Vaught's Views: Our team had own game plan

December 09, 2003|LARRY VAUGHT

Now that the Title Town teams have once again finished their seasons in impressive fashions - and in the way we've all grown to expect - it's only fitting to note how well one other team did, especially last weekend.

That's The Advocate-Messenger team that put together the state championship coverage from Louisville on Danville's win over Beechwood in the Class A title game and Boyle County's win over Highlands in the Class AAA title game.

While our game plan is not nearly as extensive as ones that coaches Chuck Smith and Sam Harp prepare, it might surprise you to know just how much work goes into covering championship teams and that's why I want to thank our team for all it did.

Flash back to mid-August when country music singer Eddie Montgomery agreed to pose with coaches and players from both teams for the cover photo on our Boyle-Danville game preview section. Coaches might not look ahead, but we do, and we had Montgomery pose with Boyle players in a Boyle jersey and Danville players in a Danville jersey so that we would have something unique to put on posters for each team when they reached the state championship round.


As the teams kept winning, page designer Jane Cox put together a picture page layout touting both teams that was put on hold for championship week. That was the page you saw last week about both teams "chewing up" the competition.

Feature stories also had to be planned several weeks in advance. Not only did we have to decide on what stories to write, but also how to balance the coverage fairly and make sure if there was something about one team, there was also something about the other team.

State semifinal week saw staff writer Jill Erwin and photographer Clay Jackson board the Danville pep bus for a trip to Mayfield and staff writers Mike Marsee and Marty Warren along with photographer Edwin Findley board the Boyle bus for Paducah Tilghman. All had assignments not only for that night, but also for state championship week - once again showing that we do look ahead.

By then, Cox had already designed two picture pages to use in our championship edition after the state games.

Amanda Brannock, another page designer, went to work making sure pregame coverage last Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday had a special look. She took stories by various writers and pictures by Clay Jackson and put them into a unique package three straight days.

There was also the matter of getting 882 papers to Boyle County High School and 476 to Danville High School on Thursday that included the special Eddie Montgomery poster for each student at both schools. Credit Findley, who's also circulation manager, and his staff and Newspaper in Education coordinator Sandra Clark for getting that done.

Staff writer Liz Maples covered cheerleaders from each team painting downtown windows during the week.

Assignments were also made for the state championship games, and Jenny Upton of our advertising department secured extra room in Sunday's paper for us to use all of that coverage.

No advance planning can be done for actual game coverage because the storylines write themselves. However, the sports staff had to be as focused on the Rebels or Admirals to get the best game story, sidebars, features and note packages.

Both Friday and Saturday the sports crew left here about 9:30 a.m. and called it a day about 10 p.m., because once the game ends, that's when our real work starts.

Cox came in Friday night to help put pages together. Brannock was in early Saturday to do the same and both John Davis and Gary Moyers helped with editing. Then it was up to Cristina Cathcart, another page designer, to finish the championship edition.

Maples was at Danville Friday night with photographer Robin Hart and Maples was at Boyle Saturday night with photographer Kent Brown for celebration stories after the teams returned home.

Once all the stories and photos were finished, then it was off to our press crew. Those guys knew they had to get this right, too, because Mike Commarford, the father of Boyle running back-linebacker, Danny Commarford, is part of their team.

Finally, our newspaper carriers got the papers about 1 a.m. Sunday to deliver to you so that you could enjoy the terrific accomplishments of both teams - and all the work that went into getting that product to you.

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