Thursday, October 30, 2014
New fun on Fridays
I experienced a first Friday in my 30-plus years of high school football coverage.
When I first started walking the sidelines with a camera and notepad, just out of high school, I never anticipated some day “tweeting,” too.
I had enough trouble learning how to take photos and take notes at the same time.
My editor was a stickler for writing down every play, whether it was a pass or a run, how much yardage was gained or lost, and so on and so forth.
He taught me to try and get a photo of the play, without a zoom lens I first started, and then as soon as the play was over, write down what happened on the play.
As a rookie, I was lucky to get a decent photo and scribble down accurate notes.
But I learned the process pretty quickly.
And even today, sometimes I’m lucky to get a good photo.
A couple of years ago, with the rapid rise of social media, The South Reporter crew, myself included, started using Facebook to post updates on scores Friday nights.
Then this year we turned to Twitter. So, while I’m at a game Friday night, I’m also getting text messages of scores from the other games involving Marshall County schools and posting them as quickly as I can on the newspaper’s Twitter account.
Photographer Ronnie Day assists with the process when he’s covering games on Friday nights.
That means while trying to snap a sharp photo and write down the various plays in my “Reporter’s Notebook,” I’ve also got my cell phone in my pocket for Tweeting purposes.
I don’t have enough pockets or arms or hands.
I’ve always wondered what it would be like to work for a large daily newspaper and have a photographer accompany me to the game, so I can just make sure I get the best notes possible for the story.
But, to be honest, I’d be bored. I prefer the “do-it-all” approach. That’s the way I was trained in the early ’80s.
Plus, my love for community newspapers runs deep.
This past Friday night, Pam and I drove to West Helena, Ark., where Marshall Academy was playing DeSoto School for the District 1-A championship.
I was tweeting the scoring from that game, and H.W. Byers and Byhalia, thanks to Jerry Moore and Kerry Reid. Ronnie was first tweeting from Potts Camp and then he moved on to Holly Springs.
At the end of the night, we had all the final scores except for the Hawks versus M.S. Palmer.
It was obvious Holly High had won, based on the last score I received from the second half.
A little before 10 p.m., on our ride home from West Helena, I gave Pam my phone, since I was driving, and asked her to text Donald Deans, head coach at Holly High, and ask him for the final score. I wanted to get it up on Twitter. Lots of folks were requesting it.
Coach Dean’s response caught me totally off guard.
“Lol. We are still playing.”
In the Tweeting world, “lol” translates into laughing out loud.
In other words, the final horn had not sounded at Sam Coopwood Park but Coach managed to text me back anyway. Thank goodness, the victory was well in hand.
I sent a text back – “Sorry, about that.”
A little later he delivered this message – “39-18, us.”
It all added up to another fun Friday night.
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