By Jojo Dominick
A night that people look forward to all across the nation, cities shut down as everyone gathers together at local high school football games.
Aspiring journalists in George Solomon’s sports reporting class got the chance to catch a big game in ESPN’s high school football showcase schedule earlier this month – a schedule not only comprised of the best teams in the nation, but great in-state match ups, like the one the students had the pleasure of covering when Maryland powerhouse DeMatha took on conference rival Good Counsel.
No. 1 Dematha won 21-7 over No. 18 Good Counsel, securing their first undefeated regular season since 2009.
It was the first time this semester that Solomon’s class witnessed an ESPN-televised game beyond watching through the screen. The live streaming served as a preview for what’s to come in the WCAC semifinals.
Students not only learned about the importance of play-by-play notes in order to compile a quick-turnaround story after the game, but they also learned about the engaging, behind-the-scenes aspects of a televised ESPN game.
Keeping stats, gathering story ideas throughout the third down conversions, injuries and fumbles, all while tracking details of the atmosphere all seemed like a game in itself for the young journalists.
Although a thrilling experience for first timers, it was indeed a challenge that proved to be more difficult than expected, when chatting with friends was a quick lesson learned. Students learned quickly that the less eye contact, the better. Due to the fast-paced nature of sports, you just can’t afford to miss too much of the action.
It was almost impossible to overlook what makes covering high school football so special. Before the scholarships, salaries, facilities and apparel come into the picture, the genuine love and passion that the players, coaches and fans displayed from beginning to end brought back so many emotions and memories.
It was a rewarding and humbling experience witnessing the school and the community pride as players, some of who have likely known each other since they were toddlers, battled for the win.