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!

So my first attempt at SJ critcism. .

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by Damaramu, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. Damaramu

    Damaramu Member

    Hey guys. Being a one man show I don't really get a lot of help as far as improving my writing from a sports journalists perspective. Sure I can get AP, grammar, and style help but I never really get a sports guys perspective.

    So here's my first attempt at showing my work to the SJ guys and seeing what you think.

    Be gentle.....or not. Just let me know what you think.

    Demons win slugfest over Buffaloes

    Was that a fist fight or a basketball game?
    Spectators had to wonder that after watching the Dodge High girls battle the Garden City girls Saturday night.
    The Red Demons (4-2) beat the Buffaloes 60-52 in a hard-fought, physical contest.
    "It got rough," coach Justin Briggs said. "But that's gonna happen. Basketball is a physical game. Anytime Garden and Dodge meet, it's going to get rough."
    Briggs said the Demons can play rough if they need to.
    "Our girls are able to step up and adjust," he said. "If the officials are going to let it get rough, then we can step up to that."
    The game was hotly contested and very close at several key moments. The Buffs held a 13-11 edge after one quarter, but at halftime the Demons had a 29-28 lead.
    The Demons finished the game on a 10-3 run to put things away. Seven of those points came at the line.
    "We were able to hit some key free throws in the stretch," Briggs said. "That's kind of been an Achilles’ heel for us the past few years. Tonight, our free throws won it for us."
    Briggs said his team shouldn't have been in that predicament though.
    "What got us in trouble was we just had some mental breakdowns that shouldn't have happened," he said. "We've got to be mentally tougher. When something bad happens, we have a tendency to let it snowball and let things get worse."
    Briggs said the Demons have to be able to slow down and get their heads back on straight, or other teams will be able to climb back in, just as the Buffaloes did.
    The Demons held a six-point edge at the end of the third quarter. However, the Buffaloes scored four straight points at the line in the fourth quarter and cut the lead to 50-49. Then the Demons went on their 10-3 tear to put the game away.
    "We had a timeout there and he(Garden City's coach) called a couple," Briggs said. "Just to calm them down and make sure our girls realized what's going on, get our girls’ heads back on."
    The Demons’ older players stepped up to match the Buffaloes’ physicality and keep things rolling forward.
    Senior guard Liz Ginther had 10 points, six rebounds, 12 assists and two steals. That's a stat line that would look good in the NBA.
    "She's capable of that every night," Briggs said. "She's just gotta have confidence in herself. She's going to go all out every game, but she has to have confidence in her shot and her ball-handling ability."
    Briggs said his players have to believe in themselves and their teammates.
    There was certainly no lack of confidence in senior center Kaley Temaat. The Demons continually threw the ball to her under the basket, sometimes with disastrous results.
    The Buffaloes began waiting for the pass down low and were able to pick it off a few times.
    "They have to realize that sometimes what works in practice doesn't necessarily work in a game," Briggs said. "There was a lot to learn from this game."
    Temaat scored 20 points, even with the Buffaloes looking for the pass to her. She's now scored 41 points in her last two games.
    "She had a great game," Briggs said. "She was really able to shut down their big girl too."
    The Buffaloes weren't able to get the ball to 6-foot-3-inch center Marisela Rodriguez when Temaat was in the game hounding her. Rodriguez only came away with seven points.
    The Demon bench continued to step up, scoring 14 points off the bench.
    Most of those points came from freshman forward A'zlynn Thompson, who finished the game with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
    "That's her second double-double this year," Briggs said. "And she's only going to get better."
    He said the Demon bench provides a spark when it's needed.
    "If it's not broke, we're not going to fix it," the Demon coach said. "We have good chemistry on the floor, no matter who is out there."
    Still, Briggs thinks the best game is still ahead of the Demons.
    The Demons will see if they can have that game Friday, when they face a stiff test at Great Bend.
    "We're going to get ready for a good Great Bend team," Briggs said. "We can't make the same mistakes we have."

    One obvious thing. I know I needed another source. Unfortunately after I got done with the head coach the players hard run off to the showers or stands and the guys game was starting. I had to get back down for that. I wanted to interview Ginther.

    Anyway there you go.
  2. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    I'll let the others do a line edit, but the first thing that jumped out to me was how heavily you quoted the coach. As far as I could tell - and I may have missed it - Briggs was the only person you quoted.
    You should at the least always have both coaches and a player from the winning team.
    Sometimes I won't even interview our local coach if I cover the team a ton of times. I'll just grab a couple of players.
    Thanks for posting.

    Edit: Just noticed that you talked about this at the end of your post. I would have still found a girl or told one to wait while interviewing the coach. You can always catch up on stats from the official book.
  3. Damaramu

    Damaramu Member

    Yeah I usually use a lot of quotes though, even if it's from more people than the coach. Is that bad? I just always figure that people care more about what they have to say than what I have to say.
  4. Damaramu

    Damaramu Member

    Try this one where I got more than one source:

    Also I usually stick with the hometown team and players on my interviews. Also it sucks sometimes because high school kids all say the same damn thing. "It was fun. I'm glad we won. Whoo hoo. It feels good."

    The easiest way to defeat an armed opponent is to take his weapons away.
    Saturday night, the Dodge High boys basketball team did that in a 58-44 win over rival Garden City.
    The Buffaloes came in with guard Bobby Wesley leading the way. Before Christmas, he had routinely scored 30 points or more for the Buffs.
    Against the Red Demons (4-3), however, he scored nothing. The Demons held Wesley to no points in an all-out defensive effort.
    "We knew Garden was a solid team,” senior guard Mykael Thompson said. "We had to shut Bobby down tonight, and we came together as a team."
    Coach Dennis Hamilton said the Demons’ zone defense kept Wesley largely in check.
    "We didn't want his motor to run," Hamilton said. "He's hard to stop. Our zone slowed him down."
    The zone might have slowed Wesley down, but foul trouble stopped him cold.
    He normally plays about 30 minutes a game, but he only played 13:50 on Saturday. The Demons got the star guard into foul trouble early and often.
    "Having him in foul trouble didn't hurt," Hamilton said. "I guarantee you that won't happen in Garden City."
    Wesley checked back into the game with about five minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Shortly thereafter, Thompson made him check back out for good.
    The Demons senior guard stepped in front of Wesley and took a charge to foul him out.
    "He came back into the game, and I was thinking he was going to try and take over," Thompson said. "I knew he had four fouls, so I tried to get the last one."
    Hamilton said the final foul wasn't a designed play by Thompson.
    "That's just instincts," he said. "You don't coach instincts."
    Thompson also was instrumental in removing Garden City's other weapon, forward Brodrick Smith, from the game. Smith had four fouls, but he routinely went to the line against the Demons in the fourth quarter. He scored four of his 17 points at the line in the fourth quarter. Overall Smith scored eight of his 17 in the fourth.
    But Thompson caused him to foul out too.
    "On both plays, they (Smith and Wesley) were leaning in," Hamilton said. "Mykael got his shoulders parallel and took it in the chest."
    Thompson said the team knew Smith and Wesley were the Buffaloes’ biggest threats.
    "When they were out of the game, it was kind of smooth sailing from there," he said.
    Kind of smooth sailing, because the Buffaloes continued to battle. But with their stars gone, they could only watch as Thompson sprinted down the court and slammed the ball with emphasis in the waning moments of the game, finishing off the rival Buffaloes.
    However, Thompson wasn't the only Demon taking charges and getting physical with the Buffaloes. It was a physical game, and whenever the opportunity arose, the Demons threw themselves in front of the oncoming Buffaloes. They didn't always get the result they wanted, but the effort was there.
    "It takes a lot of guts to take a charge," Thompson said. "We have guts on this team."
    Hamilton said everyone on his team is willing to do the dirty work to get the win.
    "We've got a lot that do dirty jobs," the coach said. "Taking charges, getting on the floor after balls and boxing out."
    Junior Jason Kirchman was in a position to do dirty work throughout the night.
    "Kirchman will get his name on the record board here if he keeps it up,” Hamilton said.
    No single Demon stepped forward to take control of the game because the entire squad did. Every Demon who played contributed big in one way or another, even if it can't be reflected on the stat sheet.
    "It's not a one-star system," Thompson said. "It doesn't matter who scores, as long as we come out with a win."
    The Demons also held the edge in one of basketball’s most overlooked, yet key, stats: rebounding. The Demons out-rebounded the Buffaloes 33-17.
    "We did a good job on the boards tonight," Hamilton said. "That's a big accomplishment against Garden City."
    With the win, the Demons have their first Western Athletic Conference victory.
    "I told the team we have no chance at the WAC championship if we don't hold serve at home," Hamilton said.
    The Demons won't meet the Buffaloes again until Feb. 12 in Garden City. For now, they must prepare for Friday's contest with WAC powerhouse Great Bend.
  5. silentbob

    silentbob Member

    on the first story you posted:

    game stories need description. you mention the rough play several times, but you never really say what made it rough. were elbows flying? loose-ball scrambles? busted lips, hurt feelings? let us see it.

    don't quote the coach -- or anyone -- unless he says something worth quoting. yes, as you mentioned, people care about what the coach says. but they also want to read your observations. dont sell yourself short.

    pick a moment when they game turned and build your story around it. ask questions to support your angle.

    go online and read other gamers. notice how theyre framed, how they use quotes.

    the beauty of sports is that every game is a story. it has a beginning, middle and end. win or lose, nailbiter or blowout, there's always a struggle somewhere. find it. think in those terms as the game unfolds.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page