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As kids head back to school, so does our staff

August 23, 2004|by MARK KELLER

At the risk of sounding like a schoolboy, I ask: Where did the summer go?

It doesn't seem that long ago that high school baseball teams were wrapping up their seasons, little leagues were in high gear and our newsroom seemed deserted due to the number of people on vacation.

But here we are going into the last full week of August and like every kid in the area, we're getting ready for the school year.

For us, that means rounding up athletic schedules, contacting coaches and athletic directors and preparing previews for the fall season.

After a summer of phoned-in youth league scores, it's time for each member of our staff to sharpen his writing skills again and break out the insulated boots and heavy jacket for those cool nights on the sidelines of the soccer pitch or football field.

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Just as it is for school kids (even though they won't admit it), it's an exciting time of year for us - probably the most exciting time of year. In every sport, last season means nothing and every team and individual is looking to make their mark.

Over the next few weeks, you'll begin to see some of the work that we've been putting into the new season.

The most visible proof of our work is our 2004 Football Preview Guide, which will arrive Thursday, Sept. 2. The guide will contain features on 27 area high school teams, as well as previews on University of Maryland, West Virginia University, Penn State University and Shepherd University.

The following week, The Herald-Mail will publish an NFL Preview Guide, complete with schedules for each team and features on the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins.

In our daily section, we will have team capsules for area high schools in boys and girls soccer, volleyball, golf and cross country.

The fall season also signals the return of Friday Preps Extra, which features statistics, standings and notes from the area high school sports scene.

Weekend Playbook, a high school football page which debuted last season, will also return, as will the Fearless Forecasters and the ever-popular pigskin prognosticator Big Sydney.

All of that adds up to a couple of busy months for us, but it's well worth the effort. It does make the job fun and exciting.

And it makes you forget all about the summer and where it went.




Mark Keller is sports editor of The Herald-Mail. His column appears every Sunday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2332, or by e-mail at keller@herald-mail.com

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