Saturday, August 30, 2014

2014 Friday (finally) Night Football Week 1: TLCA vs. Harper

Finally, Friday night football is upon us! I had a little warmup the night before with a Thursday game at San Angelo Stadium, but there's nothing like a Friday night. My assignment was the game between Texas Leadership Charter Academy (TLCA) and Harper at Lake View Stadium here in San Angelo. We've been watching the weather all week and on Tuesday our area was forecast with a 90 percent chance of rain. But as the week went on, that chance of much needed rain diminished to just 30 percent. Let me tell you, when your on deadline, a chance of rain sends a shiver down the spine of everyone in the newsroom. Fortunately, only one one of our games was delayed.

TLCA went 10-1 last year so I was pretty excited about covering their game against Harper. However, TLCA did graduate some key players from last year's team and the school moved up in classification to 3A so they were behind the 8-ball, so to speak, in terms of experience at this level of play. It also didn't help that on the second play of the game one of their top players, Standard-Times preseason All-West Texas selection Toby Timms, suffered an injury that would keep him out of a majority of the game. Timms was out of the game for the rest of the first quarter and played little time in the second quarter.

I was only going to be able to cover the first half of the game before leaving to head back to the office for some editing duties. And that first half was all Harper. TLCA had a tough time moving the ball down the field gaining only minimal yardage. Harper, on the other hand, seemed to be able to move the ball up and down the field at will. Harper also had a nice passing game which got them out of trouble on several occasions. And before you knew it, TLCA found themselves in a 23-0 hole at the half.

At this point it was time for me to leave. I feel as though I came away with a few nice shots, though most of them were not of the home team. I always feel a little bad leaving a game at the half, as if to suggest the game isn't worth covering. That is absolutely not the case, of course, but it was my week to catch all the photos coming in from our other photographers at other games that would fill the Blitz football section to be published in Saturday's paper. Next week should be a little more action packed for me as I should be covering two games. It looks like I'll be covering a game of one one of our six-man teams on the eastern border of our coverage area and then make the drive to DFW for a Saturday game at AT&T stadium. It should be an exciting weekend.

Friday, August 29, 2014

2014 Friday (almost) Night Football Week 1: Eldorado vs. Winters

And so it begins. We officially kicked off the start of the 2014 high school football season last night with a game between the Winters Blizzards and the Eldorado Eagles at San Angelo Stadium. It's not unusual to start the season off on a Thursday night, it happens almost every year for us, and it's a nice little practice run leading up to the chaotic Friday night scramble where almost everyone in the newsroom is involved in some form or fashion with game coverage. The lure of some pre-Friday night practice was so great in fact that five of our photographers, myself included, decided to go photograph the game. Overkill? Nah. It's football for crying out loud.

To be perfectly honest I liked having almost every one of our shooters out there. I don't get to work with these people all at once on such a grand scale like this very often, if at all. Needless to say we had several people comment on the fact that we had so many photographers at the game. It was kind of cool hearing spectators say, "Boy, y'all have a bunch of people here tonight," or "I didn't know you had that many photographers at the Standard-Times." That's when I get to explain to them that most of the staff that photograph football games aren't even full-time photographers, but reporters and freelancers who step up to the plate to help provide the best visual coverage for our readers. It lets the public know we work as a team.

It's always a bit strange for me to photograph a football game between two teams that are from smaller schools at San Angelo Stadium. The stadium is so big that it almost looks as if the small number of fans that come to watch the game seem out of place, as if because of the location, this game was supposed to be bigger than the number of spectators in the stands suggests. When I go to cover a game at San Angelo Stadium it's because Central, Lake View or Angelo State are playing and the stands fill out a little more giving it a more festive atmosphere. It seemed a bit quiet last night.

The actual game play between Winters and Eldorado was good, though the final score might make you think otherwise. Winters ended up dominating a majority of the game winning 33-8. Right at the start of the first quarter Eldorado showed promise that they might be the better team with a quick touchdown and a two-point conversion, but it would be their only score of the game. There were some great runs for both teams as well as stiff defense. But it's just the first game of the season and both teams have some time to get things worked out and under control. I'm really looking forward to the coming season and seeing what our local and area teams have to offer.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

2014 High School Football: Standard-Times Pre-Season All-West Texas Team

It's that time again! Who's excited about the start of the 2014 high school football season? This guy. Today, the 2014 Standard-Times BLITZ West Texas Football Guide publishes (the above photo is the cover of the guide) highlighting our local and area high school teams as well as our picks for the preseason All-West Texas football team.

The All-West Texas players are athletes that we think should, or will, have a standout year for their respective schools and serve as players to watch for the fans of those schools. Each athlete gets a portrait and a short write-up in the special section and over the past few years, I was tasked with visualizing and photographing the cover photo for the guide and the portraits for the players. But this year, my responsibilities as the visuals editor kept me in the office more than I had anticipated, so I decided to pass the torch to our newest photographer, Andrew Mitchell, for coming up with the All-West Texas portraits. And I think he did a pretty dang good job.

Allow me to introduce the 2014 Standard-Times preseason All-West Texas Football Team:

Aaron Enriquez - Garden City High School, defensive lineman (Andrew Mitchell/Standard-Times © E.W. Scripps 2014)
Braden Hucks - Central High School, quarterback (Andrew Mitchell/Standard-Times © E.W. Scripps 2014)
Bryan Salinas - Richland Springs High School, linebacker (Andrew Mitchell/Standard-Times © E.W. Scripps 2014)
Carlos Guzman - Eldorado High School, offensive lineman (Andrew Mitchell/Standard-Times © E.W. Scripps 2014)
Daniel Lombrana - Ozona High School, linebacker (Andrew Mitchell/Standard-Times © E.W. Scripps 2014)
Devan Glass - Water Valley High School, defensive lineman (Andrew Mitchell/Standard-Times © E.W. Scripps 2014)
D.J. Schlather - Lake View High School, offensive lineman (Andrew Mitchell/Standard-Times © E.W. Scripps 2014)
Eddie Duque - Menard High School, running back (Andrew Mitchell/Standard-Times © E.W. Scripps 2014)
Eli "Cinco" Howard - Central High School, defensive lineman (Andrew Mitchell/Standard-Times © E.W. Scripps 2014)
Elijah Cross - Sonora High School, defensive lineman (Andrew Mitchell/Standard-Times © E.W. Scripps 2014)
Ethan Patlan - Sonora High School, offensive lineman (Andrew Mitchell/Standard-Times © E.W. Scripps 2014)
Gary Flores - Brady High School, linebacker (Andrew Mitchell/Standard-Times © E.W. Scripps 2014)
Jakob Whitworth - Christoval High School, quarterback (Andrew Mitchell/Standard-Times © E.W. Scripps 2014)
Kaleb Carrol - Miles High School, defensive lineman (Andrew Mitchell/Standard-Times © E.W. Scripps 2014)
Kaleb Davis - Sterling City High School, running back (Andrew Mitchell/Standard-Times © E.W. Scripps 2014)
Kris Gutierrez - Wall High School, running back (Andrew Mitchell/Standard-Times © E.W. Scripps 2014)
Kyle Zavala - Mason High School, offensive lineman (Andrew Mitchell/Standard-Times © E.W. Scripps 2014)
Landon Sawyer - Central High School, wide receiver (Andrew Mitchell/Standard-Times © E.W. Scripps 2014)
Lane Oliver - Wall High School, defensive lineman (Andrew Mitchell/Standard-Times © E.W. Scripps 2014)
Lionel DeLeon - Sonora High School, offensive lineman (Andrew Mitchell/Standard-Times © E.W. Scripps 2014)
Luis Castillo - Mason High School, utility back (Andrew Mitchell/Standard-Times © E.W. Scripps 2014)
Luke West - Central High School, defensive back (Andrew Mitchell/Standard-Times © E.W. Scripps 2014)
Marty Flores - Rochelle High School, running back (Andrew Mitchell/Standard-Times © E.W. Scripps 2014)
Miguel Castillo - Mason High School, utility back (Andrew Mitchell/Standard-Times © E.W. Scripps 2014)
Sid Anderson - Sonora High School, running back (Andrew Mitchell/Standard-Times © E.W. Scripps 2014)
Toby Timms, Texas Leadership Charter Academy, linebacker (Andrew Mitchell/Standard-Times © E.W. Scripps 2014)