Exciting changes coming to Times' preps coverage
As we prepare for the high school sports season to kick off again in just over a week, I'd like to take some time to discuss how the Leavenworth Times will be covering prep sports.
In the past, preseason football coverage at the Times has been compiled into a special section titled "Football Fever" which was published days before the season began.
This year, we are trying something different.
Deadlines are earlier than ever before and it doesn't make sense to keep doing things the way we used to. You won't see stories from Friday night in your Saturday newspaper and you definitely won't see them in your Tuesday newspaper. Instead, I am asking that you make leavenworthtimes.com/sports your primary destination for finding local sports news and features on your favorite athletes. Going to our website is the fastest way to see the stories I will publish this season. I will expand how game stories will be replaced below but just know we are aware most readers can find scores on their own faster than we can publish them.
I know I've only mentioned football to this point, but I want to be clear that most of these new strategies will be applied to all high school athletics in our area. There are great volleyball and soccer teams, as well as talented individuals competing in cross country and golf, and the Times is dedicated to giving them attention throughout this season.
Our coverage of the 2021 preps season starts with this column and will continue with stories about our local athletes and teams on a near-daily basis. The stories will be published online where they can be accessed by anyone with internet in seconds, compared to waiting until midday for your newspaper to arrive. Many stories will be free to access while others will be put behind a paywall in order to help drive our online presence.
While that covers the majority of our changes to preps coverage, here are some other things to expect from us as the season nears:
- Athlete of the Week will shift from a paid advertisement in our print product, where athletes are nominated by their own school, to a poll format on leavenworthtimes.com to give readers the opportunity to select the best performers in the community. The first Athlete of the Week poll is scheduled to go live Sept. 6, so keep an eye out.
- There will be multiple, "players to watch" lists that will be produced to help readers familiarize themselves with the best seniors and underclassmen football players to watch during the season. We will also produce a list of volleyball players to watch this season. These lists will be one of the few items behind a paywall this season, so please subscribe if it interests you.
- Perhaps the biggest change you will notice with our coverage of football is the lack of game stories from Friday nights. With our deadlines earlier than ever, it doesn't make sense to write the game stories we have traditionally published. Instead, look for an analysis of the four area football games online Saturday. There will also be a scoreboard post online Friday nights where you can find final scores.
- Weekly analysis of the top football performers from Friday night will be in the Tuesday paper.
These are ambitious changes and I am very exciting to be a part of making the Leavenworth Times sports page more about our community. Please do not hesitate to reach out and provide feedback or make story suggestions. I can be reached through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter by direct messaging @LVTSportsGuy.
Jason Brown is the sports editor of the Leavenworth Times. Contact him at email@example.com