Paul Valencia: A promise to cover all fall sports

Commentary: Paul Valencia

By Paul Valencia, Columbian High School Sports Reporter

Published:

 

Golf got the early start.

Football will dominant in the next few days.

Then next week, all the fall sports will be in competition.

Summer’s over. You will hear no complaints from me. I enjoyed my summer. Life is less hectic for me in the summer. But I need a little chaos about now.

So as we start a new high school sports year, here is a promise to you from The Columbian Sports staff, an admission of guilt, and a request from us.

(For some of our long-time readers, you will have heard this before, but one of the best things associated with covering high school sports is we welcome new readers every year.)

We promise to feature every sport sanctioned by the WIAA in our high school sports coverage. By feature, we mean at least one story on an athlete or a coach with a great story to share or an issue piece specific to that sport. Of course, results that we receive for any match, any game, from any sport will be published. But by feature, we mean something more than just a score.

That is a promise we have kept at The Columbian since I became the lead high school sports reporter way back in 2001.

Sure, football gets the most coverage. And football will continue to receive the most coverage as long as it is the most popular sport for our readers. But volleyball, soccer and the other fall sports will all have stories.

Basketball rules the winter. But gymnasts work just as hard at their craft as basketball players at their game.

Spring sports are overwhelming at times. So many athletes in so many sports. But we’ll get to all of them, too.

Will each sport receive equal coverage? No. Some sports have more interest than others. But each sport will get covered.

Promise.

Hello. My name is Paul. It’s an easy name to spell. I’d like to thank my parents for that.

Not all names are so easy, though. My colleagues and I make mistakes from time to time.

Most of our mistakes are simply that, mistakes. Accidents. This does not make us stupid. Does not make us idiots.

Sometimes we make foolish mistakes. Things we can’t believe we did, because we know better. But yet, there it is. Published. In print. For all to see.

You make mistakes, too, but for most of you, your mistakes are not public.

There’s our admission. We are human.

Now for our request: When we goof, we want to know about it. But we don’t need to be told we are going to hell because of it. We want to right the wrong. We’d appreciate a nice e-mail, a tweet, or a phone call just to let us know.

Here are two types of emails we get:

“Hey Paul. You’re a —— moron. My son’s name is …. Drop dead.”

Or

“Hey Paul. Any chance you can correct my son’s name? It was wrong in today’s paper. Thanks.”

Which one would you prefer?

(On that note, an e-mail suggesting we only cover this school or that school for whatever evil purpose is not real productive. However, an e-mail asking why we cover what we do will always get an answer.)

By the end of the school year, we will have published thousands of names. Surely, there are going to be miscues.

Every athlete who makes it to our pages deserves to have his or her name spelled correctly.

They have earned it, and we want to provide the pages and online content to highlight them.

High school sports are back. It is a chaotic time in Sports, but I love it.

Promise.

Paul Valencia covers high school sports for The Columbian. He can be reached at 360-735-4557 or email at paul.valencia@columbian.com. Follow him on Twitter: @360paulv