When I became sports editor several months ago, there were a few things I wanted to make sure I accomplished.
As a student-athlete graduate of Flagler Palm Coast High School, I know how much it means to play high school sports. I couldn’t wait to read about my Bulldogs soccer team in the paper during soccer season. That was the first thing I did when I woke up.
I wanted to make sure that I treated the student-athletes in Flagler County as if they were celebrities. I didn’t to leave someone out when covering a team. I wanted to make sure I got stats correct, records correct, names properly spelled.
I also wanted to make sure that I was fair and balanced in my coverage. There’s a broad range of sports here in Flagler County. There’s golf, tennis, fishing. Of course, there’s the high school sports. Then, you have the youth leagues.
It’s next to impossible to cover every single team and every single accomplishment. But I want to.
I’ve had several people express concern about not covering Matanzas and Flagler Palm Coast sports equally, so let me address that.
This past football season, I wrote season previews for both FPC and Matanzas high schools in our Sept. 1 issue. A week later, we had game coverage of the Matanzas vs. FPC game. In the Sept. 15 issue, I wrote a feature on Matanzas kicker Taylor Haire. FPC’s game against Seabreeze was in the sports briefs.
The following issue, we ran a breakdown of an FPC offensive play — the buck lateral. Also, there was a preview for Matanzas’ first district game.
In the Sept. 29 issue, I wrote a feature story about Matanzas running back Shawn White. We also had a recap and preview story for FPC.
For Oct. 6, we had quarter-page stories recapping the previous week’s game and previewing the upcoming game for both Matanzas and FPC.
In the Oct. 13 issue, we covered FPC homecoming on the front of sports, and then I wrote my column about Matanzas’ game that week. Then, the following week, we did Matanzas’ homecoming on the front page of Sports, with a follow-up story on FPC and its four keys to having a successful season.
Our Oct. 27 and Nov. 3 issues had both high school football teams covered in the briefs section. Both high schools had their senior nights covered Nov. 10.
So, I think it’s safe to say that we covered FPC and Matanzas equally throughout the football season. Sure, sometimes one team had a player featured, while the other team was a forward-looking story into next week’s game. But overall, both teams were treated equally.
I’m looking forward to more of the same this winter.