Is this thing on? The telephone is ringin' ...

April 11, 2006|by TIM KOELBLE

Time to vent.

Since the beginning of the prep winter season, we at The Herald-Mail wanted to expand our scholastic coverage on the Internet by putting together our Preps Extra Online.

Was it a piece of cake? No. It was indeed intense, but it also was fun developing something we hadn't done here before. We were going to go where no other Web site for prep sports had yet been in the Tri-State region.

As usual, we had to take extreme measures in procuring accurate schedules and rosters. We put together a basic game plan for Preps Extra, one that we would expand as the site developed.


However, first things first.

As we rolled through the winter season, I knew it would be more difficult in getting the necessary information from those involved with spring sports. Why? I don't know ... I just had that feeling. Unfortunately, nothing changed my mind.

Even after sending requests via e-mail and faxes, we had to constantly hound coaches at home, some more than twice. And in some cases, we've still yet to hear from them.

There are readers out there that think we, at The Herald-Mail, don't really care about prep sports. We're the reason that schools aren't successful. If we didn't care, why would we go to the extreme of formulating a new Web page devoted to prep sports?

Where the venting really is directed is at spring sports.

To any parent or any player who looks at their schedule and sees nothing but blanks where there should be results, you only have your coach to contact and ask, 'Why?' Yes, we are into the second week of April and we have schools with a perfect record - of no calls.

We can't be everywhere, every day of the week even though many people think, and feel, we should be. At this time of year I have golf events I could cover, but I'm not there. Local race car fans think we should be at the speedway on Saturdays, an early deadline night for us. That's just the tip of the iceberg of things we could do if we could be at all the places everyone would like us to be.

The point is that coaches have a responsibility to the kids to report contests - win, lose or draw. And we ask coaches to call whether they play at home or on the road.

It's a fact we want your information. We periodically post the numerous ways to reach us with contact information in the area roundup. Whether it be via telephone, via fax or e-mail, we're here every night to take scores.

A happy night of call-ins makes for a full page of roundups and boxscores and that in turn makes for a busy transfer of data to the Web site.

More importantly, it makes the kids happy.

Tim Koelble is a staff writer for The Morning Herald. His column appears every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311, or by e-mail at

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