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Looking for Critique of Article

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by El_Sol, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. El_Sol

    El_Sol New Member

    Hey all,

    I was hoping to receive some feedback on an article that I recently wrote. I am looking for both grammatical and style comments. I have a thick skin so don't worry about tough comments as long as they are constructive. Thanks, to all those that leave comments.

    Also, I was wondering are there were many journalists on this forum from the Austin, TX area? I was wanting to have a beer and talk sports with some local sports journalists some time in the future.



    Eagles Rousted from their Perch, 16-0

    The Cedar Creek Eagles suffered their second straight shut out to a tough Hyde Park Panthers squad Thursday night at Eagle Stadium, 16-0. The first half of play remained scoreless, with neither team able to get their offenses humming as they headed to the locker rooms.

    The Panthers opened up second half play with a bang. Hyde Park’s Amos Mallett returned an Eagle kickoff for 80-yards to get the Panthers roaring. Panthers running back, Andrew Reyes, tacked on 2-points, on a rumble up the heart of the Eagle defense to mark the score 8-0.

    The Eagles started their first offensive series of the half on their own 39-yard line. The Eagles marched all the way to the Panther’s 27-yard line, carried by the legs of quarterback Jose Vasquez, who had 22-yards rushing during the evening. A drive that should’ve ended in 6, and could’ve ended with 3, ended with nothing when the Eagles lost control of the ball due to a failed fourth down conversion by Eagle running back, Vincent Fitzpatrick.

    The Panthers took control over ball on their own 27-yard line and immediately went to work on the Eagle defense, which for the most part had remained staunch during the first half of play. On the second play of the series, Panthers running back, Reyes, juked and jived, his way through and around the Eagles defense for a frabjous 41-yard run. The run quickly exposed the feebleness of the Eagle’s quaggy run defense; a weakness that hadn’t been readily exploited by the Panther’s coaching staff in the first half. Three plays later, Panther’s quarterback, Carson Harmonson, scrambled from the Eagles 42-yard line and found a wide-open Daniel King for a 34-yard gain. The Panther’s ended their drive with a 2-yard touchdown pass from Harmonson to tight-end, Luke Heytens. Harmonson then found a wide-open King in the corner of the Eagle end zone for the 2-point conversion to put the Panthers up 16-0 with 40-seconds left in the quarter.

    At the open of the 4th-quarter the Eagles abandoned their running game and looked to go to the air offensively trying to quickly make-up ground. However, Vasquez, who had an abysmal night in the air going 17-for-6 with 81-yards passing, could never find a sure handed Eagle receiver downfield.

    It was not until late in the fourth quarter, with 2-minutes remaining, that Vasquez was able to establish an aerial relationship with one of his receivers. With two-minutes remaining, and on their own 38-yard line, Vasquez opened up the final offensive series of the game with an incomplete pass to, Adam Manibusan, who had five dropped passes during the game. On the second play of the series, an undiscouraged Vasquez dropped back and then found an open Michael Horyza downfield for an 11-yard reception. The next play, Vasquez tried to hook-up with Manibusan again 10-yards downfield, but of course the receiver dropped the ball again, and suffered taunts of, “Put peanut butter on them hands,” from distraught Eagle faithful in the stands.
    On the fourth play of the series, Vasquez found an open, Adrian Ramirez, for a 9-yard gain.

    Trying to build-up steam, Vasquez continued to go to the air. On the fifth play of the series, Vasquez looked down field and tossed a bomb to a wide-open, Hoyza, but Hoyza lost the ball in stride and it bounced off his hands, to the boo’s of parents in the stands. Vasquez, determined to make something out of the series, went back to the air for the sixth time in the series on the Panther’s 36-yard line. Vasquez dropped back in his pocket, shucked a would-be Panther lineman, scrambled towards the Eagle sidelines and found a wide-open Hoyza, once again, down-field. Vasquez lobbed the ball downfield and everyone in the stands held their breath as the ball arched toward Hoyza. Hoyza leaped-up and made an astounding one-handed, behind the head, catch as he tumbled to the turf, putting the Eagles on the Panther’s 11-yard line and leaving the fans in the stands agog.

    The Eagles took over on the Panther’s 11-yard line with 29-seconds in the half and looked determined to score before play ended. On the first-play of the fresh drive, and with the Eagle band blaring and fans on their feet, Vasquez set-up in the shotgun. Vasquez scanned the defense looking for a hole and then yelled for the snap.

    The snap sailed 3-feet over Vasquez’s head.

    Vasquez was laid-out during the battle for the loose ball, and Hyde Park’s, Reyes, scooped it up and returned it to the Eagle’s 43-yard line.

    All Vasquez could do was lay on his back-side, as the play hurled passed him, and look up into the night-sky as the final seconds ticked off the game-clock and disappointed Eagle fans began shuffling out of the stands and wonder, what happened?

    Truly, the play summarized a lot of the Eagle’s season thus far—blown opportunities. Each time it has looked like the Eagles could possibly start to put a scoring drive together, they either suddenly lose steam or incapacitate themselves when only yards away from pay dirt.

    Head coach, Mike Ferrell, said this after the game, “I’m really pleased with how our defense played. Our defense has really improved tremendously by playing sound, fundamental, football. Now it’s our offenses time to improve. We simply have to make plays.”

    The Eagles will look to improve on both sides of the ball when they face Pflugerville Hendrickson next Thursday at Eagle Stadium at 6:30 p.m.
  2. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    The best critiques are self ones. Look at other high school football stories from many mid-sized paper on the Web and you'll pick up a lot of tips.

    There are a lot of errors in this, and comparing your work with others is a start.
  3. spud

    spud Member

    In short, too much meaningless play-by-play and not enough color. Try to lead with something more anecdotal rather than a generic walk-through. You can get to that later in the story. You need to hook me in. I was bored, honestly, after reading your first two sentences. Kudos for not going the tale of two halves route though, I guess.

    Make sure you know what adjectives you're using. In one paragraph you described a run as 'frabjous' and a defense as 'quaggy,' words that generally don't exist in football context. I have no idea what frabjous means. You don't go 17-for-6, you go 6-for-17. Nearly the entire second half of your story is monotonous play-by-play. You've already established the game was 16-0, so we know Cedar Creek doesn't score in the second half. Go into the stats and break down why, and mention only the key plays in the drives. For instance, these two separate parts...

    On the fifth play of the series, Vasquez looked down field and tossed a bomb to a wide-open, Hoyza, but Hoyza lost the ball in stride and it bounced off his hands, to the boo’s of parents in the stands.

    The next play, Vasquez tried to hook-up with Manibusan again 10-yards downfield, but of course the receiver dropped the ball again, and suffered taunts of, “Put peanut butter on them hands,” from distraught Eagle faithful in the stands.

    ...has no place in this story. What does it accomplish? You describe non-events and plays that ultimately had no bearing on the outcome, not to mention the erroneous quoting of fan chatter. Go through your story and weed out what absolutely does not need to be there. A former prof of mine once gave me a valuable piece of advice that always served me well: look up the word count of your story and chop that number in half, leaving in only the most important parts. Re-read it then, and assess.

    Also, your use of quotes here is lacking. Have to get something further up in the story. You can easily play off something a coach says and make that your lead if all you have is a standard AP lead-in to begin with. I was at a game last Friday, and a coach told me something about how a player that made the defining play of the night had all these intangibles he couldn't coach. Boom, there's my lead, and I didn't even have to rack my brain for it. Could never have gotten that if I was determined to bury the only quote I used in the second-to-last graph.

    Grammar, grammar, grammar. Check syntax, spelling and beware of your excessive usage of commas. The above quoted sections are prime examples.
  4. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Frabjous: like fabulous with a lemon twist according to Urban Dictionary. I don't know what qualifies as a play with a lemon twist.
  5. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

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