Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at 360-735-4538, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow his Twitter handle @360TMart.
It's Labor Day, the unofficial last day of summer.
And unlike our friends on the other side of the river (and several other states), the high school football season this year will start after Labor Day, after the first day of school.
There are many high school administrators and boosters who are happy about that. It's just so hard to get students excited about the first game of the football season before they go back to school.
It's so hard to get fans to plan for Friday night of football on the final weekend of summer vacation.
It's September. And now we kick off the fall season, as it should be.
And every new season brings change, so we'll talk about some of those changes.
Radio silence: For about a decade, high school football was silenced in Clark County over the radio waves. But two seasons ago, Sunny 1550 AM brought it back with its doubleheaders from McKenzie Stadium and fans rejoiced.
Then things got cloudy as Sunny 1550 AM was unable to secure a sponsorship this season and ended the broadcasts.
But don't fear. The sultry sounds of Ron Soanka can still be heard over the internet this season as Portland Sports Beat will host live broadcasts on its website www.portlandsportsbeat.com. The first McKenzie doubleheader will be Friday with Columbia River vs. Heritage at 5 p.m. followed by Union vs. Mountain View at 8 p.m.
Players of the week: Speaking of sponsorships, The Columbian's popular football player of the week vote and fall athlete of the week vote will continue with a couple of new wrinkles.
The first wrinkle is a partnership with Athlete's Corner to sponsor the weekly selections of players of the week.
The second wrinkle has to do with how the votes will be collected.
The past two school years, The Columbian held the weekly votes on its 360preps Facebook page. However, this summer Facebook changed how polls are conducted on its site, which led us to change how we will collect votes.
This fall, a link to the vote will appear on our preps website www.360preps.com.
That means you don't have to have a Facebook account to participate, which will be good news for the 12 people in Clark County who don't have a Facebook account.
We will still link to the story through our Facebook page, so you can "like" or "share" the link with your Facebook friends to encourage others to vote for your favorite athlete. In fact, we hope you will "like" and "share" these posts.
The first vote for the football player of the week will start on Saturday, with voting closing at 8 p.m. Tuesday with the winner being announced on Wednesday.
The fall athlete of the week vote will debut on Sept. 16 with voting starting on Monday and concluding at 8 p.m. Thursday each week.
OK, now for a couple of things that won't change this fall, but have been big hits with fans.
Twitter, live chats: The Columbian once again will send out a team of reporters to cover just about every football game played in Clark County this fall (and even some outside of the county).
You can get updates on Friday night action on Twitter, or you can go to www.360preps.com and follow along on a live chat, which will pull in updates from around the county.
I will be hosting these live chats most Fridays. This week, I will be at McKenzie Stadium for the doubleheader this Friday. Feel free to send comments and questions to me, and I'll try to respond the best I can.
Previews, predictions: If you go to our preps blog, which can be found at 360preps.com, you can also read our preview capsules of local football games. These also will include predictions of game outcomes, which usually gets people fired up.
The weekly preview blog post should be up by Wednesday night or Thursday morning each week.