Lineup may change, but prep coverage goal remains the same

Commentary: Tim Martinez

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant Sports Editor



The weather outside may not feel like it, but the 2017 high school football season is upon us.

The season officially kicks off Thursday night at Kiggins Bowl when King’s Way Christian plays Fort Vancouver. A full slate of games is set for our first Friday night of the season. And to make the opening weekend festivities last even longer, there will be a game Saturday when Mountain View hosts Ferris of Spokane at 2 p.m. at McKenzie Stadium.

I hope you all have your copy of the 2017 Fall Sports Preview, which came out in Sunday’s edition of The Columbian. If you don’t have your copy, you can still find copies of Sunday’s paper in newsracks around town, or come down to The Columbian office in downtown Vancouver.

This is the third year that we’ve kicked off the fall prep season with a special preview section. The previous two preview sections were dedicated specifically to football. But this year, we expanded our previews to also include quick lookaheads to all of the fall sports.

It was a summer’s worth of work in the making. And while many on The Columbian staff had a hand in its production, the lion’s share of the work was handled by reporter Meg Wochnick, who was a frequent visitor to summer football workouts across the county dating back to the start of spring practices in June.

At this time of year, I always feel a little bit like a high school coach getting ready for the season. Like many coaches, we at The Columbian have spent the summer not only working on the preview section, but also making plans and preparations for the upcoming season. And now, we’re eager to see how the plans work out.

And this fall season will be unlike any other that I’ve experienced in a long, long time at The Columbian.

The Columbian sports team’s lineup this fall will include a couple of new faces. And while that will make this season feel very different and maybe a little strange, we are also very excited for the possibilities that it presents.

But regardless of the players in the starting lineup, the approach of covering preps at The Columbian remains the same — a team effort. That team effort was on display in our Fall Prep Preview and will continue to be as the season rolls on.

You can expect many of the same features we’ve had in the past, and a few new ones.

We’ve assembled a team of correspondents to help us reach our goal of staffing every high school football game played in Clark County this season. They’ll be on Twitter providing live updates, which you can follow on Twitter or The Columbian website.

Our Friday night live chat will look a bit different, but the updates will still be there.

The Columbian also is partnering with Scorebook Live to cover prep football this fall.

Some of you may be familiar with the live scoreboards Scorebook Live provided for prep basketball the last couple of seasons. This fall, Scorebook Live, which is led in part by former Trail Blazers and Prairie High star Dan Dickau, is branching out to football and will help augment our Friday night coverage.

We also will have more podcasts, Facebook Live events, videos, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, videos, blog posts and more. Fans will again have the opportunity to vote on who they believe will win football games on Friday and try to outperform the Prep Proletariat, The Columbian’s prep football prognosticator, who will again be posting predicted outcomes of games.

And it doesn’t just stop at football. The Columbian plans on being out at more prep events this fall … volleyball, soccer, cross country, swimming, golf and tennis.

And yes, we will continue to provide the most comprehensive high school football statistics and leaders anywhere, so you can keep up with the top passers, rushers and receivers in Clark County.

It’s all part of our commitment to bring you the best coverage of high school sports in Southwest Washington.

It’s going to be a great season, a great school year. So let the games begin.

Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep editor for The Columbian. He can be reached at 360-735-4538, or follow his Twitter handle @360TMart.