I wanted to publish a youth sports newspaper empire. I’d start here in Chester and slowly creep into neighboring communities before going across the country. Instead, I started the Chester Spotlight paper with news and opinion which has now morphed into this blog. This isn’t the space I wanted to be in but it’s a lot easier than getting the sports community engaged.
My motivation in wanting to start a youth sports paper was reading my own clippings when I was a youth athlete in the 70s. The Delaware County Daily Times printed game recaps and some box scores of all the Chester Youth Baseball and Chester Biddy League games. If we played on Friday, we could be sure to pick up Saturday’s paper and find our names in print.
Over time, the county got larger, the Daily Times got smaller (in size and staff), and the coaches stopped caring.
Relax coach…we know you still care for the kids. But the art of getting the stats to the newspaper after a game is like pulling teeth. Ask the guys in the sports department at the Daily Times.
I’ve never seen so many ‘no reports’ on the sports page than I do these days. It’s like no one on the coaching staff of many sports teams around the county takes the time to send the Daily Times the game results.
That’s the main reason I could never start a youth sports paper. There’s no way I could attend every game of every youth sport being played (nor would I want to), but there’s a coach or stats person keeping the book at every game. (I also learned that ‘keeping the book’ is becoming a dying art, too). If they could just leave a voicemail, send and email or fax, I could create a story from that.
Young people need every opportunity to feel special and could use a boost to their self esteem. When youth athletes see themselves in the paper, it goes a long way toward that purpose. And parents love to see their ‘babies’ in print. Having lil Hakeem or Rashida’s picture on the front page could turn a bad kid good and spark future greatness.
But, until the coaching staffs care as much about what goes on paper as they do the field or court, there will never be a youth sports paper.