Paul Valencia: New season with many more features on the way

Paul Valencia: High School Sports

By Paul Valencia, Columbian High School Sports Reporter



We know what we’re doing.

A lot you know what we’re doing.

But not everybody knows what we’re doing.

Ah yes, the dangers of just assuming people know.

This is my 13th year as the “lead” high school sports reporter for The Columbian. (Whatever that means. All of us on this staff chip in and help in one form or another with high schools sports. But for better or worse, you’ve got me in this column!)

We have a plan for our high school sports coverage. A plan for each season, for each school year.

But what we sometimes forget is that no matter how long we have been doing this, we are always gaining new readers. Middle school athletes become high school athletes. Parents and relatives of new varsity players pick up the paper or go online to see how their loved ones are doing. Classmates take pride when their school wins the big game, and they want to see the headline.

Every year, a new batch of readers.

Thank you, by the way.

Yet some of those new readers don’t yet know how we do things around here, and that can be frustrating.

That’s our fault. Not theirs.

I received a thoughtful email last week from a reader disappointed in our lack of coverage for sports that aren’t called football. Where were the volleyball stories? The girls soccer stories?

So I thought I’d take this, my first high school sports column of the school year, to let you know our plan.

First, I am proud of the fact that in my time at The Columbian, we have written at least one feature for every WIAA-sanctioned sport, boys and girls, every season. That means we have given the best real estate in the Sports section, our top local photo, to high school bowling, boys swimming, girls golf, boys tennis, all at least once, every season.

Today, you will notice, volleyball is featured. Girls soccer will get a feature next week. We hope to get to boys golf this week. We will get to every sport.

However, football comes first because, well, because football rules.

Football has the most readers — by far — of all high school sports. The most interest from readers usually gets the most coverage. So last week, we finished our high school football previews leading up to the opening games.

This week, the other team sports begin playing. This week is when we start giving more coverage to the other sports.

For the rest of the fall, the plan is to write a feature on football every week and a feature on another sport during the week, as well as publish all the results. Starting next week, we will be asking readers to vote on two athletes of the week. One for football. One for the other sports.

In the winter and spring, we will continue with athletes of the week. We will continue with featuring every sport, boys and girls. We will do our best to get every result in the paper.

While we are executing our plan, we are also asking coaches and athletic directors for interesting story ideas. We welcome suggestions from readers, too.

The Columbian is dedicated to high school sports coverage. Every high school sport. We just ask for a little patience from some of you who are fans of one sport over another.

Eventually, we will get to your sport.

It happens every year, faithfully.

Paul Valencia covers high school sports for The Columbian. He can be reached at 360-735-4557 or e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @360PaulV.

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