"You'll never get ahead if you don't take care of what you have." - Doris Waddell, RIP

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn
The multi-ethnic building was the original home of the music department at UMM. (B.W. photo)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Willmar paper begins "shaming" coaches

I noticed something unusual in the West Central Tribune last week. The paper relies on sports coaches calling in game information. Not surprisingly, there are times when not all coaches call in. It seems there has been a fall-off in wrestling coaches calling in.
For the first time on Tuesday (4/12), I noticed an attempt by that paper to "shame" coaches who do not call in. It happened again Friday. My first reaction: this is bush league and actually rude. The paper relies on the good faith of coaches for calling in. In other words, coaches do it if they feel comfortable doing it.
There was a box on the second page of the sports section pointing out teams whose representatives did not call in. For one thing, how can the paper be absolutely certain those teams played the night before? Spring sports schedules are notorious for being flimsy. But let's assume the games got played. Why place any special pressure on those coaches to call in? They do not have any formal or official relationship with the West Central Tribune.
What is the West Central Tribune? It is not an extension of the area public schools in any way, shape or form. The West Central Tribune is a private business that is mainly concerned with selling advertising. It is owned by the same company that owns the Morris newspaper. The Morris paper is of course known for giving us piles of advertising for non-Morris businesses.
These papers do have a news department. It's fine for them to invite sports information. But it is not defensible, in my view, for the paper to act like they are entitled to game reports, as if a coach might be sanctioned for not calling in. The sanction would come in the form of being given a hard time from sports parents. Coaches are already susceptible to this.
We now see a box in the Willmar paper with the words "game reports not received from. . ." And then teams are listed.
Why might a coach choose not to call? Well, they're exhausted to a certain extent once the game is done. The responsibility of calling in that info is an added dose of pressure. They feel pressure to try to make sure everything is correct. I assume they delegate a lot of the statkeeping work to students. That work can be irregular in quality, I assume.
The biggest problem might be the obligation to submit information for the opposing team. OK, are coaches even required to compile info for the opposing team? What if they simply choose not to? Do they have that right? What if a student statkeeper just isn't up to it? Sometimes people will just shrug and guess at names. When the Morris Legion baseball team took second in state, the article on the Monday following the championship game, besides being totally mediocre, spelled Mac Beyer's name "Mac Beier."
It is very common to add up individual point totals from a WC Trib basketball game review, and have that total not match the team total. Often I'll point this out in my blogging. Sometimes I just don't bother.
So, if a coach at game's end is tired, discouraged, not confident in his statkeeper's information, or has some other reservation, he might be inclined to just skip "calling in" to the Willmar paper. You can argue that is a dereliction on a minor scale, but the paper should not "shame" this individual by reporting in large-size type that a report wasn't submitted.
Several years ago when the MACA football team beat Paynesville in a game for the ages, the review in the Willmar paper was so bad, it was beyond parody. For a few hours I had some of that errant information on my blog site. Then Lyle Rambow emailed me a heads-up. I corrected some of the most egregious stuff, like the name of the Tiger who caught the winning touchdown pass. Astonishingly, the Morris paper used the same wrong info in its paper that came out on the Saturday following.
Could you imagine me, if I were still at the paper, just sitting there all week and not bothering to correct any of that info? Obviously it was the Paynesville coach who called in that info. Obviously he wasn't in a very good mood after that game. He was probably in a mood for kicking over chairs when he entered the locker room. And that's the person we're depending on for reporting our precious MACA football information.
It wouldn't matter much to me now, because I'm done with the sport of football. The health revelations about the sport are too alarming. It is immoral for any family to allow their sons to play football. Human Services should intervene.
Coaches should have the flexibility on whether to call in to the West Central Tribune. Who elected the Willmar paper to do this anyway? Maybe the Willmar paper should just cover Willmar sports, including Ridgewater, along with communities that are very close.
All coaches have the option of initiating a coverage system online, like having a "home page" for their team. I wish more coaches would pursue this.
MAHS band program feeling squeeze?
I'm writing this on Saturday morning, after having been to Willie's for my free coffee (in a Willie's mug) and a creme-filled bismark. I glanced at the front page of the Morris newspaper. So, there's an advocacy movement for MACA band, apparently in response to possible austerity moves? Why else would people be speaking out?
I can't say enough for the MAHS band program with Wanda Dagen. It deserves all the resources it has been getting, maybe more.
Good grief, I hope Wanda isn't on the bubble again for being let go, based on budgetary pressures. This has been a periodic headache for our school system. In fact, isn't this the way the Morris Area School Foundation got started? Didn't it get started to ensure that Ms. Dagen would stay here? Morris legend has it that a local physician cut a big check. Too bad it has to come to that.
I have an idea: cut the football program. The boys can play soccer on the old school playground - ideal for that purpose. Soccer could be supported by some entity other than the school. It could be intramural - so what? It could be semi-informal.
The revelations coming out about football, in terms of health dangers, are absolutely shocking. We cannot just shrug and glibly say, "well, boys enjoy football, and I enjoy watching it." Get your own head bashed in a few times.
The consequences of football may not show up right away; they may set in when you reach your 40s, 50s or 60s. At a certain point it becomes tragic. I will be blogging soon with more details about this. My newest research is from Fox News which is hardly some tree-hugging outfit. This is serious.
Let's put aside football permanently and make sure music gets its proper support in school. It is infinitely more valuable.
Softball: Tigers 12, Paynesville 0
It was no contest as the MACA Tigers beat Paynesville 12-0. Fans at the home diamond had many opportunities to cheer, especially in the fourth inning. Tracy Meichsner had a hot bat and in the fourth, this Tiger connected for a two-run triple. Sam Henrichs socked a two-run double in the fourth. Lexi Mahoney produced an RBI double. In all the Tigers scored eight runs in the fourth.
The big rally was en route to the 12-0 final score. Our line score was 12 runs, nine hits and one error. The Paynesville numbers were 0-4-2.
The Tigers took care of business in five innings with Kayla Pring pitching the whole way. She struck out seven batters and walked one while giving up four this in this shutout. Kayla Schaefer was the losing pitcher. Brooke Caldwell also pitched for Paynesville.
Turning to the MACA offensive stats, Lauren Reimers had a hit in her only at-bat. Meichsner's triple was part of a two-for-three showing with four RBIs. Henrichs' double came in her only at-bat, and she drove in two runs. Mahoney's double came in her only at-bat, and she drove in two runs.
Carly Zimmel had a two-for-three line with a double, and Lindsey Dierks went two-for-three with a double. Emma Stevens had two hits for the green-clad Paynesville crew. Lexi Skoglund and Ashley Eisenbraun each had one hit.
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

1 comment:

  1. well why does the Willmar paper have to be concerned about scores from other teams? why don't they just limit themselves to covering Willmar sports teams and let hometown papers cover their own teams.