After one week of earlier print deadlines three days a week — not to mention the loss of the Monday print edition — the reviews are in.
Dedicated print readers don’t like it.
They don’t like having to wait 36 hours after an event is over to read about it in print. They don’t like being forced to get their prep news online.
One reader even said reading the news online “has no soul.”
While I’m not quite sure what that means, we appreciate that you appreciate the print version of The Columbian. We’re sorry you’ve been inconvenienced. And if we had our way in the sports department, we would have kept things they way they were.
But, change happens, you adjust and realize it’s not all bad.
After one week of early print deadlines, we’ve discovered one positive. It gives us greater flexibility in covering high school sports in Southwest Washington.
Take this coming Tuesday for example.
With 24 prep events on the schedule, with our old print deadlines, we’d likely require three staffers in the office to take all of those reports while simultaneously trying to output the print edition.
But with an 8:30 p.m. press deadline, on this very busy nights, we can focus first on getting the print product finished, then turn our attention to getting game coverage reported.
Less juggling requires less staffing in the office. And that means we can send more staffers out into the field.
And this Tuesday is a good day for that because there are a ton of good basketball games on the schedule.
So here’s a quick preview on those big games coming on Tuesday.
Skyview at Union boys, 5:30 p.m. — Coming off the holiday break, when Union raced to a tournament title in San Diego and Skyview knocked off highly-ranked Federal Way, this was the game we had circled on the schedule. But last week was a rough one for the Storm, first losing a game at Battle Ground, then on Friday at Camas. Now Union will look to put a stranglehold on the 4A Greater St. Helens League, while Skyview tries to stop the bleeding and get back into the league race.
Meg Wochnick will be the reporter on the scene for this one. And print readers will be happy. The 5:30 p.m. tip-off will allow us to get this one in print.
Skyview at Union girls, 7 p.m. — Skyview’s first win over Camas in a few years gave Camas, Skyview and Union each one league loss as the first half of the 4A Greater St. Helens League season concludes Tuesday. That means the winner of Tuesday’s game at Union will likely share first place with the Papermakers, while the loser will be playing catch-up in the second half of the league season. It should be a good one, and Meg Wochnick will be there for the details (after filing her story from the earlier boys game, of course).
Prairie at Hudson’s Bay girls, 7 p.m. — The Prairie girls basketball team has long led to a quandary for us. In past years, the Falcons would get upset and ask why we didn’t cover any of their league games. And we’d reply “Because you win all your games by 40 points, and that’s not particularly exciting.”
But this season, the Falcons’ matchups with Kelso and Hudson’s Bay look to be very exciting games. Except now when we show up to their games, the Falcons still get a little irked at us because they think we’re just there to watch them lose.
You see, the Prairie girls basketball team has not lost a league game since Jan. 31, 2000 — almost 20 years ago. The last time the Falcons lost a league game, none of the current Falcons were even born yet. It’s a phenomenal streak. So, yes, when they lose, that will be a newsworthy event.
But even if Prairie’s streak had ended last year, this would still be a big game to cover.
Prairie and Hudson’s Bay are both 4-0, battling for first-place in the 3A Greater St. Helens League as the first half of league play concludes.
It doesn’t get much better than that, and Joshua Hart will be there to report.
La Center at King’s Way Christian boys, 7 p.m. — Another battle of league unbeatens that took a turn for the worse because of events last week.
In last week’s win over rival Seton Catholic, King’s Way sophomore Bryson Metz suffered a foot injury that may keep him sidelined for a month or more.
Going into this Trico League showdown against La Center without their leading scorer was not part of the original plan for the Knights.
But King’s Way Christian prides itself on depth. The Knights will need added production from the likes of Brady Metz, Kobi Cason, Kai Butterworth, Gage Koenders among others when they battle Hunter Ecklund, Evan Norris and the Wildcats.
It should be an interesting matchup, and I will be your reporter on the scene.
That’s a great lineup of games on just one night, and we’ll have them all covered, thanks to a small inconvenience to some of our print readers.
I hope they will understand, and appreciate the widespread coverage of a great night of high school basketball in Southwest Washington.
Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep editor for The Columbian. He can be reached at (360) 735-4538, email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @360TMart.