Last updated: August 29. 2014 4:17AM - 178 Views
By - jbombatch@civitasmedia.com

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As another exciting season of high school football begins tonight for the Greene County area, new challenges loom ahead not only for the student-athletes underneath the helmets and shoulder pads. They loom for us, too.

In an effort to provide more immediate online coverage, while doing a balancing act with our press schedule, our Greene County coverage of high school football will be challenged with an earlier press deadline than we’ve faced in the past.

You will see online reports on our Facebook and Twitter feeds for the Fairborn Daily Herald, Xenia Gazette, Sugarcreek-Bellbrook Times, and the Beavercreek News-Current, and you will still find in-depth coverage of as many of the eight local high school football teams — Bellbrook, Beavercreek, Carroll, Fairborn, Cedarville, Greenon, Greeneview, and Xenia — as we can muster.

We are also actively recruiting area high school student journalists in an effort to not only provide them with journalism experience with a Pulitzer Prize winning media outlet, but to get game reports from them as well.

In your Saturday editions, we plan on providing a quick rundown of how your area teams fared, complete with a box score and a description of who scored and when. It’s possible that some games won’t be finished by the time our press deadline comes around, but we’ll be sure to get the information online as soon as we have it.

You will find the complete game story on our newspaper websites, and a more in-depth analysis of the games should be available in your Xenia and Fairborn Tuesday editions, and in the Thursday weekly editions (Beavercreek and Sugarcreek-Bellbrook) as well.

With more than 100 publications nationwide in the Civitas Media company, we’ve been given a 10:30 p.m. deadline for all of our sports copy to be written, edited and sent off electronically to our printing press in North Carolina. We have to adhere to that time slot in order to keep the other Civitas entities on their time schedules, some of which have earlier deadlines than ours.

Figure in the time it takes for coaches to talk to their teams after the game, the time we need to do our interviews, the half-hour or more drive back to the newsroom to write our full game stories, and the time needed to write the story itself, and it’s clear that the earlier print deadline necessitates that we cover games differently for our Saturday editions.

We brace for the night when all the games are delayed by lightning. Just know that the online product will have the full story for you … well, as long as we have power!

We’re striving to provide our readers with more imediate coverage, while still respecting our print product. It’s kind of like balancing a team’s running game with the pass.

Imagine what it was like, back in the day, when predominantly “3-yards and a Cloud of Dust” running offenses started using this new-fangled thing called the pass.

Fumbles were made.

Incompletions happened.

Hecklers had their say.

But the game went on.

Same goes for our high school football coverage. This early deadline and imediate emphasis of our online coverage is new to us, but we have a staff in place that is capable of making the adjustment.

We welcome your suggestions as well, as we buckle up our chinstraps and dive headlong into this with eager anticipation of providing you with the quality high school football coverage you deserve.

To call in your team’s result, dial 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.

To email your team’s result, send to: sports@xeniagazette.com .

Here’s the game information you can send us:

* Final Score

* Where the game was played.

* Who scored and when. (Ex. Marion — John Bombatch 30-yard field goal.)

* Any top performances (Ex. Bombatch has never kicked a field goal beyond 3 yards in his life, so his 30 yarder was both a fluke and a personal record.)

* Team records (Overall, and league record. Ex. Marion (0-1, 0-1 Journalism Hack Conference; Chattanooga (1-0, 1-0 Train League))

* Next game. (Next game: Sept. 5 - Marion at Paducah)

We can promise that we’ll provide the most imediate and entertaining high school sports coverage that we can. But there’s more schools than there are journalists on staff, so your assistance will always be appreciated.

Here’s wishing each member of our eight area high school football teams a very safe and enjoyable season.

Let’s go Golden Eagles, Beavers, Patriots, Indians, Skyhawks, Knights, Rams, and Buccaneers!

(John Bombatch is Sports Editor for the Greene County Newspapers. He’s never converted a field goal in his life.)

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