As we draw to the end of another fall sports season I would take a few moments to pay tribute to hard-working people who frankly choose love of a job over the love of making more money.
At least once a week someone asks me at a football game how we get so much material online on Friday nights, and get it there so quickly, with the size staff we have.
The answer to that, of course, is that we’ve conditioned ourselves to do more with less; but as with any other endeavor, it takes a special person to actually WANT to do more with less. And let me add…we do have special people!
That said, I want to take a moment at the end of this football season to recognize those people, and publicly acknowledge why they ARE special. And for no better reason…they’re people who DO what they do because they tell me they actually love it!
Joe Neves anchors our “minute-to-minute scoreboard”, sponsored by Wilson Hospital, in Sidney, and I dare say there are few more willing to do what’s necessary than Joe. He’s done play-by-play, he’s written, and now with getting the scores up he has that same commitment to be right, and be first, just because he can. And I think that most of you who know him know that Joe loves football, and he loves to eat. So who could ask for more than have the opportunity to do both…simultaneously?
Greg Billing is our GWOC and I-75 corridor writer, a long-time veteran with the Cox Media company, and frankly, I enjoy reading his work because he gets what high school football should sound like, and he does it through words. He’s a pro that knows his business. He’s not very tall, except when his work stands up in comparison to others. Then he’s heads above the rest.
Hal McCoy – yes that Hal McCoy – has written UD Flyer football this fall, and come next week will exchange his insulated socks for the warmer environment of UD Arena and Flyer basketball. The Flyers have struggled this season. Hal has not. His every story features the familiar style, the similes and metaphors, that have made him a reader favorite for 50 years of covering the Reds…and a first-ballot hall of famer in Cooperstown.
Stan Wilker joined the Press Pros staff a year ago, working with accounts management, and took it upon himself this fall to become a contributing writer. He knows the game, he knows the coaches and kids, and because of that Stan has the credibility to broach many subjects others would avoid. The former athletic director at Marion Local High School, he gives us perspective on MAC sports missing in other outlets.
Tim Boeckman is our traveling football analyst, seeing teams this year like Clint0n-Massie, West Jefferson, and Wheelersburg – and teams that until last week were candidates to play area times in Division VI and VII. When Tim comes back and tells you what a team can and can’t do, you can take it to the bank.
We’re pretty lucky to have Doug Harris, and I’ll tell you why. Up until three years ago I would work until 4 am posting high school material, grab a couple of hours of sleep, and then get up at 6 and go to Columbus to do the Buckeyes’ game all day. No more. Doug Harris loves that duty, he’s closer, and no one writes a more honest and fresh perspective in Columbus or any other market. If you don’t believe that, just read and compare.
Julie McMaken Wright is our associate editor for the site, and photographer for high school, OSU baseball, and the University of Dayton. And here’s the deal – in thirty years as a photographer myself I’ve rarely seen anyone pick up the craft as quickly as she has, or develop a better eye for action. She also has a knack of putting herself in harm’s way, having been knocked down twice in the past month. Two weeks ago she came home with a fantastic shot from the Sidney-Belmont playoff game…along with a concussion and bruised ribs. But, she hasn’t missed a moment’s action since, either. Now that’s special.
That’s the staff – all of it – and if you ever wonder how we get that much stuff online, and that quickly, consider that we all hustle in one way or another to the wee hours of Saturday morning, writing, proofing, editing, page layout, and publishing. And we’ve done it now for seven years…and for a million individual computers in the 88 counties of Ohio.
They say it’s the chase that makes people do what they do, and apparently they’re right. Football’s over in a couple of weeks and we’ll still feel we could have done it better. It’s like chasing your tail; once you catch it all you want…is a better tail!
But the seven that I just mentioned? Are as good as they come!