J. C. Tilton
Well it has been almost a year since I was asked to do Sports for Twin Valley Publishing. So it is one year down and hopefully many more to come. It has been an interesting experience to this point and of course I am still learning. I made some rookie mistakes - like the time I left my camera at home - oops. Fortunately for me the game was postponed because of lightening, and so I was able to get some excellent pics the next day. But I did learn, now I have two cameras so I can keep a back up with me at all times.
This is a part time position and so there are limits to what can be covered. Other times there are business reasons for some of the decisions that are made. If your team or school has been slighted it has been because there are finite resources and time that can be devoted. But please provide comment and suggestions. Over the past year there has been both negative and positive feedback from readers. When people respond - we listen and adjust as best we can. So emails to the address that is provided at the end of many of the stories, it can only help to make the sports coverage better.
It is also time to give thanks to the athletes, coaches, and Athletic Directors from this past season. It has been fun getting a glimpse of things behind the scenes. And it has been fun being privy to some of the “off the record” comments. Not everything makes it to print folks. Most of the local coaches and athletes have been very approachable and that makes this job so much easier. It is great to talk to a coach after a victory and hear the pride they have in their teams. And on the other hand it is sometimes hard to interview a coach after a loss. It is true that victory has many parents and losses are orphans. Even though we say it is just a game, these coaches and athletes work so hard to play at their best and when there is a loss it can cut deep. It feels like interviewing a widow after a funeral - “so how did it feel when the old man keeled over...”
But to get the story out for the athletes and their fans you ask the necessary questions and the coaches will answer. And I appreciate that. Anybody can go on for 30 minutes after a win, but to have to rehash a loss for some nosy reporter is an unpleasant chore and I am proud to say that with one or two exceptions (after really difficult losses) that your local coaches have the fortitude to provide the sports people with interviews in both good times and bad. It was fun interviewing the athletes. But it was roll of the dice as to what you would get. Coaches are used to being interviewed, but most athletes are not. I guess that I would be nervous if I were 16 or 17 and was being interviewed for the first time. Some would give short one or two word answers, while others would go on and on. Sometimes I felt bad for putting them on the spot, but most of the athletes came thru like pro's.
I tell young athletes when I coached them that they are guaranteed to get their names in the paper 2 times in their lives. Once when they are born and once they die. So anything else is up to them. They have to work hard and achieve something noteworthy so that they can get their names in the paper at least a third time and hopefully umpteen times over the years. I am grateful to have this chance to give athletes recognition for their efforts. Thanks again to the athletes and coaches of the 2003-2004 school year, I look forward to kickoff this August. Comments email: Chris Tilton