There’s always some apprehension when trying something you’ve never done before.
But it’s a lot less difficult when you believe in it.
And it’s a whole lot easier when you’re surrounded by a great team.
This 2017-18 high school sports season, we’ve done something we had never tried at The Columbian sports department.
In 2016, we had published a 36-page special section previewing high school football. I was proud of the product.
But this year I wanted to go further; Bring our readers more than we ever have; Push our comfort level.
That effort culminates today with our “High School Spring Sports 2018” special section in today’s newspaper. It’s the third special section this school year, joining our expanded Fall Sports section in August and our new Winter Sports section in December.
Why this? Why now?
I’ve always believed it’s better to do a couple things well instead of trying to do a lot more, but not as well. High school sports are what this sports section can and should cover better than anything else.
When you distill what we do at The Columbian, we tell the stories of the communities we live in.
Often, the best attributes of our communities are exemplified in high school sports. There are stories of teamwork, stories of growth and stories of resilience.
There are stories of teenagers taking pride in their school and neighborhood. There are stories of athletes with exceptional talents representing Clark County on a statewide or national stage.
And these stories are not limited to one sport.
Football definitely generates the most interest, both in game attendance and readership on our website. But a good story is a good story, no matter which sport provides the canvas on which to tell it. In expanding our high school preview sections, you’ll be introduced to the area’s top talent in every sport and every season.
It also sets the foundation for our coverage during the season that follows.
This school year, we’ve gotten out to cover more events than we ever have. We’ve produced more videos to accompany our stories than we ever have.
Among our sports reporters and 360Preps social-media channels, our online reach is collectively larger than ever. We’re doing more podcasts, where we discuss issues affecting high school sports and peel back the curtain on what we do at The Columbian.
It’s all possible thanks to reporters Meg Wochnick and Andy Buhler, high school sports coordinator Tim Martinez and behind-the-scenes linchpin Jeff Klein. Each has a wealth of fresh ideas and brings an eagerness to cover prep sports in new and innovative ways.
But mostly it’s due to the athletes and coaches whose stories are so worth telling.
Thanks for inspiring us to keep pushing forward and go beyond our preconceived limits, now and in the future.
Micah Rice is The Columbian’s Sports Editor. Reach him at 360-735-4548, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @col_mrice.