Finally, fall sports are here

Posted 8/17/10

Everyone has their own harbinger of fall. Mine is the athletic field in front of Ponderosa High School just east of Parker Road. It is a major …

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Finally, fall sports are here


Everyone has their own harbinger of fall.

Mine is the athletic field in front of Ponderosa High School just east of Parker Road.

It is a major landmark on my daily commute. For the past few months, I’ve driven by those vacant fields just letting my mind wander wherever it wants.

But lately, I’ve been looking over there just to see if there is some sign of life.

Finally, there is.

Blocking sleds are getting hit. Soccer nets are up. Kids are running and catching their breath and doing agility drills. Coaches are yelling and pointing. The high school sports season is upon us.

Chances are, there are scenes like this playing out in your neck of the woods, too.

It also means that one of my favorite parts of the newspaper business is about to come to life. I’m a photo nut. I love great photography and few things in our community lend themselves to great images week in and week out quite like high school sports. It’s one thing to see two soccer players rise to head a ball just to see who wins. It’s another to see that moment frozen in a still image with the victor’s head engulfed in a soccer ball that seems to be wrapped around him from ear to ear.

You can watch a football player fight through a block, but it happens so fast that you don’t get to see the look in his eye as he does it until you see the photo.

That’s the beauty of still photography and the purity of competition, and together, there’s nothing better.

The sports landscape is one dominated by professional sports and I certainly pay more than my fair share of attention to them. But more and more, the world of professional sports is a jaded world of personal indiscretions, contract talks, labor disputes and all the rest.

If you get a little tired of all of that stuff and start wondering where the games went, all you have to do is look a little deeper. It’s there.

I can put a photo of high school linemen doing a drill in practice next to a photo of professional players doing the same thing in a game and if you get rid of the uniforms, the stadiums and all the extra elements in the image, you’ll see the same competitive fire in the faces of the athletes.

I’ve seen what “The Big Four” of professional football, baseball, hockey and basketball have to offer locally and it’s a fun experience, but I never get goose bumps like I’ve had at a couple of high school games I can remember covering over the years.

As a story-teller journalist, capturing goose-bump moments like that either in words or with images is the pinnacle of the craft. Soon, I’ll be getting to work and spending a few moments each day taking a peak at the photos Benn Farrell, our sports editor, and Courtney Kuhlen, our photographer, and the free-lancers they work with have compiled from the previous days. If needed, I’ll bail out of the office with a camera over my shoulder, too. And I’ll be talking to Chris Rotar in our Littleton office about his weekly escapes to the press box or practice field to get a sports story. We all know that this is the fun stuff.

Over the next few weeks, you’ll be reading the preview stories for the upcoming season. Many of you are parents or athletes yourself and you’ll be reading to see how you’re represented. But I invite those of you who aren’t vested in a particular team or athlete to get into it as well.

Follow a team and get to some games for your own enjoyment. That’s what’s great about living in communities like these: The fun stuff is accessible to all.

Jeremy Bangs is the managing editor of Colorado Community Newspapers.


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