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 previews

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Upstatesfinest, Jun 12, 2006.

  1. It's that time of year again: Brainstorming for high school football preview sections. Does anyone have some good ideas of things they've seen in previous years. Even if an idea has been recycled, it could give somebody else a fresh one or put two plans together.
    What we've talked about at my paper is trying to figure out how to combine a theme with the nuts and bolts "Joe Smith is 5-10 205 and runs a 4.5 40. His offensive line averages 260 etc..."

    Fire away.
  2. Canyonero!

    Canyonero! Member

    Does the team have a season theme or slogan? You can somehow incorporate that. And highlighting players to watch on each side of the ball with a feature is a good way to spice things up.
  3. RedCanuck

    RedCanuck Active Member

    Here's a thought. How about playing it straight with good action photos and writing that tells about the season without having to play into some stupid crafted theme?
  4. I have always been a fan of solid reporting that brings out the identity of each team. Obviously they have similarities, but when you look at each class and how they've done historically, I think it's pretty simple to produce compelling copy that doesn't seem redundant.

    However, my boss thinks that having a theme attached somehow makes it more appealing for contests and he thinks the readers enjoy it more also.

    Some past ideas I've seen: an action-hero section complete with high quality illustrations of players and action figures; a Survivor/reality show them labeling each team with a different show and identifying certain players that fit categories. There are also the traditional rivalry packages where you can focus on an anniversary or "big/memorable" games between two schools. I've also seen one where the cover story focused on offensive linemen since no one pays much attention to them and stats are hard to come by. Why would anyone want to be an offensive linemen? But some kids really love it.
  5. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    How many schools are you covering here Upstate, how big is the section?
    Please, scrap the pop-culture nonsense, it's been done to death, and try to find a nice way to let your SE know smart and informative is far more important that winning contests.
  6. We cover about 15 schools. The section is 48 pages tab size. It usually contains team previews, region previews/predictions and a column or two. I've tried to tell the SE about going away from the theme, but it's one of those "this is how we've always done it" old, tired arguments.
  7. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Not opposed to the theme idea, especially with only 15 schools ... just stay away from Survivior, Superhero cartoons etc....it's trite by now.
    But with 48 pages for 15 schools you should have the room to get a little creative beyond the routine team preview stuff.
    Think about what will work as a common thread among the 15 schools.
  8. RedCanuck

    RedCanuck Active Member

    I loved being an offensive lineman, and I loved coaching the offensive linemen after my playing days. That said, I'd probably be the first reporter to admit to kids that most offensive linemen won't get their name in the paper in game coverage — save a mistake they made, or the quarterback's obligatory comments about his offensive line.
  9. HoopsMcCann

    HoopsMcCann Active Member

    i've always been a big fan of a football theme, but that's just me
  10. joe_schmoe

    joe_schmoe Active Member

    Go with "Deal or No Deal" It's popularity will be back up by then.

    Come playoff season, which team have the best chance at dealing, and who doesn't?

    Or tell your boss to scrap the theme idea and listen to you.
  11. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Yeah, but that football theme thing, Hoops...means the football section is just about football. Doesn't grab the contest judges' attention. ::)
  12. FuturaBold

    FuturaBold Member

    Speaking of bad themes -- looking through some old issues of my current publication and we had a picture on our cover under the headline "Who Let The Dogs Out" with, you guessed it, big bad players posing in front of a dog house ... cheese to the max ...

    I can't remember where I saw this (SI or ESPN the Magazine maybe), but I thought it was clever when someone did an all-star team type layout incorporating electric football players - you remember the game where you turn on the electricity and the little men vibrate all over the place ... It was unique and cleverly done without being too stupid ...
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page