It’s almost here, but before we reveal what’s under the curtain … thank you
Sports suited me best growing up. But part of me right now wishes there was a Boy Scout mentality, at least in preparedness.
It’s been 18 years since I was first tackled my very first high school football preview as a green 22-year-old college graduate. Back then, it was just as an apprentice — a story teller, a fact finder and gatherer – in a reporter’s role. Even then, it seemed like a mad dash to the finish in an atmosphere of controlled chaos.
Not much has changed except titles. Long days and late nights have brought us here once again to another season. Every year it’s a vicious sprint to the finish line.
My significant other, who has gone through each of the last 18 Augusts as a girlfriend, fiancee and now as a wife, is fully aware by now that her husband transforms into a ghost at home for a span of three weeks once the calendar turns past July 31.
The kids not so much.
Where’s Daddy? He’s been busy. Extremely busy.
Truly, we’ve spent the last 16 days on a mission while working furiously to put out Wednesday’s publication of our Football ‘14 edition. Two sections, 24 pages in progress coming your way next week.
Judging from what we’ve seen on the field just in the preseason, the 2014 football season expects . New regions, a crop of rising talents — and at least in one instance a name change for one of our county schools — present another fresh feel to this year’s high school season.
One thing’s for certain. It will be the most eye-pleasing football issue we’ve ever produced.
That’s because yours truly has delegated some of the layout duties of this year’s issue to more talented folks. As any veteran head coach can attest, you’re only as good as the people surrounding you.
And before I hastily get back to crossing the final ‘T’ in Trinity and dotting the last ‘i’ in Indians or Vikings, there’s more than a few thank yous to pass along.
They include my colleague Doug Gorman, who has been a teammate for most of the past decade since the two of us worked together at the Clayton and Henry papers putting previews together, with Doug as sports editor and myself as a page designer. While the titles have now switched, we’re of the same mind when it comes to trying to decide what our readers might want to see in our section.
As a high school football coach familiar to both of us once said in his own modesty, “I’m the head coach because somebody has to be.”
From designer Maggie Bowers, who is putting my design talents to shame, to one-man-band photographer Jeffrey Leo and wordsmith Will Blair, to our entire advertising team led by Colleen Mitchell all working tirelessly behind the scenes, I’m truly grateful for your help plotting the X’s and O’s that go into this edition (just a little foreshadowing there).
Equally to the coaches and players of this community, thanks for letting us share your world on a daily basis.
Things are still in a state of ‘under construction,’ so for now we’re not going to reveal what’s on the other side of the curtain, just as our six schools aren’t yet set to break through that first banner on Friday night. You’ll just have to wait a tiny bit longer.
But we hope it will be worth the wait.
While a Newnan resident for the past 18 years — only two of which haven’t involved football previews in August — the last seven sections here have been the most rewarding of my career. Even if every Labor Day I swear I’ll never do another one.
Anyway, gotta go. Time to get back to work. August’s not over just yet.