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!

High school football playoff preview

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by ejhayes737, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. ejhayes737

    ejhayes737 Member

    Here is a high school football playoff preview article I wrote a couple weeks ago. Again, any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    For South County, the road to the Northern Region finals goes through Stone Bridge High School. The Stallions will travel that road this Friday to face the Bulldogs in the Virginia AAA Northern Region Division 5 semifinals.

    South County (8-3) used suffocating defense to defeat Madison 31-0 last week in its Northern Region playoff opener. The win was the team’s eighth consecutive. The Stallions forced three Madison fumbles, recovered two and sacked Madison quarterback Dan Powers six times.

    Stone Bridge (10-1) defeated Langley 35-0 last week, posting its third shutout of the season and limiting Langley’s offense to just four first downs. The Bulldogs have won nine consecutive contests.

    On paper, both teams are virtually even defensively. South County’s defense has allowed 123 points this season (11.2 points per game), while Stone Bridge’s has allowed 129 (11.8 points per game). The Stallions have not lost a game since Sept. 16 and boast an eight-game win streak. The Bulldogs have not lost since Sept. 10 and have won nine consecutive contests.

    The Stallions will be tasked with slowing down Bulldog fullback Stephen Trivieri. The 5’11, 195 lb. senior gashed Langley’s defense for 248 yards and four touchdowns. He’s rushed for over 100 yards in seven of Stone Bridge’s 11 games this year and scored 23 touchdowns on the ground. One of South County’s keys to victory includes taking away the run and limiting Trivieri's amount of carries, as he's averaging 20 per game. In Stone Bridge’s lone loss this season against Chantilly, Trivieri was held to 45 yards on just 13 carries. In a 3-0 losing effort by Robinson, the Ram defense also limited him to 59 yards on 13 carries.

    Ryan Burns will line up under center for Stone Bridge and is the best quarterback the Stallions have faced all season. Burns, a junior, is considered one of the nation's top quarterback prospects and has already garnered interest from Florida State, Stanford, Penn State and Boston College. Burns has thrown for 1,701 yards and 13 touchdowns this season, but has looked vulnerable against good secondaries as he's thrown 12 interceptions.

    Stan Johnson is Burns’ primary target at wide receiver and has caught 41 passes for 930 yards and eight touchdowns. At 6’2, Johnson’s height often creates mismatches against smaller opposing defensive backs. He’s a sure-handed deep threat who Bulldog head coach Mickey Thompson will look to get the ball to early to test the Stallion secondary.

    South County has found its identity as a run-heavy team and has stayed true to it throughout the season. The team’s three leading rushers (Peter Basnight, Andrew Rector, Shane Foley) have a combined 1271 yards and 14 touchdowns. While the trio only rushed for 76 yards against Madison, Foley, who is also the team’s starting quarterback, relied on his arm to help secure the win. The senior passed for 121 yards and three touchdowns, turning in arguably his best passing performance of the season.

    South County’s strength lies within its defense. The Stallions have forced a mind boggling 18 turnovers during their eight-game win streak and will need to continue that trend against Stone Bridge to stay competitive in the game.

    After struggling in the first month of the season, South County football has been rebranded. And in his first season as head coach, Gerry Pannoni has brought his team farther than most at the beginning of the season could have imagined. His Stallions will face their biggest challenge yet in Stone Bridge.
  2. nempreps

    nempreps New Member

    It's quite good, if you have time to add quotes from coaches I would do that as well.
  3. TheHacker

    TheHacker Member

    Yeah, quotes are needed. And I think good previews take a focus of some kind -- a lot of what's here is you rattling off stats, which is necessary in the playoffs when a local team is playing against a team from outside your coverage area. But you can also rattle off the stats in an info box and use the story to delve a little deeper and focus on something.
  4. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    Who does the winner play?

    I assume it's a winner of, but personally I think that's a critical piece, because if they do win, people are going to want to know what's next.

    Other than that, for a story without quotes, you cover the details.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page