Well, Howdy Pioneers and happy 2020. Like 2020, the fans in the stands as well as the rest of high school sports make absolutely no sense. But there is nothing we can do. I have talked to Athletic Director Brett Diehl on multiple occasions about why we, as student journalists, can or cannot do something including being on the field covering certain events. Everyone is frustrated, myself included. And, at the top of the list of being frustrated, right next to me is Diehl.
Every sport has different guidelines and restrictions, Volleyball plays inside while soccer, field hockey, tennis and football play outside at the stadium and tennis courts. Then there’s golf and cross country, which aren’t even on school grounds.
While everyone has a different opinion on what is right and what is wrong, we have to face it. No one's opinion matters. We have to follow the OHSAA, OCC, and the State of Ohio’s guidelines to play sports, and we have to play by their rules.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is being on the field no matter who is watching. That’s the consensus Diehl and I came to in one of our talks. Nothing is ideal.Having sports seemed almost impossible in July, but Aug. 1 came and there were tryouts for sports like golf. No is the most common word used this year, and we need to buckle down and get used to it. If we want sports, this is the way it is. And we can’t do anything about it, at least for the fall. The winter could certainly look different but no one knows. But for the time being, we get to deal with this, and we are going to make it work.
However, in our Orange Media world, we are expected to do the same amount of work and put out the same if not better content. No matter what at the end of the year, a yearbook has to be produced along with the daily Juice. Orange Sports Live is still supposed to cover games, especially the rivalries, but reporters can't get into any away games.
These policies have put journalism in a tough spot, and it is not fair to anyone.
There have been many ideas on how to cover events and what to cover, but with the hybrid school days it becomes drastically more difficult to plan and communicate with peers. Having to join Microsoft teams and call into class has been something that publications have used to try and communicate with people from the opposite days.
It is another roadblock to the seemingly endless road work ahead. Maggie does make a good point too. Getting into the events is a real blessing. Something I do not take for granted. It’s so important for us to succeed as a journalism team across the Orange Media program and cover everything we can so our school and community can witness what we are so lucky to experience.
Maggie Van Fleet
Last year, football games were the one thing that got students through the week. We looked forward to it every day; the dressing up, the screaming, the adrenaline. It was nothing but serotonin filled memories.
Now this year, football games are nothing but a reminder of everything that COVID has taken away from us.
Speaking from a senior’s perspective, this was finally our time. We started from the very top of the bleachers. Each year we work our way down bench by bench, but this was finally our year. We were supposed to be at the bottom up against the fence screaming for our team until we get blue in the face. Instead, we sit at home, not even able to follow along on Orange Sports Live because they’re not allowed at every game to broadcast. But for the students who aren’t in journalism and aren’t a part of football, cheer or band, that is their only way to follow along; it’s their only way to be a part of it at all.
Being co-senior editor of the yearbook has its perks. Unlike my classmates who completely miss out on the FFN experience, I get a press pass to go to the games, but only the home games.
Not everything important happens strictly on our turf but that is where it falls out of our hands. It’s not up to us. And it is to keep us safe. But when we’re allowed one person on the track taking photos and are responsible for not only photographing the football team but the cheer team and the marching band as well, it gets overwhelming.
The hardest part is that we only have a few chances to get these photos taken because like I mentioned, we cannot attend any games beyond our field.
That part is understandable. However, we still strive to produce an award winning yearbook at the end of the year. Whether we get coverage of the entire school or not, the book is still going to come out. This book is going to be what contains the memories of our senior year; it is our job to include everything we can to display our year.