Ling Shots

It seems like “what goes around comes around.” For the past couple of years I’ve been dabbling in the television business only to “come around” to the Hillsboro Free Press as the new sports editor.

You might be thinking it was hard for me to walk away from the glitz and glamour of broadcast television, but frankly it was easy.

In the TV news business there really isn’t time for the “high” glamor that most associate with being on television or being involved with it, for that matter.

Long hours on-call, interviewing victims of crimes, covering car wrecks or making investigative reports on moldy homes typically make up the glamor of most news days. The monotonous journey in television nearly destroyed my enjoyment of news altogether.

In fact, the only thing I consistently enjoyed while in the television business was covering sports stories or sporting events.

Don’t get me wrong-TV is a viable medium and it does have its place in the world. But in my opinion, without sports, television is just a box with shiny glass.

Imagine reading your newspaper without a sports section or turning on your TV set without a sports report.

One Wichita TV station is experimenting with this option. KSNW Channel 3 will drop its entire sports segment during its newscast-a move that was in motion prior to my departure at Channel 3 and one that I strongly oppose.

But this opens the door for newspapers like the Hillsboro Free Press and gives us the opportunity to fill the void when other forms of media don’t meet the needs of sports enthusiasts.

If you’re a “sports junkie” or a reader just looking for some extra tidbits from a game or two, I think you’re going to enjoy our coverage of sports this season.

Our intentions are to provide our readers with as much pertinent information, statistics and pictures that we can possibly fill in a single sports section.

As the sports department grows, so will our coverage of area sporting events-including, but not limited to, game-by-game breakdowns of all area high school athletic events that might have been neglected in the past, in-depth sports features of prominent athletes and coaches and of course, the proverbial boxscores.

The Hillsboro Free Press is an important element to the atmosphere of sports in the area and has shown why some newpapers thrive beacause of their sports coverage.

Not only is sports a priority at the Free Press, it’s an integral part of the overall news coverage.

It’s truly an honor to work alongside one of the best writers in the state, Don Ratzlaff, one of my college professors and mentors. His coverage of area sports this past season was nothing short of amazing, considering his other responsibilities as editor.

But I guess this passion is what drives the writer in all of us. Don’s work is a true inspiration to those of us who strive to tell our stories. Or for those of us who once lost our love of “news” coverage.

To cover sports for a newspaper that possesses this passion only makes this transition sweeter.

So don’t assume too much when I state “what goes around comes around,” because what I really mean is this: “I’ve been around long enough to know, when it’s time to wise up and play ball.”

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