Wednesday, July 17, 2013

2013 2nd Quarter Newspaper Clips

2ndQuarterClips01 So here are my favorite news clips from the second quarter of the year. Like always, it's all sports, but it runs a larger spectrum of sporting events unlike the previous quarter where it was all basketball. This quarter we get a little gymnastics, tennis, track and a single page from a mud run I covered back in May.

2ndQuarterClips02 2ndQuarterClips03 2ndQuarterClips04 2ndQuarterClips05 This next group of clips comes from a special section we produce at the end of the school year titled Texas Stars. It contains full-page photos of all the athletes or teams that won a state title. This is the third year we have produced this section and it has gained popularity with the athletes as well as the communities they're from. We've been very fortunate that we have so many athletes win a state title during the year. Most of those titles come from tennis and track, but every once in a while we sneak one in for gymnastics or golf.

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2013 1st Quarter Newspaper Clips

1stQuarterClip01 I forgot to do this several months ago, but better late than never I guess. I like posting some of my favorite newspaper clips from each quarter so I went back and searched through the first quarter and found something odd: all of my favorite clips came from the Water Valley boys basketball team and their run to the state tournament in Austin. It's not rare than all of the clips would come from sports, but to have all of them come from one school is. Usually I'll have at least a few from the stock show and rodeo, but not this year.

It was pretty cool to follow these kids, the coaches and the fans all over the state. These were some great kids and I wish their state tournament would have ended better for them, but it's all part of the game.

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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Everything's Better in the Mud

MudRun01What's the best way to make a sporting event better?

Add mud.

Back in May I photographed San Angelo's first mud run which I knew was going to be ripe with photo opportunities. How could it not? People + mud + sports = a good time. Pretty simple equation if you ask me. The race was held at the San Angelo State Park and when it was first advertised one of the directors said they sold out of spots in about three days. Five hundred runners decided to spend their Saturday morning navigating nearly three miles of mud-laden obstacles and everyone looked like they were having the time of their lives. Some even dressed up for the event wearing tutus, business suits and even superhero outfits. I, myself, had only two goals: make good photos and try not to get my gear caked in mud. I accomplished only one of those. One camera body and a lens got completely covered by a rouge wave of mud and had to be sent off to the cleaners.

MudRun05 MudRun04 MudRun03 MudRun02 These types of races have been popping up all over the country for the last several years. Some of the bigger names in the up-and-coming sport of obstacle racing are the Spartan Race, Warrior Dash, Muddy Buddy and Tough Mudder. Heck, there's even a championship series for wife carrying. Now, I know there are some traditionalists out there who are grimacing over the fact that the their beloved pavement and trail running sport is taking a turn for the modern. In a 2011 article in Outside Magazine it's stated that almost a million people signed up for these types of races in 2010. But why? Because it's looks like a hell of a lot of fun, that's why. Because people are always looking for the next interesting and challenging obstacle in life. Who cares if you have to navigate electric wire-laced mud pits or scamper over greased walls or jump flaming hay bales. It gets people motivated to get out there with a group of like-minded peers and off the couch. And in an age where more than one-third of American adults are obese, I say any trick or gimmick  that gets people to be more active is a plus.

Now, I'm not saying that traditional road and trail racing is dead or obsolete. I am currently training for my very first half-marathon. But what I am saying is that everyone's motivations are different and as long as you finish the challenge, whether it be traditional or obstacle, with a smile on your face, more power to you.

MudRun06 MudRun07 Fast forward to this weekend and I found myself covering another mud sporting event. This time it was volleyball. This particular event isn't as well known as the obstacle races but it's still fun. Every year the small town of Brady, about 80 miles southeast of San Angelo, holds their annual July Jubilee. The event spans over two days and includes a street dance with live music, a parade through downtown and a fireworks display over the local lake. Eight years ago someone decided to add another option for the townspeople to gather, obviously aware of the people + mud + sports = a good time equation.

MudVolleyball08 MudVolleyball06 MudVolleyball07 MudVolleyball03 MudVolleyball05 From what I was told the mud volleyball tournament has grown every year. What started out as just a five-team tournament eight years ago has now turned into a 17-team tournament with a cash payout of $1,000 to the winning team. And it's not just Brady residents getting involved. Citizens from neighboring communities are also getting in on the action. There must have been at least four or five different towns represented in the tournament. One team from Merkel, about 120 miles north of Brady on I-20, said they saw a video on YouTube of the event and wanted to get in on the action. This appears to be an event that is going to be around for a long time and will become one of the highlights of the Jubilee.

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