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High School Milestones

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Walter_Sobchak, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. Walter_Sobchak

    Walter_Sobchak Active Member

    Well, we had a quasi-embarrassing one tonight.

    Perhaps our highest profile athlete from our biggest town scored his 1,000th point tonight, and for some reasons I can't explain, we didn't know about it ahead of time. We've written about this kid extensively, and he was our Player of the Year for football (although he's obviously very good at basketball, it's definitely his second sport).

    Obviously, this is something we should have known about well in advance. Thank God, we had a reporter there just to cover the game, although it was just one of our freelancers. And we did shoot the game, although since the photographer didn't know it was part of the assignment, my guess is he didn't get there in time, because we didn't have art of the ceremony.

    Anyways, lack of staff shouldn't be an excuse for not being prepared for this one. Still, how much do you rely on coaches and ADs to keep you abreast of milestone points, kids about to break school records, etc.?
  2. Clerk Typist

    Clerk Typist Guest

    I guess if you keep career stats for players updated, you should know, but how many papers do that? And you can't depend on coaches and ADs for anything. Look as advance word on stuff like this as a gift.
    If your stringer threw it in the story, you're covered. If not, mention he's over 1,000 next time.
  3. EmbassyRow

    EmbassyRow Active Member

    How big of a deal IS 1,000 points? I mean, really? My last couple of jobs, it was worth a roundup mention. My current stop, it's the lead to a story (and maybe even a photo). Just baffling to me.
  4. sg86

    sg86 Member

    We usually get tipped off by the AD or the coach when they get close. In some instances a parent will call in. It all just depends.

    Generally in my area though, few if any, get that close, so you kind of have a sense going into the season whether or not is possible. We have a watch list for stuff like that.
  5. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    The 1,000-point mark isn't a big deal around here. It'll be the lead of our roundup, and it'll get a mention in the gamer -- possibly a feature on the kid later, but it wouldn't center around or be assigned due to the milestone.
  6. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Yeah, 1,000 wasn't really that big a deal at my last two papers. At least, not unless that player is among the first to do it at that school and/or close to breaking the school record. Had three players in my hometown pass 2,000 in the last decade, and all those we played up very big.

    As for knowing about it ahead of time, you might want to start a database in your system and keep track of anyone who reaches certain milestones. My last paper was great about that -- had a whole list of section champs, season records, etc., especially in football. Also, ask coaches when you're working on season previews if any of their players is close to a record/milestone. Then, you'll be aware of when they might hit it during the season.
  7. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    I think only two kids have scored 1,000 here and they've both been in the last 10 years. No girl has done it, so that might be kind of a big deal.

    The AD has been good about letting me know about stuff like this. He tipped me off prior to the head boys' coach winning his 200th career game. And that led me to do some math which shows that he ought to win his 150th at the school sometime this month. Only two coaches here have more and if he stays long enough, he'll be the first with 200 at this school.

    Basically, someone's keeping track and if they feel it's important, they'll probably let you know. But if it's no big deal to them, don't sweat it. Hell, I have a hard enough time getting one area coach to send me the score of a game, much less anything surrounding it.
  8. Thousand points is NO big deal.
    Worth a mention? Yes?
    A feature? No. Not unless your a weekly in a shitty hoops area or the kid is some sort of two-year stud.
    To score a 1,000 points in a career you need to average 10 points a game (for a 25 game-season) over four years.
    Not really a big deal.
    'Round, here we have a half-dozen kids, a lot of juniors, who reach the milestone every year.
    It's pretty much a dime a dozen.
  9. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    We usually rely on coaches or ADs to tell us. With the number of schools in our area, we don't keep stats on all the kids. We'll mention it in the roundup when it happens.

    On a side note, at a former (very small so it was important) paper, I once got ripped on by parents for not covering what they considered their team's regular-season first-place clinching victory. They had a whole big celebration afterwards and was pissed that I wasn't there.

    Funny thing, though, is that I covered their previous game, which, in technical terms, was the clincher. They won, giving them a one-game lead over the second place team, and the first-place school had already won both meetings that season. I put all that in that gamer, and had a headline that said they clinched.

    This led to this fascinating exchange I had with the AD:

    AD: Why weren't you at our game? We had a ceremony afterwards to celebrate our first league title in 15 years.

    Me: You didn't tell me in advance you were having a ceremony afterwards. Nobody told me anything.

    AD: Well, we thought you knew already. We didn't really plan it. It sort of just happened. But you should have been there because we clinched our league.

    Me: Well, if you didn't plan it, how was I to know you were going to have one? And I was at your league clinching three days ago. It's not my fault you guys didn't realize it at the time.

    AD: (mumbles to himself)
  10. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    At my last stop even though we had a handful of kids each year hit 1,000, we played it up big (headline, photo) every time.

    However about 7-10 years ago, two girls were going to hit it on the same night -- one was a white girl playing in a county tournament semifinal; the other a black girl playing in a county tournament consolation game. We were going to make the consolation game the lead of the wrap since it was a night game and play up the semifinal which was an afternoon game.
    However the mother of the girl in the consolation happened to be at the semifinal, saw we were playing it up big. Then called the paper and spoke to an assistant sports editor and the managing editor and convinced them we were being racists if we didn't cover her daughter's game and shoot a picture. That hit the fan around 5:30-6, forcing the photo editor to reassign people, the assistant sports editor to reassign people to make sure we had the county semis covered plus this game, and the slot guy to be pissed off because he had to redo part of the section he had just spent the last 2 hours designing.
  11. bueller

    bueller Member

    Long ago at a former shop, a coach tipped me off that one of his players was closing in on 2,000. The coach said the player had no idea, but she might reach it the next game. If she didn't make it, he asked that I not mention it.

    We covered the game. She fell short and had 1,994, I think. Since there were some fans keeping a running total displayed on the gym wall, I think she knew she was getting close. I felt no guilt when I wrote all about it.
  12. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    What you could have done, given that you had always played up 1,000-point scorers, was do a story on both of them hitting the mark, running a photo of both.
    Then have two seperate game stories. No one could've called you racists.
    It's odd that two people hit the 1,000-point mark at the same time. It has happened once at a paper I worked for and we handled it the way that I described. No big deal and smiles all around.
    Had you gone with your earlier thought, the mother might have had a legitimate gripe, even though your intentions were not racist. In a way, she saved you from a lot of backlash from readers.
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