How the Vail Daily covers preps and how you can help
Phone: (970) 748-2934.
E-mail: email@example.com (photos gratefully accepted).
Twitter: Follow me at @cfreud — I live tweet scores, results and articles.
Coaches: You have my cell — please call any time.
Will Vail Mountain School soccer wear orange?
Will Eagle Valley football be dancing in November?
Will a local volleyball team make the Denver Coliseum?
Do we have good cross-country teams?
Will Bob Bandoni opine on the sidelines even though he’s not even coaching?
Yes, yes, maybe, yes and “Is the pope Catholic?”
Welcome to the new year, but before I pitch tents at all four schools in anticipation of all the action, here’s how the Vail Daily covers high school sports.
My favorite team is …
If you haven’t figured this out yet, people, you simply are not paying attention. I like all our teams — be they Devils, Gore Rangers, Huskies or Saints — but I am a San Francisco Giants fan, with some 49ers thrown in.
I bleed orange and black. I wear orange and black. There is a reason most of the kids of San Francisco Giants employees are going to fancy Ivy League colleges — I own just about every piece of Giants clothing made.
I grew up in San Francisco — I did not attend Battle Mountain, Eagle Valley, Vail Christian or Vail Mountain, though I have been accused of attending all four and favoring each of them throughout the past 19 years.
If one of our four teams is playing a school from outside Eagle County, of course, I’m rooting for the local team. Having lived here 19 years, I’ve seen the student-athletes grow up, covered their older siblings and likely played golf with their parents.
There is also a practical reason for partisanship — our readers tend to think I’m doing a better job when the teams in which they are invested are winning. I’m always trying to find new angles and improve my writing, but there is a distinct control-and-variable element here.
And when any of the four local schools get together, I root for a close game so I can write positive things about both teams. A rout in anything Battle Mountain-Eagle Valley or Vail Christian-Vail Mountain is not fun for me.
That said, if you have a concern about your favorite team, I’m available via telephone or email and feel free to come see me at an event. I’m the guy wearing the Giants gear.
One person, four schools
As much as I would like to attend every single game of every team, it’s not possible. Ross Leonhart will be pitching in a bit, but the sports department, by and large, is a one-person show.
Looking at this weekend, I will cover Battle Mountain-Steamboat Springs football on Friday night in person, while fielding results from the Cheyenne Mountain Stampede cross-country race down in Colorado Springs.
Football is king in this state — most of you are Broncos fans, after all.
On Saturday, Eagle Valley soccer hosts Green Mountain at 11 a.m., Battle Mountain soccer is at Vail Mountain School at 1 p.m., and Devils volleyball (Montrose, 2 p.m.) and softball (Evergreen, 11 a.m.) are also at home. By the way, Huskies volleyball is at Fruita and Vail Christian is at Caliche.
The paper’s cloning budget is still in the works, so I’m at Battle Mountain-Vail Mountain School soccer, as it’s a double local game.
As the fall progresses, I try to pick the event which has the most local flavor and promises to have the most effect on postseason play. (Tuesday, I’ll be down in Gypsum for Devils-Huskies soccer, which should be a combination of the above factors.) I make a point of trying to get to every school’s team’s games/matches/meets as we go.
The telephone is your friend
To make sure I get everyone in the paper, every varsity coach from every team at every school has my cell number. I only hit the road for the postseason, so if your team is on the road, call me. If you don’t see me at your home game because a lot of games are usually scheduled at the same time, call me.
If you want to say hello, call me. If you want to tell me what you ordered at the Sonic in Rifle coming back from a game, feel free to call me. Parents, please give your respective coaches a friendly reminder to call me.
Ninety-five percent of the time that readers are upset that their team isn’t covered, it’s because the coach hasn’t called.
Coaches, I understand that you have to deal with sign-outs, making sure everyone who should be is actually on the bus and the kids have to eat somewhere, say, such as the Sonic in Rifle. Coaching doesn’t stop at the whistle/finish line. But the earlier you call, the better chance of getting into the paper or on our website.
Deadlines, the web and you
The Vail Daily’s deadline for print is 9:30 p.m. As such, I’m usually in a bit of a frenzy trying to get whatever I covered in person into the paper for said deadline. It also means that sometimes all of the day’s action won’t be in print the next day.
But check out http://www.vaildaily.com. Once I get done with whatever is going into print, I’m here returning all the calls from coaches, writing those up and putting them on our website. (Coaches, please call, leave a message and keep your phone on because odds are good that I will be calling you after 9:30 p.m.)
If an article doesn’t make the next day’s print edition, I’ll do my best to get it the day after’s for scrapbook purposes. But when in doubt, check — gratuitous plug — http://www.vaildaily.com.
And, yes, parents/amateur shutterbugs, please take pictures — action shots are preferred — and send them to me. If I don’t use them with the story from that precise game, I put them in a file for use later in the season. For the purposes for the fall, if there are golf and cross-county parents, who take a bunch of photos, we’d really like those as those squads spend most of their season on the road.
Go Giants, go Saintly Devskies of the Gore Range and see you out there this fall.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.