The Herald Bulletin

April 9, 2014

Rick Teverbaugh: HB trying a different area approach

The Herald Bulletin

---- — All right, we're going to try this once again.

Apparently our plan to have our area coaches use emails and faxes to get results to us wasn't exactly a smashing success.

In fact, using that plan for about a year effectively cut in half the number of reports we received on a daily basis to report on our Scoreboard page. That wasn't what we wanted.

Our goal was to eliminate the need to keep a full-time writer in the office to answer those phone calls that we had previously been using as a means to gather area sports news. That would mean one more byline story every day covering a sports story or one more feature about a team or athlete or other topic.

So we have taken a look at a different plan. We have been instituting it now for this spring sports season.

The biggest change is that we have added a part-time employee who is working five days a week, four hours per day and one of her duties is to take phone calls from area high school coaches who are unable or unwilling to use email or fax to get us the results we so desperately want in each day's paper.

Her name is Karley Etherington. We hope area coaches are going to get to know her very soon.

We hope that area coaches will still use email or fax or even to get results sent to us. But those who need to use the phone will call (765) 640-4849 to get in touch with us.

That's not the only change.

We are selecting four or five events most days that seem to have the highest level of fan interest and highlight them. They will be packaged in a short story collection titled Area Sports Roundup.

Fans will have an opportunity to read about those events without having to resort to the smaller print size reports we run on Scoreboard. Our plan is to spread the items in this roundup around from school to school and from sport to sport. Ideally, many different schools and several different sports will be reported each day.

We kicked off that presentation in Wednesday's edition. We had only baseball and softball represented in that initial report because we had nothing reported from track, tennis or golf on Tuesday night. I am writing this prior to calls coming in on Wednesday, but I hope the report on Page B3 will have more variety this morning.

We encourage coaches to call between the hours of 7 and 9:30 p.m. By getting the calls by 9:30, it gives us a chance to get the results sent in put into story form.

We hope the end result is that more results will appear because that means more positive exposure for our area student athletes. Now the ball, so to speak, is in the court of the coaches. These next two months will tell us a lot.

Sports Editor Rick Teverbaugh's columns appear twice weekly.