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Feature Story on High School Basketball Players

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by hoxltc, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. hoxltc

    hoxltc New Member

    Hoping to get some feedback on this story a wrote a few weeks ago. Any thoughts, good or bad, would be great. Thanks!!


    Trio leading Paw Paw hoops revival

    According to Greek Mythology, Cerberus is a fierce, three-headed hound that guards the gates of the underworld to prevent those who cross over to never escape. However, the mighty beast was overtaken by Hercules in an epic battle in the 12th and final labor of penance.

    It has taken that kind of Herculean effort from opponents this season to defeat the Paw Paw Bulldogs team and its own version of the three-headed monster.

    Seniors Justin Wiley and Zach Lilja and junior Nicholas Siemers have been a force for the Bulldogs success, leading them not only to a sparking 20-5 overall record and making it just the seventh team in the school's history to top the 20-win plateau. They also hold a 6-1 record in the Little Ten Conference and have a chance to capture a share of the regular-season championship with a home victory over Hinckley-Big Rock tomorrow night.

    “I think the biggest key for us this year has been our experience,” said Siemers about the fact that all three have seen varsity action since freshman year. “That has helped us in both close games and late in games, knowing what and what not to do. Also Coach (David) Glenn gives us a lot of freedom on the offensive end, which gives us tons of confidence.”

    All due in large part to versatility and high-volume scoring of Siemers (19.0 ppg), Wiley (18.6 ppg) and Lilja (14.1 ppg).

    “It's our third year of playing together in high school,” said Wiley of the trio, who've have been playing together since grade school and like to hang out outside the confines of the gymnasium. “Last year we had so many injuries, me getting hurt in soccer and missing the first six games, then Zach getting hurt and missing time (eight games) when I came back. I think the combination of us all being healthy and playing together have really helped us this season.”

    The trio have scored 78 percent of the Bulldogs points in 2012-2013, but each will admit it's been more than a three-man show. Contributions from juniors Jonathan Jenkins, Wesley Kaiser, Nick Dodaro and Justen Penman, along with recent boosts from sophomores Trevor Oros and Jason Kidd, have helped Paw Paw to third-place finishes at the Route 17 Thanksgiving and LTC Tournaments and a consolation title at the Sterling Newman Christmas Classic.

    “This summer at the Newman summer league we really bonded as a team and it's carried over into the season,” said Lilja. “We've had our whole team together too, no major injuries that has kept anyone out for a long time. It's been nice to prove that Paw Paw boys basketball can win something.”

    Siemers has been running the point for the purple-and- gold since his first game as a freshman. He's reached double figures in scoring in all but two games this season, registered four double-doubles and netted a season-high 29 points against Prophetstown at Newman.

    “(Nick's) pretty laid back and funny, but he knows when to get serious,” said Wiley of his guard mate. “When we are on the floor we kind of know what the other is thinking.”

    Lilja is a tremendous low-post player despite only being 6-foot-2. He can carry the team from there, proving the fact with a 27-point, seven-rebound effort that led PPHS to the third-place trophy at the LTC Tournament over Newark, a program Paw Paw hadn't beaten since Lilja was just a toddler.

    “He's kind of the glue that holds things together for us,” said Siemers of Lilja. “He does a great job of posting up his man and uses his body well to get rebounds even if the other team's players are much taller. He is also a good passer, he'll find the open man on the outside if there is nothing down low.”

    The soft-spoken Wiley is the leader of the club, according to his teammates. He's reached double figures in all but one game and poured in more than 20 points in nine contests. He also recorded a triple-double (15 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists) in late November against Ashton-Franklin Center.

    “He's the quiet leader on the team,” said Lilja of Wiley. “Since freshman year, he has really developed into a really good all-around player and scorer. He's just the quiet kid who scores all the points.”

    The ultimate goal for the three stars and their teammates is to earn a regional championship next week. It would be the first since 1998, but first is a chance to be LTC regular season champs.

    If the Bulldogs can achieve those next two goals, as is the case in Greek mythology's teachings of gods and heroes, all three be held in that level of esteem in Paw Paw lore forever.
  2. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Never lead with Greek mythology. You lost me immediately.

    There are very few cases in which a feature story should not open with the person, group, event or thing being featured.
  3. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    Have to agree with Vers. That lead makes it look like you are trying to be the smartest guy in the room. I was going to try to rework it so you could use the same approach without beating the reader over the head right off the bat, but you're probably better off just taking a different approach altogether. I'll take a closer look when I have some more free time. Looks like it could use some editing as well.
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