By John Bombatch
Summer is almost officially here, and area youth and adult leagues are getting into full swing.
It’s a time when flowers bloom, butterfiles flutter, grass grows … and prep sports writers scramble to find local stories to put in their newspapers!
This is my call to each of the league secretaries, commissioners, parents, players and coaches in the area.
Send in your scores, league standings and standout players’ first and last names, and I’ll post the results regularly in the Xenia Gazette, Fairborn Daily Herald, and the Beavercreek News-Current newspapers.
Anything from swimming and diving meets to horseshoes, from horse racers to race car drivers. Send ‘em in.
Bowling secretaries, league statisticians, long-time public address announcers, or that guy who cooks a mean hamburger at the concession stand. Send ‘em!
And if you have a team that is having a phenomenal season, or if there’s a player or coach out there whom you feel deserves some recognition, call me and let me know. If I agree that it warrants a story, I’ll scamper out and cover one of the team’s games, shoot some photos and do a story about that team or person.
These newspapers are for you.
They are a way to get Susie’s game-winning run documented for all to see, or to feature Coach Jones and show how he’s been a positive influence to the kids he’s coached through the years.
At the papers where I used to work, we put together a weekly rundown of area scores. We’d have coaches or league commissioners send us their score reports, and the staff would draw straws to determine who had the unenviable task of deciphering stats guys’ hieroglyphics in order to write them up for a sports brief.
Your handwriting can’t possibly be worse than mine. Send ‘em in!
Last week, I was out at the Lefty McFadden Youth Complex in Beavercreek’s Rotary Park looking for a local story. And as fate would have it, I stumbled upon three generations of the Flynn family who all either coach, take stats or play for the Ernst Concrete youth Rookie League softball team.
Those are fun stories.
Stories like that show just how sports can bring families together and how everyone involved in the contest is all the better for them being there. I eat that stuff up. So if you know of a family like that, who’s been involved in a sport for so many decades that the umpire is now a long-time coach’s former player’s kid, who has a kid of his own in a youth league …. y0u guessed it, send ‘em in!
My hope is that I’ll be able to get out to each area league at least once this summer. I’ll shoot tons of photos, talk to anyone who will talk to me, and I’ll feature that league in a story. Now, I realize there are a LOT of leagues out there. So, if I don’t get to you this year, that means that either someone didn’t bother to contact me, or I have so many commissioners, stats people and concessions cooks calling in that I’m completely swamped.
Either way, I’m here and I’ll do my very best to get you and your league into the newspapers.
Here’s an example of the information I’d need:
Athletics 5, Bob’s Baskets 4
(Fairborn Community Park, Women’s Thursday Night Softball)
Susie Smith ran all the way from first base on Delores Pickle’s double to right field, to score the winning run for the Athletics, who now have a 3-2 record this season. Sally Simpkins whopped three solo home runs to lead the Baskets (3-3).
A score. Where and when the game was played. What league it was in. A couple sentences telling what happened. Maybe the team records, if you have them.
We have three local newspapers just waiting for your local sports news to fill their pages. And I’d be happy to get your team and your names in the newspapers.
Please send ‘em in.
Scores and story ideas can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can leave a message on John’s office phone at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123. Thank you!