Saturday, September 18, 2021
Sept. 18, 2021

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Martinez: Transitioning back to somewhat normal with football preview section coming Sunday

High school sports

By , Columbian Assistant Sports Editor

In about 10 days, the high school football season in Southwest Washington will open, on the first Friday in September, just as it should.

And the excitement is palpable, among the coaches, the players, the fans and even the media.

But with that excitement comes a bit of guarded optimism, or pessimism, depending on how full you fill the glass.

The high school football season is set to start as normal on Friday, Sept. 3. But it will be a stretch to think everything will be back to normal any time soon.

After so long of not-normal, we’ll just have to settle for close-to-normal.

For example, The Columbian will help kick off the fall 2021 high school football season with our annual special section spotlighting area teams from White Salmon to Castle Rock. And this year, that includes Kalama.

The section will appear in the Sunday, Aug. 29 print edition of The Columbian. If you’re a fan of high school football, you’ll want to make sure to get your copy.

But because of staffing changes at The Columbian, we decided to make some changes to this year’s special section.

Last fall, sports reporter Meg Wochnick became the education reporter at The Columbian, covering area schools as they managed their way through the pandemic.

This summer, I’m happy to report, Meg began to transition her way back to the sports department. We expect the transition to be completed soon. It will be great having Meg back covering preps again.

Also last fall, sports reporter Joshua Hart began splitting his time between sports and being a staff photographer. That change will remain in place, as Josh has proven to be an asset in both roles.

In past years, the special section was devoted heavily to football, but also provided previews of other fall prep sports.

This year, the special section will be exclusively on football. We still plan to do previews of the other fall sports, but those previews will begin to appear in the daily edition of The Columbian beginning the first week of September.

This provided us with more time to get the other previews done and get them done right.

To meet production deadlines for the special section, all stories and photos had to be submitted by last weekend — before all other fall sports held their first practices on Monday. For many sports, this first week of practices is used for tryouts.

By pushing those previews back, it will give coaches time to get a better idea of what their teams will look like, and that will allow us to give fans a better picture of what to expect this fall.

So for now, if you want to find out about what’s up with 25 area high school football teams, their schedules, key players to watch and goals for the season, pick up Sunday’s edition of The Columbian.

And then keep reading The Columbian as we spotlight the upcoming seasons for volleyball, girls soccer, cross country, boys tennis, boys golf, girls swimming and slowpitch softball in the coming weeks.