Sports Editor’s Playbook, Oct. 7, 2010

Patrick Newell

Tidbits from Thursday, Oct. 7:

– For 15 years, since the passing of longtime Sun sports section contributor Tom Schwan, I have maintained the Friday football column in which weekend games are previewed. For several years I gave predictions and scores, but the past five or six years, I’ve stuck to just the nuts and bolts of the games instead of tossing in my guess at a final score. Tuesday or Wednesday each week, I am on the phone calling all of the local head coaches and asking for their thoughts about their team’s upcoming game. Today, I put together those comments, threw in some statistics and quotes, and pieced together capsules of each game. Since I have always been a stats junkie, I love throwing in the odd statistic whenever possible. Look for the preview in tomorrow’s paper.

– Just two days ago, I extolled the virtues of the Norwich golf team and its eight-game winning streak. Due to some recent postponements combined with the regularly scheduled matches, Norwich has upped that streak by two, and with its 10th win in a row Thursday night, clinched at least a tie for the STAC Central Division title. Head coach Bob Branham said it has been over 10 years since Norwich won a STAC division title.

– Greene boys’ soccer coach Rick Tallman was disappointed after losing a division game earlier in the week to Walton. Evening Sun readers did not read about the 2-1 defeat since Walton does not report results to us – unless one of our local coaches asks the Walton coach to call. Tallman is the Midstate Athletic Conference boys’ soccer coordinator, and gave an admonition earlier this season to league coaches to report games to their local media. When I told Tallman that Walton does not report to us, he said, “I wish (the Walton coach) told me that.” Tallman, in his tenure as head coach with Greene, is spotless in his regular reporting of games, and I can sense that he is more comfortable each season talking to me. Some coaches are a bit reticent in opening up with information, particularly those new to reporting game results. In spite of losing to Walton, I have no doubt he would have phoned in the result if he knew Walton was not calling us.

– And when it comes to reporting game results, the onus is indeed on coaches to report games to me that I don’t actually attend. And that is pretty much most games since I can only be at one site at a time. On a busy night of sports during the week, I have around 15 games contested, so I rely heavily on coaches giving me the scoop. The vast majority of coaches are superb, although some will start off strong, and then kind of fade away as the season progresses. I’ll only hear from them if they win a game – or if I call with a gentle reminder that I’m still here, and I’m eager to get their information into the paper. One coach recently told me the parents would have her head if she didn’t report results. Even with most information widely available on the Internet, parents still enjoy scrapbooking the accomplishments of their kids.