Wednesday, July 23, 2008

All-Star Game minus Softball player = shark bite?

On Sunday I was scheduled to head down to Disney's Wide World of Sports to cover a high school softball player from Naples competing in the Under Armour All-America Softball Game. But when I was emailed the rosters on early Sunday morning, the girl I was supposed to cover was nowhere to be found. After making a few phone calls, I realized that she wouldn't be there thanks to a FHSAA rule that permits underclassmen from playing in all-star games. Either way, the paper needed a story, so I sniffed around to find out if she was disappointed about not going, etc. When I finally got her on the phone, it turns out that she suffered a shark bite a few days prior and wouldn't have been able to play in the game no matter what. I ended up with a nice story out of it. You can check it out here.

Football University Camp

On Monday I went out to gather information on some of the nation's top recruits for the Sentinel's fall football coverage. I went to a Football University All-Star Camp, that was invite only and had some of the nation's top high school players. I wrote a short brief for the newspaper, and I'd expect that most of the stuff I gathered will be used at a later date, either way, here's the brief.

Also at the camp I wrote a short article about a player for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. You can read the complete article here.

Bowling for Burgers

The World Youth Bowling Championships are in Orlando this year, and of course your blogger/unusual sport extraordinaire writer Woody Wommack was on the scene. Here's the preview article I wrote for Saturday's Orlando Sentinel.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Local triathlete prepares to head to New York City

I'm back on the Great Adventures! beat over at the Sentinel, which means more outdoor reporting. This week I wrote a story about a local woman who is heading to to New York for the NYC triathlon. She was really nice to talk to and had a pretty cool story.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Orlando Magic Basketball Camp

For today's Seminole Chronicle I wrote an article about the Orlando Magic youth basketball camp in Winter Springs. The Magic, and pretty much every NBA and college basketball team hold events like this every summer. There are plenty of camps else where in Central Florida over the next month in case you're interested.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Orlando Pro Summer League Coverage

Last week (July 7-11) was the Orlando Pro Summer League at the RDV Sportsplex in Maitland, Fla. The event is always fun to cover because the atmosphere is pretty laid back and it's not open to the public, so it's all about the games. Over the week I worked for three papers, the San Jose Mercury News, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Birmingham News. I also was emailing back and fourth with one of the bloggers for the Los Angeles Times, who published my analysis on his UCLA sports blog. Below are the links to all the articles.

L.A. Times:
My analysis of Russell Westbrook's performance at the Summer League.

San Jose Mercury News:
My story on Brook Lopez and Ryan Anderson and their first NBA action with the New Jersey Nets.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
My story on what losing basketball means to the city of Seattle.

Birmingham News:
My story on twin brothers trying to make in the NBA.

Right now I'm working on a few oddball summer stories. Thursday I have a triathlon story coming out, Saturday a bowling story, Monday an all-star softball game story and the Thursday after that a fishing story.

Orlando Sentinel High School Sports Reporting Institute

For the next month or so I'm working with the Orlando Sentinel High School Sports Reporting Institute. I'm helping the students with their reporting out at the events, as well as mentoring Lake Brantley High School student Nicole Saavedra. For the July 6 issue of the Sentinel I wrote a story explaining exactly what the Institute is, and what readers of the Sentinel can expect to see from the high school reporters. You can read the complete article here.

There are 19 kids in the institute, and only the three best articles get picked for publication every week. Thanks to some good research and some solid reporting, Nicole's article on female referees trying to break into the league was published in the paper on Sunday July 13.

Here is a complete list of the students participating in the Institute.

Rodeo coverage, but no links

I waited a little too long to post links to the three stories I wrote about the rodeo for the Orlando Sentinel and now they've vanished off the paper's Web site. The rodeo I was covering was the Silver Spurs Rodeo in Kissimmee, Fla. It was actually pretty fun to cover, especially because the hospitality room featured home made desserts. Sorry for the lack of links, but I wrote three stories, and they all featured one of the back story of one of the competitors.

Lots-o-Links from the Seminole Chronicle

Once again it's been a long time since I've updated my progress. I've been doing a decent amount of work lately while I continue to search for a job. I continue to write for the Seminole Chronicle on a weekly basis, which gives me an opportunity to come up with my own story ideas and also focus on community journalism. Below are the links to some of my work for the Chronicle over the last month or so.

June 4:
Story No. 1: There is new lacrosse league here in Central Florida.
Story No. 2: Former Lake Howell and St. Joseph's basketball player Pat Calathes showed his stuff in front of NBA scouts and general managers at the Orlando Pre-Draft Camp at Disney's Wide World of Sports.

June 11:
Story No. 1: Former Oviedo football player Garrett Wilkins prepares for college football at Richmond University.
Story No. 2: Lake Howell golfer Carlie Yadloczky has committed to play golf for Auburn after her senior year on high school.

June 18:
A Central Florida woman kayaks the entire St. John's River from start to finish.

June 25:
Story No. 1: Lake Howell coach Reggie Kohn leaves the school to become the head coach at Orlando Christian Prep.
Story No. 2: Former Oviedo High School track star Jenny Barringer gets ready to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Games.

July 2:
Local wrestler excels, Calathes fails to get drafted, Babe Ruth baseball news.

July 9:
Story No. 1: Barringer qualifies for the Olympics, former Oviedo swimmer Kyle Young doesn't.
Story No. 2: Local 13-year-old golfer starting to impress.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Load of links from my NBA Pre-Draft Camp Coverage

I picked up all sorts of work at last week's NBA Pre-Draft Camp, working for six different papers from all around the country. I was also linked by, which is a career first and sort of exciting. I also interviewed players like O.J. Mayo, Kevin Love, Brook Lopez, D.J. Augustine and Eric Gordon among others.

I got the opportunity to write two articles for the Seattle Post-Intelligence, which gave me an opportunity to get back to my Pacific Northwest roots.

The first story was about whether or not some of the top prospects are interested in going to Seattle despite the unsure location situation. You can read the complete article here. This story was also linked by here.

The second story I wrote was about former Nevada player Marcelus Kemp. This was an interesting story to work on because Marcelus didn't take the bus back to the hotel and skipped out on meeting with the media. I don't think he did it on purpose he was just probably excited for the camp to be over and to be heading to workout for NBA teams. Either way, it took some crafty reporting skills by me to get a hold of him, I called the hotel where the players were staying and asked for him and sure enough the front desk connected me. I then had to convince Marcelus to do the interview with me, which he graciously obliged. I'll definitely be rooting for him to make it at the next level. You can read my complete article here.

The San Jose Mercury News had me write about former Stanford star Brook Lopez and how his preparation for the draft is going. You can read the complete article here.

The Bloomington Herald-Times had me write about former Indiana guard Eric Gordon and how his draft preparation is going as well as what he thinks of the current situation at Indiana. You can read the complete article here (the Herald-Times is a subscriber only site, so I linked to another paper that picked up the story).

The Spokane Spokesman-Review had me write about Gonzaga guard Jeremy Pargo and his NBA Draft prospects. You can read the complete article here.

I'm still working on one article from the camp about Keith Brumbaugh for a small paper called the Deland Beacon. I also have an article about Pat Calathes coming out in this week's issue of the Seminole Chronicle.