Let’s talk Grafton sports

There are a lot of things I find lacking in my own Grafton coverage (among them, the ability to be in two places at once), but the one area I really feel is missing is sports.

I do not have a child at the high school. My son plays Little League and flag football; my daughter kicked a soccer ball for two years before retiring from sporting events at the ripe old age of 6. My interest in sports tends to center around whatever my son happens to be playing and the Boston Red Sox (and the Beanpot of course — BU rules!).  But I believe if you’re going to provide coverage of a town, high school sports are a must.

So let me throw the topic out there: are sports covered enough by the T&G and Grafton News?

Is there anyone who wants to pick up the ball, so to speak? I can’t offer anything but fame, glory and, for a high school student, writing tips and a kick-ass college reference.

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6 thoughts on “Let’s talk Grafton sports

  1. This would be a great project for some High School students with an interest in journalism. Maybe they could get some extra credit and, of course, the kick-ass college reference.

  2. Uh…no is the answer to your question. Sports in this town are not covered enough by the T&G. I had emailed the sports editor and his response was pretty defensive. Basically he said things are just fine the way they are. I was asking why there isn’t more coverage of a particular sport that is not basketball and why Grafton doesn’t get much coverage overall. All players work hard and it seems they cover the same athletes from the same towns. We don’t have the indoor facility that some schools have but still they are out there running and training. I wonder what the athletes themselves feel about the coverage.

  3. I’ve written for every section of a newspaper except the sports section, but I’ve always appreciated sports reporting, which is often the best writing in the paper.

    One thing that nagged at me over the years — when papers have cuts, they don’t seem to re-evaluate what should stay and what they could do without. The prime example here is with sports coverage. You can read about the Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots in the Boston papers. I don’t think anyone anxiously picks up one of the suburban papers to read about last night’s game (personally, I always figured the sports editors didn’t want to give up their press box seats at Fenway). What you can’t do is pick up a Boston paper and read about how your high school team did, in depth, the night before.

    In college, one of my projects was an analysis of the three papers that covered Bellingham at the time (Milford Daily, Middlesex News and Woonsocket Call). My brother was a senior in high school and a basketball star and the week I analyzed included a game in which he sank a ridiculous amount of 3-pointers. One paper had the headline “Lord sizzles” and a breathless account of the game, one had a decent write-up, the third didn’t even have the score correctly and was clearly a “let’s have the intern call around for the scores” brief. My project concluded that the best local paper had to have a highly local focus, and that meant a staff that concentrated on the details of town life that mattered to the residents.

    It’s been 20 years since then, and I still agree with that thesis.

  4. I currently have two boys that play 3 sports each. At times the teams at the high school perform quite well or have an interesting story to tell. Football got a new coaching staff this year and went from 0-11 to 5-6. Kids now want to play on the team. The current boy’s basketball team is 14-4 and playing in the Clark Tournament next week and will play in the District Tournament after that. Boy’s soccer and lacrosse have each made the district tournaments the last couple of years.
    The Telegram puts in a Roundup each day, one or two sentences from each game given by one of the coaches. There is also a smattering of in-depth articles on teams that a reporter likes to cover or is in first place, in addition to the box scores. After that it falls off drastically. The Grafton News has started to print some articles about HS sports and that is all good.
    High school sports are a big deal to the kids that participate and teach many life lessons. My kids do better academically when they are playing sports. I would like to see more positive stories about what is going on at the High School and how these young people are performing and achieving in all activities.
    Unfortunately mine are not journalist!

  5. I think local sports coverage is a tough call. For each season, there are a whole bunch of teams, with both boys and girls …and if you delve deeply into the trials and tribulations of the girls hoops team, then the boys hoops team is going to feel left out, not to mention the swim team. It just seems like you have to strike a careful balance, or go all out and spend your life attending high school games.

    I think it might be interesting to just pick a random sport out of a hat, and invite a member to do a periodic check in updating the season.

    And as far as posting scores, I would like to remind you that its not about whether or not you win the game, its about having fun. I don’t want to know whether or not Sizzling Lord & his teamates won, but rather if they had fun kickin the crap out of their oponent!

  6. Clearly, Michael doesn’t watch “Friday Night Lights.” But he totally should. 🙂

    And I’m willing to take all coverage — I just don’t want to go to games myself. I have Little League!

    Also, I vividly remember scanning the sports pages in high school looking for pictures and stories about my track star boyfriend. I hate to think the current generation is deprived of that fun.

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