1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Football gamer

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by GidalKaiser, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. GidalKaiser

    GidalKaiser Member

    Bozeman High’s football team went from being nearly dirt-poor to being incredibly wealthy.
    Over a month ago, second-year starting quarterback Will Weyer was injured in the final minutes of a 7-3 loss to Kalispell Glacier at Legends Stadium on Sept. 21. The junior broke the collarbone on his non-throwing shoulder, and suddenly the Hawks had to scramble.
    No one else took snaps during a 4-0 Bozeman start that included wins of 38, 24 and 20 points, leaving Troy Purcell with few options. The selection boiled down to true freshman Balue Chapman or Connor Linebarger, a junior known more for his prowess at defensive end.
    Linebarger, Weyer’s classmate, was tabbed. Thirty-five days later, Purcell and his coaching staff have another decision to make: Do they stay with Linebarger heading into the AA state playoffs?
    The junior put together a career night Friday, passing for five touchdowns and 267 yards on 12 completions as Bozeman routed Senior 57-8 at Van Winkle Stadium.
    Linebarger’s scoring passes went to Hunter Gappmayer (two), Keavon Buckley, Will Dissly and Andre Stubbs as the Hawks scored 43 first-half points to celebrate Senior Night. The numbers are all career-highs for Linebarger; his grasp of the offense led the coaching staff to signal in eight pass plays among Bozeman’s first 12.
    “I’m definitely getting a lot more comfortable at throwing the ball,” Linebarger said. “It’s been tough learning all the plays in a few weeks. Tonight, I wanted to play hard for all the seniors. Make it a good night for them.”
    Linebarger’s five scores also tied Tanner Roderick’s 2010 single-game school record of five against Billings West in 2010.
    “Did he really? Are you kidding me? He threw five touchdowns?” Purcell said, almost dumbfounded. “Nice. I was just trying to watch him play.
    “They loaded the box on us, dared us to throw the ball. Connor did a great job. Wow, five touchdowns. That’s awesome.”
    Not to be forgotten, Weyer entered the game with 10:15 left in the second quarter and a 23-0 lead after Senior (3-7) snapped the ball out of the end zone on a fourth-down punt from its 12-yard line. The Bronc free kick went out-of-bounds; the penalty gave Bozeman (7-3) the ball at Senior’s 45.
    After a handoff to Gappmayer went zero yards, Weyer dropped back, cocked his right arm and let fly a pass up the slot on the right side. The seam route pass dropped right into Dissly’s lap for 25 yards. One snap later, Weyer lofted a go route towards the near left pylon in the end zone, and the ball found its way into the hands of senior wide receiver Mick Delaney for a 22-yard touchdown.
    Weyer played in two more series’ – one in the first half and one in the second. He missed three completion attempts and was 2-of-5 for 47 yards.
    “Sitting on the sidelines, watching Connor,” Weyer smiled, “it was killing me, he was doing awesome. It was just crazy. Getting out there felt great.”
    Weyer is healthy. Linebarger has found his form. Bozeman, the No. 5 seed in the playoffs, plays at least one more game.
    Is there a quarterback controversy?
    “Will’s getting back; he’ll be playing quarterback,” Linebarger blurted out. “I’m going to go back to defensive end.”
    Purcell confirmed the statement.
    “No (there is no controversy),” the head coach said. “It makes our team stronger by having Linebarger playing defensive end.”
    Linebarger might see action on offense in the red zone during the playoffs, Purcell noted. If nothing else, should an emergency occur anytime between now and the end of the 2013 season – when both Linebarger and Weyer are seniors – Bozeman has a backup plan in place.
    “Things are meant for a reason,” Purcell said. “For the rest of this season and next season, we’ll always have the Linebarger package where we have an option-type quarterback who can run or pass.”
     
  2. spud

    spud Member

    Couple notes:

    - Way too much preamble at the top. If it's a game story, you need to shove the actual score into the story a lot earlier, second or third graf ideally with little in the way of meat out in front. You had four relatively information-rich sentences before you told your reader what actually happened that night. I'd keep the essentials up top, move a lot of that down in the story and cut some of it out. This isn't a feature.

    - Is there such a thing as a "true freshman" in high school?

    - This quote: “Did he really? Are you kidding me? He threw five touchdowns?” Purcell said, almost dumbfounded. “Nice. I was just trying to watch him play." It's extraneous. I'd cut it entirely. It doesn't add anything to the story.

    - It's a sturdy story, all things considered. A little quote-heavy toward the bottom, but it's tough to do too much pxp in blowouts, and you squeezed some interest from it.
     
  3. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    My thought exactly.
     
  4. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    In addition to the previous comment about the score being higher, I took the liberty of editing a bit. I don't have a problem ending the story with a quote, but that is not a very good quote. Good story overall. Just some minor changes.

    Bozeman High’s football team went from being nearly dirt-poor to being incredibly wealthy.
    Over a month ago, On Sept. 21, second-year starting quarterback Will Weyer was injured in the final minutes of a 7-3 loss to Kalispell Glacier at Legends Stadium on Sept. 21. The junior broke the collarbone on his non-throwing shoulder, and suddenly the Hawks had to scramble.
    No one else took snaps during a 4-0 Bozeman start that included wins of 38, 24 and 20 points, leaving Troy Purcell with few options. The choices were selection boiled down to true freshman Balue Chapman or Connor Linebarger, a junior known more for his prowess at defensive end.
    Linebarger, Weyer’s classmate, was tabbed. Thirty-five days later, Purcell and his coaching staff have another decision to make: Do they stay with Linebarger heading into the AA state playoffs?
    The junior put together a career night Friday, passing for five touchdowns and 267 yards on 12 completions as Bozeman routed Senior 57-8 at Van Winkle Stadium.
    Linebarge threw two scoring passes went to Hunter Gappmayer and one each to Keavon Buckley, Will Dissly and Andre Stubbs as the Hawks scored 43 first-half points on to celebrate senior night. The numbers are all career highs for Linebarger.
    ; his grasp of the offense led the coaching staff to signal in eight pass plays among Bozeman’s first 12.
    “I’m definitely getting a lot more comfortable at throwing the ball,” Linebarger said. “It’s been tough learning all the plays in a few weeks. Tonight, I wanted to play hard for all the seniors. Make it a good night for them.”
    Linebarger’s five scores also tied Tanner Roderick’s 2010 single-game school record of five against Billings West in 2010.
    “Did he really? Are you kidding me? He threw five touchdowns?” Purcell said, almost dumbfounded. “Nice. I was just trying to watch him play.
    “They loaded the box on us, dared us to throw the ball," Purcell said. "Connor did a great job. Wow, five touchdowns. That’s awesome.”
    Not to be forgotten, Weyer entered the game with 10:15 left in the second quarter and a 23-0 lead after Senior (3-7) snapped the ball out of the end zone on a fourth-down punt from its 12-yard line. The Bronc free kick went out of bounds, and the penalty gave Bozeman (7-3) the ball at Senior’s 45.
    After a handoff to Gappmayer for no gain, went zero yards, Weyer dropped back, cocked his right arm and threw a pass up the slot on the right side. The seam route pass dropped right into Dissly’s hands lap for 25 yards. One snap later, Weyer lofted a go route toward the near left end zone pylon, and the ball found its way into the hands of senior receiver Mick Delaney caught it for a 22-yard touchdown.
    Weyer played in two more series – one in the first half and one in the second. He missed three completion attempts and was 2-of-5 for 47 yards.
    “Sitting on the sidelines, watching Connor, it was killing me” Weyer said. smiled, “it was killing me, "He was doing awesome. It was just crazy. Getting out there felt great.”
    Weyer is healthy, but Linebarger has found his form. Bozeman, the No. 5 seed in the playoffs, plays at least one more game.
    Is there a quarterback controversy?
    “Will’s getting back; he’ll be playing quarterback,” Linebarger said. blurted out. “I’m going to go back to defensive end.”
    Purcell confirmed the statement.
    “No (there is no controversy),” the coach said. “It makes our team stronger by having Linebarger playing defensive end.”
    Linebarger might see action on offense in the red zone during the playoffs, Purcell said. But should an emergency occur between now and the end of the 2013 season – when Linebarger and Weyer are seniors – Bozeman has a backup plan in place.

    “Things are meant for a reason,” Purcell said. “For the rest of this season and next season, we’ll always have the Linebarger package where we have an option-type quarterback who can run or pass.”
     
  5. GidalKaiser

    GidalKaiser Member

    Thanks for the info and input. I appreciate it.
     
  6. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    BDC did a really nice job with that, Gidal.

    Remember, you don't need to embellish. State things straight. And don't try to find how many different ways one can say something, like "said." "Said" will do fine.
     
  7. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    One thing I always harp on writers about is to get the score in the first three --- or at most four -- paragraphs. As a designer, sometimes my front gets crowded and I have to put 3-4 graphs out front and jump the rest inside. Not having the score on the front part drives me nuts.

    And, no, you should never assume the score will be in a headline or fact box somewhere. Gotta get that high up, then come back and flesh out the details later on.
     
  8. slc10

    slc10 Member

    I might have been inclined to mention Lineberger's name in the lead.
     
  9. baddecision

    baddecision Member

    I follow this self-imposed rule: Never mention a score of any kind -- whether a partial score from this game or the final score of a different game -- before you have mentioned the final score of this game. The final score of this game is the first score you mention, every time. Following this has helped me (and others) with clarity and economy in ledes.
     
  10. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    Definitely a good decision on your part, bd. :) That should be a hard and fast rule.
     
  11. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    Seconded. Saves all kinds of confusion.
     
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page