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Prep football gamer.

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by Sean Smyth, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. Sean Smyth

    Sean Smyth Member

    Hey gang, I'll take any feedback you wanna provide.



    WAYLAND - Brighton was a feel-good story last year.Perennially one of the city’s downtrodden football programs, the Bengals had a breakout season and reached the Division 4 Super Bowl, only to be blown out by West Bridgewater.

    A novelty no more, Brighton was a favorite in last night’s EMass. semifinal against Manchester Essex at Wayland High and delivered. After a perfect regular season, nobody was surprised when the Bengals scored three times in the second half of a 28-7 rout of the Hornets.

    Brighton (11-0) earned a Super Bowl rematch against West Bridgewater, a 24-0 winner against Pope John in the other semifinal. The teams will meet Saturday at Stonehill College.

    Quarterback Kameel Lashley made most of the big plays for the Bengals offense, rushing 19 times for 191 yards and two touchdowns and throwing a TD pass in the third quarter. Perhaps the biggest play was his 43-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that gave Brighton the lead. Lashley escaped the pocket, avoided a big hit and rolled down the left sideline, breaking a handful of tackles along the way.

    Brighton coach James Philip had harsh words at halftime for Lashley, who had just 52 rushing yards to that point. The Bengals trailed, 7-6, after two quarters.

    “I challenged him in the locker room to live up to his press,” Philip said.

    Brighton had only three first downs and 88 yards of offense in the first half, compared to 114 yards for Manchester Essex. That was a disappointment for a team that averaged more than 35 points per game in the regular season, and Lashley took it upon himself to spark the team.

    “Coach told me he wanted the ball in my hands,” Lashley said. “He wanted me to make big plays.”

    Brighton took the kickoff after the break and drove down to the Manchester Essex 1-yard line, where the ball popped out of Renel Jean’s hands and was recovered by the Hornets.

    Manchester Essex went three-and-out, and on Brighton’s next play, Lashley busted loose for a 43-yard score that put his team ahead. The Bengals added the two-point conversion to make it 14-7.

    The Hornets (9-3) again went three-and-out on their next possession, setting the stage for a five-minute Brighton scoring drive, capped off by a 13-yard touchdown pass from Lashley to Kariym Azeez.

    Manchester Essex’ lone touchdown came with 5:20 remaining in the first quarter on an 18-yard pass from junior quarterback Pat Orlando to Ben Kekeisen.

    The Bengals scored with 1:45 remaining in the second quarter on a 1-yard Lashley rush. Daeshod Perry was stuffed on the two-point attempt.
  2. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    One quick thought, you have the right idea for the lede but I think you need to tighten it up. Catch the whole sentiment in one sentence, something like "Formerly a feel-good story, Brighton is now working on creating a dynasty. -GRAPH - The Wildcats added a second consecutive trip to the Super Bowl to their perfect regular season by beating Manchester Essex 28-7 Friday night at blah blah blah." or something like that. THEN go into how they used to be down-trodden and what not.
  3. Sean Smyth

    Sean Smyth Member

    Thanks, Ty, for your feedback.

  4. dustin_long

    dustin_long New Member

    Sean, I'm going to take this in a different direction. (That's the great thing about this site, you can get various opinions and do what you want). Ty's solution works, but I want you to look at something different.

    Ask yourself what was the most important aspect of this game? What was the key moment? How did it happen?

    Saying a team was a feel-good story last year (I'm sure your readers are well aware of that -- remember our job is to tell people things they don't know), does the feel-good aspect answer any of those questions? No. So, you don't need to lead with that. Tell me something new.

    I'm intrigued about the quarterback. The quote from the coach yelling at him at halftime is interesting and then the kid goes out and scores the go-ahead TD. Right there, you have your story. You got some of it but you need to get all of it next time.

    Go to the kid after the game. Ask him what coach said to him. Was it in front of everybody or in a small group? Was it the first thing the coach harped on or the last thing he said before the team went back out on to the field? What did the kid think about this? Has the coach ridden him like this at all this season? If not, why did the coach suddenly jump all over his star player?

    See all the questions you can get (and many more) from that one piece of info that you tease me with in the story.

    So, lead with that. Maybe even build the scene. So you set the stage for the TD run. You have some nice bits of detail (watch out on cliches such as big hit). Sounds like it was quite a run. Go to the kid and ask the kid, "Describe the run to me. What was the original play? What did you see? Why didn't the original play work and you had to scramble? Why did you go down the sideline? Anyone make a key block for you?

    Stuff like that. Get to the people, ask the questions and get the details that will make your story richer and be one that readers will have a hard time putting down.

    Hope that helps.
  5. ogre

    ogre Member

    I agree with both the previous comments. And by that I mean you could also go with a mixture of both. Those quotes jump off the page, so I think I would have used that as the lede. Mainly because the backstory is just that, and not news. People who didnt go to the game know that stuff. All in all a well crafted gamer with a good balance of action, reaction and balance.
  6. never write a lead that could have been written before a game
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