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Football Previews

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by CoreyDavis, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. CoreyDavis

    CoreyDavis New Member

    What do you guys/girls do to make your high school football previews unique ?

    Just looking for creative ideas as we all get through this.

    One of the kool things we have here is Media Day. I attended one this week in Gainesville and will attend another one in Jacksonville in two weeks. Good place to talk to every coach in the area and a few players from each school.
  2. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    You have a prep media day? Darn!!

    Honestly, talk to enough coaches and they all start to sound the same. I could pull out last year's quote sheet and compare it and I bet it won't have changed much.

    We try to pick one athlete from each sport (preferably a senior) in our area and do a feature on them. Then small capsules on all the teams in the area: coach, last year's record, returning players, newcomers and schedule.
  3. fossywriter8

    fossywriter8 Well-Known Member

    My paper is a 12K free weekly in northwest Ohio. Our tab is for all sports. Of course, we only have two schools in town and six more in the area.
    I write a feature story on something or someone and bylined stories on all of the in-town schools' (public and Catholic) varsity sports with team pics of varsity, JV and freshman teams. The two football teams also get a box with the roster, last year's results, this year's schedule and list of coaches.
    Of the other six schools, only four have football, giving us six football teams total. The other four football teams get team pics, a write-up and the roster box.
    The other sports (volleyball, cross country, golf) at the six schools out of town get capsules, similar to what Mark2010 listed.
    We also have team pics of the cheerleaders, and a two-page composite schedule for all of the schools.
    It usually runs 48 tab pages, and whatever space is left is filled with AP stories and tidbits.
    For those wondering, yes, having all of the sports in one tab is popular with the readers. We're one of two newspapers in the area that do it. The other papers only have football tabs, but most of them also cover many more schools.
    Since I'm a one-man sports shop, photo days can be fun, but the paper's other reporter is always willing to help when he can.
  4. alex.riley21

    alex.riley21 Member

    We actually had a media day set up with each of our 11 teams in the area as well. Basically it was the same day they took team photos. The way my partner and I did it was he previewed the team as a whole, talking with the coach, the expectations, etc. and then I talked with the players for short features. Add some capsule info and boom. Granted our tab was just football and it's Texas so they're blood thirsty for the game.
  5. lesboulez

    lesboulez Member

    we used to do the "media" day at the annual coaches get together for the conferences, where they discussed rules changes and other things for the upcoming school year. that way we'd have all the league's coaches in one place, could take your time talking to them because they couldn't leave and they didn't want to be in the meetings...worked out great. don't think the guys at my old paper do it anymore...
  6. CoreyDavis

    CoreyDavis New Member

    It's great to have the Media Days, because coaches take the time to fill out the basic info and are willing to answer any questions about their program. Talking to kids can be kind of vanilla at times but once in a while you get some good quotes.

    I take all the info I get from there and write up team previews and features. Just have to set up the photo shoot for the cover and also a time for individual head shots and cheerleading team pics of the four teams I cover.

    Everything is due by Aug. 13 to come out by Sept 1.

    -Team Capules (basic info)
    -District capsules (basic info) about the other teams my teams are faring for playoffs.
    -Top 10 games
    -District and State predictions
    -I started using each teams helmets in the capsules that gives a nice look to it also
  7. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    Our high schools have caught the media day bug. Only problem is, they all select the same Saturday to hold theirs, and all at the same time. At least most of the 30+ we cover.
  8. CoreyDavis

    CoreyDavis New Member

    Less than two weeks till my deadline, anybody else stressing a bit. Luckily I have been planning this since April.
  9. apseloser

    apseloser Member

    If you've been planning it for that long, you'll kill it, Corey.
    Everyone on here should be very proud - churning all that copy with limited resources. I miss those days.
  10. albert77

    albert77 Well-Known Member

    We start talking about the cover shot in late June and nail it down in early-to-mid July. Prep info sheets went out around July 15 and the section hits the streets Sunday, Aug. 15 (high schools start here the following weekend). So we're already blowin' and goin'. BTW, looks like a 48-page tab for us, which is up eight pages from last year. Includes previews on the Saints, colleges, jucos and 20 high schools, plus skeds and other useful info.
  11. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    I'm trying to catch the pop culture zeitgeist for a tab cover idea.

    And don't have a clue.

    Maybe a Lady Gaga theme: "Poker Face" and have the area stars at the table at the casino cross the river. But then the fundies would howl.
  12. fossywriter8

    fossywriter8 Well-Known Member

    Holy crap, don't do that.
    A few years ago an area paper (for which I worked in the late-'90s) highlighted a group of quarterbacks in its coverage area, going with a 'Gunslingers' theme. The cover shot had them in western garb with a few rifles -- none pointed -- and such.
    People complained the paper glorified violence, and generally raised a hullabaloo over it.
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