My first bureau story was a high school boys basketball game between the Preston High School Knights and the North Marion Huskies played at PHS. This was not the first time I covered a live sporting event, but it was the first time I covered one on the high school level. I was used to being given all the information, besides post-game interviews, needed to write stories.
It was easy to cover the game in terms of know what is going on because it is a sport I have been watching for years so the rules and regulations didn’t need to be researched.
I had to go online to do some initial research about each team. I had to learn the rosters of North Marion and Preston High School. Then I called Barry Sanders, the head coach of Preston, to tell him let him know that I would be covering the game. Then I had to find out where Preston High is located by using googlemaps.
I found this to be pretty difficult to cover because I knew nothing about either team so I had to figure out who were the key players and what should I concentrate on as the main focus of the game story. Luckily for me, this game was a blowout so finding focus was quite simple.
This was a funny experience though because I sat next to Coach Sanders and every so often he would look at me as the game was going on and say something like “Write about how bad that shot was,” and he would smile. He was talking about one of his players. I had to chuckle every time he did something like that.
Keeping the stats myself wasn’t anything new, but trying to do that while thinking about what I was going to write about was extremely difficult. I was used to having stat sheets at the end of every quarter, but I had to keep my own and make sure they were accurate.
The post-game interviews were fairly simple. The players were all extremely willing to talk to me, but they were careful to carry an attitude about them to make sure they said that right things and the things that their coach wanted to them to say. The coach was more willing to speak his mind about the play of the other team and his own team.
My editor wanted the story in by 10 p.m. and the game didn’t start until 7 p.m. The school didn’t have wi-fi so I had to go to a McDonalds in Kingwood. I was so pressed for time that I actually had to buy some food to tempt me to get focused and get the work done.
This was a good experience, but it was something that I was comfortable with. I hope to get more assignments in the future that test my knowledge of the subject and require more research on the subject.