Saturday, April 5, 2008

Searching for Elusive High School Sports in the just as Elusive Western Washington Springtime

I have to wonder, if I am just low on luck or short on connections.

I am new to the newspaper business. I have taken on the role of an outdoors, sports and education writer for a small town weekly newspaper in Southwest Washington. If a guy could make a living at it, it would be a ball. As it is, I combine it with another job and then substitute teach a couple of days a week and call it a living. It is a lot of fun, working a couple of regular days and then several days a week, take a seat at my home computer for my other 20 hours. Several evenings a week, I go to the local high school sporting events.

This time of year, the baseball and fast pitch games have been few and far between. Weather and the general fickle nature of small schools cause the events to be hit or miss at best. These are small town high schools. They mailed a schedule to the regional newspaper months ago and that is what the are paper prints. Of course, until my contacts mature, that is my main information source.

As an example of my good natured frustrations, yesterday, I drove 40 miles to Morton, the site of a scheduled game only to find the field and parking lot completely devoid of players and spectators. I returned via other communities hoping to find something, anything that will afford me a photo of value that might at least pay for the gas I just wasted. I checked In Napavine, 35 miles from the original location, and found the original game I was looking for.

Today was another glaring example of this calamity. Yesterday, I even confirmed with some local ball players in Onalaska that the game was scheduled. When I arrived at the field in Mossyrock, 30 miles away, I found the home team practicing in their uniforms. The game had been canceled in just the last few hours so I began my return trip home, visiting some fishing holes to find photos of value. On my way through Toledo, the closest town to my own, I stumbled onto a Fastpitch Softball game between two local rival schools.
A golden find for a home town newspaper!

I swear that my sources have me on a string and they laugh and giggle as I run all over the region looking for the story. Sometimes, bad luck can turn good just because I make an effort to drive the back roads and look for the elusive spring sporting events in Western Washington.

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