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How's your high school football season going?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by HejiraHenry, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    We're 11 weeks in. One more week of regular season for the largest and smallest schools, while playoffs start next week for everyone else.

    It's taken a while, but the last couple of years we have hit upon an approach that has worked pretty well for us. There's always one bad night every season, but mainly it's been pretty routine - as routine as Friday nights can be, anyway.

    How about you?
  2. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Last week of the season is next week, all the traditionals. Pretty much going according to form, we've been doing the same routine ever since I shifted back tosports in 2008. Figuring 4 or 5 teams will make playoffs, one of which will be a small Christian school that plays 8-man and will host the bowl game. Personally, the biggest adjustment has been Tweeting instead of blogging on Facebook. There is a difference.
  3. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    I know there are people who kill Twitter on here, but it has thoroughly revolutionized the way we conduct our business on Friday nights. We'll typically staff 8 or 9 games on a Friday night - 1 staff writer, 4 or 5 writers from "our" weeklies and our 3 or 4 best stringers - but that can still leave sometimes as many as 20 games to track.

    We're at the point now where there is somebody credible tweeting from perhaps 40 of the 48 or so schools that we follow. And sometimes those others are playing somewhere else, where somebody is tweeting.

    We know the minute a game is over and if we haven't herd from those folks within 20 or 25 minutes, we start calling.

    That has made a tremendous difference in boosting the percentage of schools that we can get into the Saturday paper.
  4. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    It's also a godsend if you can't have somebody at the game. Depending on the Tweeter, you can sometimes pull enough off the feed to at least pull a capsule together. The teams that use the Qwixscore function on MaxPreps are also a revelation. A couple of times this year, we've gotten a full box score and a 7-inch gamer off of that.
    It's also nice to immediately know other scores from teams in the district of the one your covering. It helps a ton with sorting out playoff scenarios on deadline.
  5. Bradley Guire

    Bradley Guire Well-Known Member

    It's playoff time, and that's a good thing for my wallet. Not a lot of cross-state games during the regular season because of travel budget concerns. Most of my freelancing work comes during postseason. Not as much as basketball, but I'll get a little Christmas money from football.
  6. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    That may be the single best use of Twitter that I have ever heard. If you have the right people, you could sit in the office and follow a ton of different games. Almost like NFL Sunday Ticket. Cool.
  7. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    Twitter coverage in Kansas is very good. There's several papers and websites covering games using a variety of hashtags (#vkscores for the Wichita Eagle, for example). Ten years ago, there would have been four or five scores I needed but couldn't get until Monday morning when I had to call the school and ask whoever answered if they knew. Now they're all in before 11 because someone somewhere has put the score of the game they're watching on Twitter.

    A lot of the schools in the smaller leagues around here use Twitter on a regular basis but only one of the larger schools does, which you'd think would be the opposite.
  8. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    And, as Batman observed, you can - if the people you're following know what they're doing - build a proper scoring summary from games where coaches might be hard to reach after games, especially on the road.
  9. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    Absolutely. Most of our local radio play-by-play guys live Tweet, which is a godsend when they're on the road and we're not staffing the game. And just like with colleges, a lot of high schools now have official Twitter feeds that are updated by their AD or PA guy or whomever. After I finish writing my gamer, I can reconstruct a 3-4 paragraph recap of several other games to run in the roundup.

    I live tweet and re-tweet like crazy when I'm at a game, and it's gotten to the point where even out-of-area fans and radio folks will tweet updates to me unsolicited. If there's an out-of-area game that has playoff implications for one of our local teams, I tweet out "anybody got an update on Podunk High vs. County High?," and in almost every instance, I get a response back in a minute or two from someone who is at the game or getting text updates from someone on-site.

    A great use of technology.
  10. In Kentucky, we're entering the first week of the playoffs, which take five weeks. Postseason (finals in all six classes) are the Friday after basketball season has begun.

    Twitter, combined with the KHSAA's online scoreboard, is a godsend. We run a 16-page all-color football tab every Sunday with stats (top-10 for the seven area schools we cover) updated after that week, scores, district schedules, the next week's state schedule, tweets of the night, etc. Most nights, all 100+ scores from throughout the state are in by midnight. The schedule can always be done in advance because the KHSAA forces all teams to have their schedules on there (as well as numerical roster and stat leaders).

    Plus, district games are only in certain weeks, no matter the district size (some districts have three teams, some have 7). With district games done in Week 10 of an 11-week regular season (10 games plus bye week), most playoff pairings were set before the last week of the regular season.
  11. kingcreole

    kingcreole Active Member

    The main local high school here missed the playoffs for the first time since 1999. The traditional local eight-man power was freshmen and sophomore dominated. Still have a couple local teams playing, but one won't survive the first round, and another has a brutal road ahead. They could win state or lose in the first round.

    But since I cover college, my basketball season has already started. :(
  12. Morris816

    Morris816 Member

    Four teams in our area have made the playoffs and a fifth team needs a win in the final week to get in. Of the five, the 8-man team we cover probably has the best shot of making a deep run.

    Going to be interesting times in the weeks ahead, as we try to crank out a winter sports preview section while balancing coverage of any football playoff games ahead.
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