Monday, September 29, 2014

2014 3rd Quarter Newspaper Clips

Good grief, where has the year gone? The third quarter of the year is done already?

Since that's the case, it means it's time for a blog post of some of my favorite newspaper clips from the Standard-Times from the quarter. It was a nice little selection this time, spread out among the various sections we produce. To start off, here are a few pages from A-1 and a few inside pages from other sections.

I really liked the Apollo 11 page. But I'm a NASA nerd, so anything that has to do with the history of the U.S. space program gets me excited. Throw in a July Fourth photo page, something on water and the local helicopter ambulance and two cover pages from some special sections and there's a nice little assortment there.

The next set of pages is from a three-day series we worked on back in the summer about our local professional baseball team, the San Angelo Colts. When the Colts held their first game at Foster Field 15 years ago they drew a crowd of more than 4800 spectators. This summer, the team couldn't muster even 500 people on average per game. The section covered what it was like to be excited about having a team in San Angelo and having something to do in the hot summer months to the eventual filing for bankruptcy this year. The sports guys did a great job in putting all this together.

And finally, for the last of the news clips from the quarter, how could I not include some football? The football season is in full swing at the moment as we head into the middle section of the schedule. As part of our Friday night high school coverage we produce a 118-page special section, titled Blitz, that's published at the start of the season covering all of the schools in our circulation area. During the season we publish a 6- to 8-page section every Saturday filled with all kinds of football goodness. It contains five to six local game stories with photos, game scores from across the state and a photo page on the back. Who wouldn't want to read that? Crazy people, that's who. And, to add to that, we also publish a second photo page in the Sports section in Sunday's edition called Friday Night Rewind for further viewing pleasure.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

2014 Friday Night Football Week 5: Lake View vs. Llano

Well, it's official... I'm now the official team photographer for the Lake View Chiefs.

For the third time in as many weeks I found myself covering the Chiefs as they continue their run through the 2014 high school football season. On Friday, sports reporter Charles Bryce and I drove two hours southeast to Llano, a town situated on the Llano River in the Texas Hill Country. I've always like Llano for its location in the hills, it's proximity to Austin and, of course, Coopers Pit BBQ. It's some of the best BBQ you'll find anywhere in the state.

Anyway, enough about food, lets talk football. The Chiefs have had a pretty interesting season thus far and tonight's game against Llano was billed as a good matchup. But things didn't turn out so well... for Llano.

Let me set up the scenario for you:

Tonight was Llano's homecoming. For those of you who may be reading this blog post in another country, a school's homecoming is the biggest game of the regular season, one that you most definitely want to win. A few lucky girls get to wear pretty dresses with the chance of being crowned the homecoming queen and everyone comes to the game adorned in giant fake flowers with teddy bears and toy footballs hot-glued to the aforementioned flowers. It's a big deal.

For whatever reason, Llano scheduled Lake View as their opponent for their homecoming game. Perhaps they were going off of Lake View's previous season thinking to themselves, "Hmm, Lake View as had some pretty bad seasons the last few years, lets play them this year in the biggest game of the schedule." They chose poorly.

Lake View won the coin toss at the beginning of the game and elected to receive the ball. Llano kicked off the ball and Lake View ran the ball back to their own 26-yard line. Pretty typical for most kick-offs. But on the first play from scrimmage, quarterback Nick Martinez handed the ball off to running back Anthony Chappa, who stands a hair's width over 5-feet tall, who broke through several tackles en route to a 74-yard touchdown. Thus, Lake View's dominance commenced and they never looked back. With a little more than four minutes remaining in the first quarter, Lake View's Robert Martin ran for a 5-yard touchdown run to make it 14-0. That was followed up by a 53-yard interception return for a touchdown by Dayton Kessler, followed by a 70-yard touchdown run by Donald Bowman which put the Chiefs’ advantage to 28-0 at the end of the first quarter. The highlights for Llano in the first half were nowhere to be found as the Chiefs led 38-0 heading into halftime.

Unfortunately, I didn't didn't get to see any of the second half of the game except for a few plays early in the third quarter because I was frantically trying to get my first-half photos back to the office on deadline. A weak internet connection is easily the most frustrating thing a journalist has to deal with in a town with terrible cellphone service. Mark one point in the negative column for the town of Llano.

The Lake View scoring juggernaut stalled a bit in the second half with only one touchdown off a 2-yard run from backup quarterback Roland Aguero that put the Chiefs up 45-7 in the fourth quarter. It was a stellar win for the Chiefs, finishing the night with 337 yards of rushing and 113 yards of passing. The Chiefs will need to carry this momentum into next week as it will be their homecoming against Lubbock Cooper. They certainly don't want a night like Llano had.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

2014 Friday Night Football Week 4: Lake View vs. Greenwood

We had a very unusual thing happen this week regarding our football coverage for Week 4 of the high school football season... both of our large local teams were playing at home. Yep, both Central and Lake View would be playing before a home crowd at San Angelo Stadium. I drew the Lake View card again this week as it was my turn to fulfill the editor duties back at the office. However, instead of just getting to shoot half a game before heading back to the office, I was able to shoot the entire Lake View game because it started at 4:00pm! There's nothing better than getting to shoot an entire game free of deadline pressure.

The only thing that was cause for concern was the fact that we had a fair chance to get some rain showers passing through the area. Not that I'm complaining that we are getting some much-needed rain, but I would rather not be standing out in it with all my camera gear. Fortunately, other than a few drops during halftime, the rains stayed away and I didn't have to adorn my beautiful gear with the black trash bag and gaffers tape I had in my pack.

Lake View decided to put last week's 30-7 loss to Class 6A Lubbock Coronado behind them as best they could and come out gunning for their second home victory of the season. Lake View quarterback Nick Martinez had a tough time hanging on to the ball last week in the windy and wet conditions, but came out on Friday with a renewed sense of confidence against Greenwood. The first half was all Lake View as Martinez would put the Chiefs up 7-0 in the first quarter with a 6-yard run for the score with 5:22 remaining. Martinez continued to show his dominance in the second quarter with a 31-yard dash for a touchdown and a 68-yrad touchdown pass to receiver Brandon Lee to put the Chiefs up 21-0 at the half.

I got to experience yet another aspect of the game on Friday I don't normally get to see... the halftime show! Usually I'm dashing back to my computer to edit and transmit photos back to the office at this time and I don't get to enjoy the halftime shows of the respective schools. I played on the drum line in the marching band when I was in high school and college and my heart still beats a little faster every time that rhythmic clack-clack-clack of the snare line.

Lake View's scoring onslaught continued with the start of the third quarter with a 65-yard scoring run from Anthony Chappa and yet another Nick Martinez 7-yard scamper to put the Chiefs up 33-0 with 6:20 left in the third. The Chiefs were now eying a shutout, something they haven't done since 2007. In the fourth quarter, it was Nick Martinez scoring again on a 2-yard run to put the Chiefs up 40-0. In order to notch that shutout the Chiefs would have to hold off the Greenwood offense with 7:40 remaining. The time on the clock couldn't fall off fast enough for the Chiefs and with just 39 seconds remaining, Greenwood quarterback Zach Redwine found Bryce Thompson in the back of the end zone on a 14-yard pass. The Chiefs would have to settle for the win instead of the shutout, winning the nondistrict contest 40-7.

Nick Martinez had a stellar game rushing for 81 yards and four touchdowns, including completing 7 of 9 passes for 111 yards and one touchdown. Anthony Chappa finished the game with 109 yards rushing on just nine carries. All in all it was a great day for the Chiefs who will need to carry that momentum into next week when they travel to Llano. I'm not sure which game I'll be covering next week but I kind of hope I get to continue following the Chiefs.