Martinez: The Columbian has you covered for football season

Tim Martinez: High School Sports

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photoTim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at (360) 735-4538 or email at tim.martinez@columbian.com.

Every new football season brings change.

Players move on, leaving vacancies that need to be filled. Coaches draw up new strategies, plans of attack if you will, for the season.

For those of us in the business of covering high school football, it's really no different.

As the 2012 prep football season approaches, The Columbian has been putting together its team for covering the season. We'll have some new players to throw into the fire, some returning players and old veterans. Some older than others.

For a second consecutive season, The Columbian has a plan to send a correspondent to every football game played in Clark County this fall — every 11-man, varsity, high school football game played this fall in Clark County. And even some outside of the county.

The fun starts Thursday night when Skyview faces Central Catholic of Portland at Hillsboro Stadium. The real fun starts Friday night.

The Columbian remains committed to bringing readers comprehensive coverage of high school football, not just when the games are over, but before they start and even while the games are being played.

We hope you've been enjoying the team season previews, which will continue through Thursday.

We will provide previews and predictions for each game weekly on our high school sports blog.

On Friday nights, our team of correspondents will provide in-game updates from the games they are at. You can follow along with those updates on Twitter (@360preps). Don't have a Twitter account? Not a problem. Columbian.com plans to run a live chat on Friday night in which those Twitter updates will be fed into, so you can follow along with the updates.

And speaking of live chats, The Columbian held several during the 2011 football playoff run, providing readers with play-by-play commentary from key games. We'll plan to do that again this football season during selected key games.

KKOV, Talk 1550 AM, will again be broadcasting high school football games live on Friday night. As they did last season, announcer Ron Soanka and company will provide play-by-play coverage of every game at McKenzie Stadium this fall. It's a good plan, as there are two games every Friday at McKenzie Stadium, maximizing prep football coverage for Clark County listeners.

But there also will be big games played at places like Kiggins Bowl and Doc Harris Stadium this fall. It will be at some of these games that The Columbian will hold live chats so fans who can't make it out to the stadium can still follow along with the action.

After the games are played, reporter Paul Valencia will provide his popular "Day After Report" on our preps blog, providing additional notes, follow-up items and analysis of the weekend's action.

Our popular "Athletes of the Week" feature, which allowed fans to vote for the most deserving athlete via Facebook, will return with a twist.

To avoid the popularity of football from potentially overshadowing the accomplishments of other fall sports athletes, we will split this feature into two.

On Saturday morning, five candidates will be posted for our football athlete of the week, with voting continuing through Tuesday and a winner announced on Wednesday. On Monday morning, five candidates for athlete of the week from all other fall sports will be posted, with voting continuing through Thursday and a winner announced on Friday.

This is just part of our game plan for covering high school football this fall. We hope you'll join us for what figures to be an exciting season in Clark County.

Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at (360) 735-4538 or email at tim.martinez@columbian.com.