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Sports writing

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  • 1. What follows is a newswriting exercise. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.Youre a sportswriter for the Centerville Gazette. You‟re covering a soccer game between the CentervilleCommunity College Eagles and the Ipswich Community College Spartans. The game is for the state collegiateconference title. It takes place at the Ipswich campus in Wardleysburg. The game is deadlocked untilCenterville‟s Tamba Kamara, a freshman who played soccer at Centerville High School, scores the first goalwith 21:18 remaining. Ipswich‟s Jason Beardsley scores for the Spartans to tie things up with 11:08 remainingbut then with just 2:23 remaining Kamara scores again. Final score: 2-1. It is the only loss of the season for theSpartans. Centerville finishes the regular season 14-2. It‟s the team‟s first state soccer title in six years.After the game you interview Centerville coach Jack Majors. He says the team was confident leading up to thegame, even though their two regular-season losses were to the Spartans. “These guys just played with a lot ofconfidence and a lot of heart the entire season,” Majors says. He says that Kamara, a 19-year-old Liberiannative who came to the U.S. three years ago, was the team‟s top scorer of the season with 22 goals. But he addsthat “this was a team effort. Everyone contributed this year.”You interview Kamara, who speaks in heavily accented English. “I‟m so grateful for this victory,” he says.“The whole team came together to win. This is a great day.” You also interview Spartans coach Mike Ellsburg.“It‟s a tough loss for our guys, but they played great all year,” he says. “They have every reason to be proud ofthis season.”Write the story in 45 minutes or less.Sample of sports writing Essay10-16-95Last Week the Rams deflated the Utah Utes in a 19-14 victory in the Utes stadium. The Utes fell to 3-2 in theWAC while the Rams climbed to 2-1.Myers first - Ram free saftey Greg Myers had one interception in Sarurdays game and moved into a tie for firstplace in career interceptions with Selwyn Jones.Running Away - the Rams have averaged 186.8 yards russing a game in their four wins this year. However intheir two losses the Rams have averaged just 19.5 yards a game.Hall of Fame - Six former Colorado State University athletes and coaches will be inducted in the schools hall offame this Friday.Packed House - As of Monday morning only 1,000 seats remained in the 30,000 seat Hughes Stadium. No extrableachers will be brought in for this game.Utes Fall - the Utes loss on Saturday means there is only one WAC team who has not lost to Ram coach SonnyLubick in his three years as a Ram. Hawaii is the only school who is unbeaten, it is also the only school Lubickhasnt faced. Hell get a chance when the Rams and Rainbows meet next month at Hughes Stadium.As a student reporter you must remember: Focus on the important plays of the game or a key player, and build your story around it.Michael Jordan scored 35 points to help the Chicago Bulls clobber the New York Knicks by a score of 105-73.
  • 2. When reporting in sports you dont have to put in every play, just the important ones that made a difference.Joe Carters two-run homer in the seventh inning led the Toronto Blue Jays to a 6-4 win over the MilwaukeeBrewers.Everyone would like to know exactly what happened in the game but they dont need to hear every play or everydetail. An example of overusing information on an unimportant play would be like this:Fred Smith came up to bat in the second inning, and swung strikes on the first two pitches. He fouled off on thenext pitch, and then popped one up into left field. Gonzales, the left fielder, caught it in the air for the first out.Lively quotes from the players or managers can give your story a boost."Its lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges," explained Muhammad Ali"and I believed inmyself."Sports dont always happen on the playing field, so if you describe the crowds mood, size, or the effect they hadon the game, it helps keep your readers interested.A heavy helping of octopi was heaved onto the ice at games end by the 12,400 angry hockey fans in attendance.Your story doesnt even have to be about a game. It could be player profiles or about teams preparing for a newseason or a tournament - whatever is happening that may be interesting.Professional sports arent the only things happening, either. Amateur teams in competition can be just asexciting as the „top of the line athletes. Sports happening in schools or in communities are always around toreport. These are the kinds of stories that people enjoy reading because theyre about the local athletes thatpeople may meet everyday. It makes readers proud of their achievements.In either mens or womens events, sports news is what matters. Take some 1996 Olympic medalists fromCanada as examples. Donovan Bailey won gold with a 9.84 second Olympic record run in the mens 100 metresprint. Marnie McBean and Kathleen Heddle excelled in rowing gold for Canada in the Womens DoubleSculls.Make sure you know exactly what the players or athletes have accomplished, so your story has thecorrect details.//////Last Meeting:On January 2nd, Oregon State handed the Wildcats their first conference loss, defeating the Wildcats 76-75 inCorvallis. In the loss, three Wildcats scored in double figures led by Momo Jones‟ 20 points. Veiled behind his20 points, however, was Jones‟ 1:5 assist-to-turnover ratio as he led the Wildcats in a sloppy affair where theyturned the ball over 19 times against Oregon State‟s 1-3-1 zone defense.The impact player from the game had to be Jared Cunningham. Cunningham came away with 17 points,including a thunderous put-back slam that seemed to tilt the momentum in the Beavers favor in the lingeringminutes. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iX_yAi_M1Y8) Cunningham was no slouch on the defensive endof the court either, scooping up 5 steals from the bottom of the 1-3-1 zone.When the Wildcats have the ball:Last time these teams met, Jesse Perry totaled 5 points and 2 rebounds in 24 minutes. If the Beavers stick to the1-3-1, which is difficult to rebound from, Perry can greatly increase the Wildcats odds by crashing the offensiveboards and creating second chance opportunities. Additionally, look for Jones and backup PG Jordin Mayes tocontrol the tempo of the game and attempt to beat the Beavers zone by creating fast break opportunities. Onceinto the offense, the two point guards need to get their teammates involved, keep the zone moving, and protectthe pumpkin.When the Beavers have the ball:
  • 3. The Wildcats will need to protect the lane and stuff the penetration of the Beavers‟ guard tandem in CalvinHaynes and Jared Cunningham. Haynes and Cunningham accounted for nearly half the Beavers‟ point-total lastmeeting, scoring 18 and 17 respectively. Oregon State‟s chances will be helped greatly if they can get a repeatperformance from F Omari Johnson who had 10 points and 8 rebounds in the weekend‟s loss to California. TheBeavers will have their hands full with Arizona F Derrick Williams and will have to throw some fouls his wayas seemingly the Pac-10 officiating crews have let the “most protected dude since Jordan” comments get to theirheads.What to expect:Surely, Coach Miller will not be the most pleasant character in this week‟s practices after his Wildcats lost twoin a row and placed a significant dent in their Pac-10 Championship hopes. One has to be equally confident thatMiller will have the Wildcats prepared for this year‟s final set of games at home in front of the ZonaZoo and theTucson faithful. The Wildcats will come out hungry, although the fans won‟t leave that way, because they willpick up their free tacos as the Wildcats feast upon Oregon State en route to a 82-68 victory.///////All it took was 95 characters -- including spaces -- for @UFLCommissioner, aka United FootballLeague commissioner Michael Huyghue, to make professional sports history."The #1 overall selection in the #UFLDraft for @theColonials is Texas A&M QB Jerrod Johnson.#UFL" … so goes his tweet.Huyghue ushered pro football into the 21st century at 8:01 ET on Monday night as the UFLbecame the first pro sports league to hold its draft exclusively via social media. The commissionerannounced all five first-round picks on his own feed before the coaches took over.Inside of six minutes -- a little more than half the amount of time most NFL teams take to make asingle first-round selection -- the first round of the first social media draft was done.Click here to read full articleMonday, March 28, 2011How the Baby Derby was wonBy Matt LindnerSpecial to Page 2ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Some racers get into their sport of choice for the glory. Others, for the fame.But those closest to Nathan Gilbert say hes motivated by something else."It was that remote controller, man," said his father Isaiah. "That little car I bought him, he loves that thing."Ten-month-old Nathan crawled his way to glory in front of more than 11,000 screaming hockey fans during theChicago Wolves 13th annual Baby Derby on Sunday afternoon, on a mat at center ice.The event pits five infants against one another during intermission of the American Hockey League game, withbragging rights and a trip to the Eagle Ridge Resort in Galena, Ill., on the line."The early start is typically the way to go for this," said Courtney Mahoney, the Wolves senior vice president ofoperations. "If you dont get a good start, youre not going to do it. That seems to be the way to go."
  • 4. Of course, when Wolves announcer Wayne Messmer invited parents to "unleash the babies," the eventualwinner appeared to want to stay, well, leashed.Click here to read full articleFriday, January 7, 2011M4W: Oregon fan seeks Auburn hottieBy Matt LindnerSpecial to Page 2Some people get married for love.Oregon Ducks fan Ryan Tharp wont be one of them."I pretty much just want a mug with me and the girl on it," Tharp says.Tharps bride wont have any problem finding something blue for her nuptials. You see, Tharp is hoping thegirl-of-his-dreams-for-a-day loves the Auburn Tigers as much as he loves his Ducks … and is willing to putmore than just money on the line to prove it.Tharp placed a bet in the form of a personal ad on the Auburn Craigslist on Tuesday. His goal? Find an"Auburn Hottie" to meet him and marry him in Las Vegas after his Ducks win the BCS National ChampionshipGame on Monday.But hes not looking for "happily ever after." Rather, hes just looking for the first Mrs. Tharp to hold the crownfor a mere 24 hours, with the fan of the losing team paying for an annulment the next day.Click here to read full articleSands powers East to All-Star win06/22/2010 11:00 PM ETBy Matthew Lindner / Special to MLB.comFORT WAYNE, Ind. -- You know youre in trouble if you find yourself facing a three-run deficit before mostfans are even settled in their seats.That was the predicament facing West Division manager Jim Gabella of the Burlington Bees as the East taggedstarter Trey McNutt for three quick runs en route to a 6-2 victory at the Midwest League All-Star Game.McNutts nightmare started innocuously enough after Great Lakes shortstop Christian Lara singled to open theproceedings. Things went downhill as Lara stole second and scored on a two-out double by Bo Greenwell of theLake County Captains. McNutts fate was sealed when Great Lakes Jerry Sands, the eventual MiLB.com Star ofStars, stepped to the plate.Sands quickly showed fans at Parkview Field why hes leading the league in home runs, taking a fastball on theother side of the plate up and over the left-field wall to give the East an early 3-0 lead.Click here to read full articleBees breeding success in the Midwest05/07/2010 10:00 AM ETBy Matthew Lindner / Special to MLB.comThe drive down Highway 34 in Iowa is as ordinary as they come.
  • 5. Pass the fields of corn and soybeans, through towns like Columbus Junction and Wapello, far removed from aworld of reality television and excess of just about any kind, and youll find a place called Burlington, home ofthe Midwest Leagues Bees.Its there, right next to a strip mall and across the street from a Taco Bell, that youll find Community Fieldrising above the small-town skyline. Its a place where the ballgames have the feel of a neighborhood blockparty, where beer is still served in cans, and you can order a pork tenderloin sandwich thats about as big as yourhead.Its also the place where the Kansas City Royals have stashed some of their organizations crown jewels inrecent years.Of the Royals current top 10 prospects, eight of them have made the trek out to Burlington and donned theBees navy and gold in recent years. Two of them -- No. 3 Wil Myers and No. 7 John Lamb -- are currentlywith the team, playing before crowds that rarely number more than a thousand but who always know theirbeloved Bees by name.