Tim Martinez: A few Christmas wish-list items from the sports desk

Tim Martinez: High Schools

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Christmas is just a few days away, so hopefully it’s not too late to get in a Christmas wish list.

But before we get to holiday wishes, we have to talk about all we’re thankful for.

For us at The Columbian, we’re thankful to all the coaches, assistant coaches, team managers and statisticians who diligently report all of their sporting events to us.

On any given night, the prep schedule in Clark County is full of boys basketball games, girls basketball games, wrestling matches, swim meets, gymnastics meets and bowling matches.

We couldn’t bring everyone the news of what happened in those events without someone reporting the results of those events to us.

And when those events are not reported, people notice. For example, we had one athletic event that was called into us. The details of the event were reported in the print edition of The Columbian, but they did not go up on our website because of a technical glitch. And people noticed.

On busy night of preps, there can be dozens of events that gets called, faxed or emailed to us. It can be hectic.

So my first wish is that when people report scores to us, they follow some appropriate protocol.

For instance, when reporting a score, tell us the winning team first.

We get a lot of calls that go like this.

Caller: “Hi, I’m calling to report the basketball game between Eastern High School and Central High School.” (I’ve altered school names to protect the …. er … innocent.)

Columbian: “Great. What was the final?”

Caller: “Central 45 … “

Then we type “Central 45,”

Caller: “Eastern …..”

We continue to type “Central 45, Eastern”

Caller: “82.”

Backspace, backspace, backspace.

Then we type “Eastern 82, Central 45.”

It gets really frustrating when the winning team is something like Marysville-Pilchuck or Auburn Mountainview. That’s a lot of backspacing.

But at least that’s better than when the caller assumes we know which game they are calling in without them telling us.

This is a transcript of an actual call I took about 15 years ago.

Caller: “Hello, I’d like to call in a basketball score.”

Me: “OK, what was the score?”

Caller: “45-38.”

Me: “Uh, OK, who won?”

Caller: “We did.”

Me: “Uh, OK, who are you?”

Caller: “Suzy!”

Me: “Suzy, can you hold on for a minute.”

Put the phone on hold.

Pound head on desk.

Another wish I would have is when teams fill out the names in the scorebook that the make sure to put in first and last names. And if that’s not possible, at least the last names.

Oh, and if you just put in last names, help us out with a first initial for players with the same last name.

With out that single letter, it leaves us to write sentences like: “Josh Anderson (or perhaps Dave Anderson) scored 24 points to lead ….”

Oh, and I should also add that if you have twins with first names that start with the same letter, we’ll need more than a first initial.

But at least that’s better a roster of first names, like: “Melissa 24, Britney 21, Donna 8, Brittnee 6, Suzy 4 ….”

C’mon people. It’s a varsity athletic event, not Romper Room. (Did I just date myself with that reference?).

Of course, first names are better than uniform numbers. “No. 12 had 18 points, No. 24 had 10 points, No. 4 had 8 points ….”

And don’t assume we know how to spell “Shkarovskiy.”

Actually, with basketball and bowling, we’ve entered rosters of local teams into our system, so that makes things easier. So if you see a name misspelled, let us know so we can change our forms.

Getting names right for wrestling or gymnastics is a bit trickier.

One more wish.

And it doesn’t involve reporting results.

On team schedules, if you’re playing a tournament, please list the actual tournament name. For example, the Columbia River, Kelso and Mark Morris boys basketball teams are playing in the Capital City Classic in Salem, Ore. this week. On some of those teams’ schedules, it was listed as “Salem Tournament.”

Another local team is scheduled to play next week in something called “Idaho Tournament.” Could we be a little more specific please?

It makes it really hard for someone whose job it is to let people know where local teams are playing.

But even a specific tournament is not much help when the tournament organizers don’t put a tournament bracket or schedule online for someone to find.

So here are where other local teams are playing this week: Hudson’s Bay boys at North Marion Tournament in Aurora, Ore. (Monday-Tuesday), Union boys at the Franklin Tournament (Tuesday-Wednesday), Skyview boys at the St. Martin’s Tournament in Lacey (Wednesday-Thursday). More teams play more tournaments next week.

Oh, and one last thing.

When teams head off to play in tournaments, don’t forget to call in those results. We’ll even gladly take scores with the losing team announced first.

We’ll just have fingers on the backspace button.

Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep sports editor for The Columbian. He can be reached at (360) 735-4538 or email at tim.martinez@columbian.com Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/360TMart.