets edge Lady Buffs

Lady Miners come back against Cowgirls

Locals bowl for charity

Two McAlester Sluggers head to Florida

Local duo wins night-fishing tournament

The Firm wins softball season-opener

Big first inning propels Swag

Buffs’ Sistrunk sweeps All-State matches

Great Balls of Fire announces fall bowling leagues

Buffs, coach win at All-State

Texas-East beats Oklahoma in Little League Regional

Wednesday’s storm floods Softball Complex

Texas-West beats Oklahoma in Little League Regional

Louisiana beats Oklahoma in Little League Regional

Two-Month McAlester News-Capital Roundup

Sportsblognet.com. the hosting website for this blog, was recently sold. In the process, everything I’ve posted since Sept. 30 has been erased.

I’ve tried to get an answer as to whether this content will at some point be restored, but so far nothing. Almost everything I’ve posted has been McAlester News-Capital links, and those are easy enough to replicate.

Everything I’ve written in the past week appears before the cutoff. See the full article for older links.

Midweek Update: Buffs prep for Championship

Alexandria Williams makes the most of MHS

Boyle leads McAlester boys past Hugo

Hugo girls pull away from McAlester

Free throws help Lady Diggers past Lady Cats

Errors cost Canadian against Tushka

McAlester soccer placed in District 5A-4

Eastern postpones High School Invitational

McAlester season/postseason stats

Continue reading Two-Month McAlester News-Capital Roundup