To my faithful readers of the Warren County Sports Authority, I wanted to give everybody an update on my current timeline for projects as we move into the summer months (with no school sports). First, I’ll just let everyone know that I plan on taking this week off from going out and covering events unless something pops up (or my back gets to feeling better). I love being busy in the spring with all the teams and it’s awesome when they play deep into the season, but I like to recharge my batteries in early June.
The downtime from being at live events also gives me time to work on my Simmons Superlatives, a concept I started when I created the WCSA to keep up my tradition of recognizing the best of the best student athletes from the school year (high school only). I started doing this way back in 2011 and it only expanded when I had the freedom to type up massive stories for my webpage.
Last year, I expanded the categories, so now I’ll be picking the best athlete, best senior, best freshman, the most under-the-radar athlete, best coach, best moment and best team for girls and boys sports. I'm completely baffled on who will win as of right now --- I mean Katie Toney, Madison Hollis, Ella van Vranken, Ally Beneke and Lauren Slatton make these choices an actual nightmare on the girls side (they got me counting GOATs while I try to go to sleep and organize lists in my head).
As usual, I make these choices on my own, but I don’t mind letting coaches, players and fans (and parents – the real Super Fans) give their input on who should take home a Simmons Superlative this year. Covenant, Boyd and WCHS athletes, teams and coaches are all eligible. If you want to suggest a candidate (or some new categories), then hit me up at email@example.com.
If you’re a business – or maybe a political candidate – who would like do some advertising in stories that reached over 5000 people last year, reach out to the same email. There will be room for some prime spots in these big stories.
I’ll probably have the first stories out Wednesday or Thursday and extend it into next week (I’ll put out one category a day with two stories – girls and boys). I haven’t decided on a set order yet, but best team will be last (and no, I haven’t made up my mind on who will win on either side yet).
For summer content, I plan on doing some statistic-based analytics on the candidate races soon. Personally, digging into the numbers is my way of getting involved. I thought about pushing for WCPI to give me a spot in the political debates as a moderator, but I may be too much of a loose cannon for those buttoned-down events (Plus, I want to ask my own questions and throw a few grenades instead of softballs). Anyway, I want to analyze what the numbers say about in past elections and see if I can start predicting how the upcoming races will break down.
Since this is the WC Sports Authority, I also plan on doing sports stories (novel concept). I’ve talked to McMinnville Country Club and may start doing some features on their Tuesday scrambles – the public can play! – and I also want to double back to our many collegiate athletes to see how their years went (Emily Mikkola and her run to the NAIA World Series will be first up). If you have a college athlete that you’d like to read more about, please contact me. I have a running list that I try to update at every signing day, but things shift quickly!
For youth coverage, it may be sporadic. I had one person tell me that the city leagues are quickly heading to the postseason – so I’ve basically already missed the regular season and have no basis for what’s going on. Why we’ve gotten so quick on the trigger for these leagues where they’re finishing around the time school ends (instead of starting when school ends), I have no idea.
I’ve always enjoyed my tours to Morrison, Centertown and Midway for softball – maybe I’ll focus my time there.
I’ll be talking with coaches as they update their rosters – we already had a WCHS girls soccer feature last week with Kimberly Smith picking her first team. I also will have a story about the new WCHS baseball roster this week and will get to more as I get those lists.
Hopefully, we’ll also have a story on the new WCHS boys basketball coach very soon. A couple weeks ago, I wrote that the school was targeting having that decision made soon (usually tryouts are the day before – or day of – graduation, so it would make sense that they had a person by last week). My intel leads me to believe that they have gotten their list narrowed down and it could break at any minute (I’m writing this at 1 a.m. on May 31, so hopefully it doesn’t happen before 10-11 a.m. today).
Who will replace Chris Sullens was the question I got the most while at the Spring Fling this weekend (followed closely by ‘what is everybody shooting?’ and ‘what's the secret recipe to your brother's shrimp boil?’). It’s not an easy task to fill those shoes, so it makes sense that the WCHS administration isn’t rushing to a decision. Also, I’ve wondered if it’s been tougher because Sullens was a non-faculty coach who isn't vacating a teaching position for a potential replacement (i.e. If a candidate coming in is a teacher – they’ll probably have to find a job somewhere in the system for them).
At this point, it feels like it almost must be someone from outside the Warren County school system getting the job, otherwise we have committed self-sabotage because the roster selection process has been delayed at least one week (which seems like nothing until you realize summer camps start very, very soon).
Speaking of jobs open in the school system, congrats to Joe Harvey for taking a position with the Park Theatre. I don’t think anybody could think of a better guy for the job. Also, in case you’re wondering, the WCSA is definitely interested in continuing to corner the market on sports broadcasts and would jump at a chance at partnering with the school system to make that happen.
Personally, I wouldn’t mind being a Student Information Director for Warren County and working full time to distribute content about our student-athletes, run the social media for local schools (most of my stuff ends up on their pages anyway, so another easy transition), create recruiting videos and much more to get our kids more noticed at the next level. I already do a lot of that stuff, but if WCHS wants even more, then they have to know I learned really well from the Joker in the Dark Knight. “If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” Nobody is better than me at promoting Warren County athletics.
On the podcast front, the upcoming guests include: Gooby Martin and Phillip King (together hopefully, though schedules may force me to split them up), Matt Turner and some WCHS football assistants and several college athletes (Hailey Wood and Emily Mikkola have new softball stories and I know some of their former teammates have interest in adding to the convo, Jack Keele and Brooks Helton would be great together and could break down the NCAA postseason starting this weekend in D1, Will Cantrell is always entertaining). We’re going to sit down with Ronnie Brown soon to talk the 30-year anniversary of the 1992 Pioneers winning the state title too.
Don’t worry – Chris Sullens will be involved. Since he’s done coaching, Sullens says he’s available as a full-time podcast co-host. I’m starting to think I can branch him out into his own podcast feed – The Retired Coaches of Warren County. There’s a ton of coaches in Warren County that Sullens could talk to each week about their days of glory – whether it was high school, elementary basketball, T-ball championships or slow-pitch softball weekend warriors crushing beers and homers, arguing with umpires and winning state titles (I think everybody is a player-coach in slow-pitch softball). If you’ve listened to enough of our podcasts, you already know Sullens can make any topic interesting.
I’ve also entertained the idea of going mobile and interviewing some of my Simmons’ Superlatives winners for small podcasts (they don’t all have to be two hours). Just a note - We love Ben Lomand Connect for coming on as the official sponsor of the WCSA Podcast! “You don’t deserve better - you deserve the best!” is so good as a slogan that I want to steal it for my subscription pitches to readers --- and I think I just did.
Lastly, we’re entering June so that means I’ll have another mailbag before long. Get your questions in now. I had a lot of people asking me all kinds of stuff at the Spring Fling, so I know all my readers are curious as a cat about sports news. Reach out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or just email me. If you have my number, you can text me questions as well (I’m terrible at texting back though, so be advised).
I hope everybody had a great Memorial Day weekend and (hopefully) enjoys a short work week!