One of the things we really enjoy about being a community paper is that we can heap a great deal of attention on the young men and women from local schools who excel in athletics. In our case, we focus the vast majority of our coverage on Indian River High School, and the secondary and elementary schools that funnel students into the high school when they advance that far in their studies.
It is a true joy to be able to cover something like the Indian River football team this year, starting out with pre-season coverage as they prepared for the coming season and culminating in that special state championship victory to end the season. It was fun for our sports reporter to get to know the coaches and some of the players, and the response we got from the public told us that the people of this community truly got into the excitement.
It’s also rewarding for us to see a student-athlete grow both figuratively and literaly from freshman year to his or her final game as a senior, and we follow many of them as they continue their athletic endeavors into the future.
However, we also notice that the majority of young people we cover in the paper are, in fact, athletes. The student who excels in the classroom or in the band or in community service just does not get the same exposure as somebody who can make a jump shot or break tackles.
Part of that is circumstance. Athletic events are, for the most part, scheduled long in advance, and statistics and other factors make them pretty easy to stay on top of for the most part.
But another reason for the disparity is our own shortcomings. We don’t always look very hard for that student who is hitting the books or excelling in the band, because we don’t hear that much about them ourselves. Of course, it’s a classic game of chicken-versus-egg because if we provided more coverage on other students, there would probably be more buzz about them.
One of our goals for this year is to increase the coverage we provide on students in our local schools for accomplishments outside of sports. The Indian River High School Band Boosters have been writing a column for us to keep people abreast of the happenings in the band, and we have a feature this week about students who are attempting to gain admission into the ultra-selective service academies.
But we do need help. Please send an email to our editor at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at 539-1788 if you have a student you’d like to see profiled. We won’t be able to get to them all, but we won’t know about them unless we hear from you.