Written by Frank “Wil” Leitner
The sports and recreation beat does have its fair share of benefits. Where there is a field, court, or rink there is a sport that is played on that surface. And countless others that you would least expect. My trials and tribulations covering this beat has led me to such extreme and unique sports as lumberjacking, paintballing, roller derby, and fencing. When I stumbled upon the women’s rugby team at WVU, I actually felt as though I was taking a step backwards from my usual “out of the ordinary” takes on the wide world of sports. However, as a journalist usually finds out, you should never judge a book by its cover.
One of my classmates had given me the contact information of the team’s head coach, Chris Anderson, and had said she had previously played on the team last season. Having someone like her vouch for him, and preach how good of an interviewee he was, to go with his flamboyance on the sidelines instantly gave me that special real character that everyone looks for in a story. As I walked into a practice about twenty minutes in and heard the loud screaming coming from the middle of the field, as someone stood in front of about two dozen girls in a circle, I knew I had found the right guy.
“Does anyone out here have any heart out here?!”
“You girls are going to hurt out there on Saturday if you play like this!”
Their much-anticipated “Chicken Tournament” was coming up in four days, so the team was running practice like it was a full-fledged scrimmage. Much to the dismay of some of the girls out there who were being worked like dogs, but much to my pleasure; the camera-man out there looking for big hits.
I got some great footage, and felt like I was watching pro football. The one problem I had to overcome however was the lack of dependability of my tripod. With the game action so fast, there was no way I could get the shots that I wanted too working with a mounted camera. I had to really be on my feet to follow the ball around without having to blurry of a shot.
I think you can tell by my video, that my shots were pretty good. I don’t think I could have gotten those shots with a tripod. Well actually, I know that I couldn’t have. Some of my ground shots I got with the camera I thought looked really good in the package also. It was kind of muddy out, so I had to overcome thinking about what prof. Dahlia would say if she saw that my camera was pretty much sitting in mud, but the show has to go on, and I fought the elements to the best of my ability without having to pay a $3000 camera damage fine!