Thursday, November 13, 2008
Another high school football season for Marshall County teams is in the books.
This newspaper takes pride in covering the Byhalia Indians, the Holly Springs Hawks and the Marshall Academy Patriots. They’re our teams. In a few years, we will add two more at the varsity level - H.W. Byers and Potts Camp.
We’re at the games, taking photos and notes. And we’re doing our best to give all the teams equal coverage.
On a national level, you don’t see much media coverage of the struggling teams, but that’s not the case with your community newspaper. It’s not about the wins or losses with us. It’s about the young people of Marshall County. They all deserve the coverage. They deserve to see their names and pictures in their community newspaper. And their parents and grandparents like that, too. That’s a primary reason why we’re here. Our focus is our community – our friends and neighbors.
Look at any edition of The South Reporter, and school news, be it in the classroom or on the playing field, is a big part of what we produce each week. And it’s our goal to publish as many activities as possible from all our schools.
We’ve had a good problem here at the paper the past several weeks - so much school news that we have to hold some items weekly. We just don’t have the space. But trust me, we will get the stories and photos in as soon as we can.
Please be patient with us, and thanks so much for sending in your news items. Keep that school news coming.
Back to the football wrap-up, head coaches Clifford Brown (Holly High), Keith Wicker (Marshall Academy) and Markeith Washington (Byhalia) were a joy to work with this season.
We’ve bugged them on weekends and during school hours, and they’ve responded.
But I want to focus a bit more on the new “kid” on the block, Coach Washington.
I’ve covered high school sports for almost 30 years. Coach Washington’s enthusiasm is contagious.
We call the coaches weekly - for game reports, statistics, comments and so forth. Some also e-mail or fax information to us.
Coach Washington was dedicated to helping this newspaper staff and giving his team the community newspaper coverage it deserved – even though his inexperienced Indians continued to lose football games on the scoreboard.
Early in the season I got home on a Sunday afternoon and I had a message on my cell phone. It was from Coach Washington.
“I was just calling to give you my information from the game,” he said. “Call me back.”
Each week he would thank us for supporting his players and always putting a positive spin on the stories we wrote about his Indians. He said his players looked forward to getting the newspaper weekly. He said the positive publicity was a big boost for his young team.
I followed the Indians in the final week of the regular season to New Albany.
Coach Washington waved to me from a distance as his team was warming up. Then as the Indians took the field he walked over and shook my hand.
“We’re with you,” I said.
He smiled and ran away to fire up his Indians prior to kickoff.
Thanks to Coach Brown and Coach Wicker and congratulations on state playoff berths and excellent seasons. Both of you make our jobs much easier, too, and we appreciate it.
Thanks, Coach Washington.
And most of all, thanks to the Hawks, Indians and Patriots for letting us (myself, Claude Vinson, Lawrence White and Ronnie Day) roam the sidelines with you. It was loads of fun.
We feel a part of your teams, and hopefully you feel a part of ours.
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