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We have entered the summer doldrums

In the world of high school sports nothing much happens for the next month


Much of the year being a high school sports reporter is filled with activity as seasons blur together.

Then, as the spring sports season winds down, near the end of May, the pace gradually slows down. By the middle of July, most teams have shut down their summer workouts for a much needed break.

Athletes continue to run and lift weights, but the bulk of organized team practices and competition draw to a close for about a month.

For much of the year, interested sports fans ask "why don’t you cover this, or why don’t you cover that?"

Frankly, the answer is there is neither time, nor space in the paper to cover everything. Then, during the summer lull, the writers take a deep breath as everything slows down to a snail’s pace.

It seems like that would be great. It’s a chance to relax, and to get home in time for dinner with the family. It’s a chance to cut back on time on travel, and to prepare for the fall sports season.

It’s also a time when it’s a tremendous struggle to fill the sports section. Writers begin to hunt for story ideas and hunt for new and fresh ways to interest readers and fill space until fall practices resume in late August.

For weeks I have been stockpiling story ideas and holding stories that are not time sensitive in order to have items to fill the weekly sports section.

Baseball ended last week, the National High School Finals Rodeo concluded on Saturday, although final results are not yet posted, and most of the Crook County High School coaches are taking a much needed break.

Adding to the quiet, July 27 through Aug. 2 will be moratorium week. During the week the Oregon School Activities Association closes the door on all high school facilities and bans most contact between coaches, athletic directors, advisors and student athletes.

To translate, that means that there are no sports stories that will be happening that week.

To all of you who have already suggested story ideas for this summer, thank you for both your ideas and your patience. Your story ideas should gradually start to appear in the paper over the course of the next few weeks.

Frankly, however, I?could still use some help. If you have a good story idea, or know of an event which is coming up in the next two or three weeks, please drop me a line and let me know the details. I would really appreciate it.

On a more exciting note, the high school gym remodel has been completed. The new floors look excellent as does the new seating. Likewise the new tennis courts are scheduled to be ready for use in time for a Crook County Parks and Recreation District summer tennis program which starts at the end of the month.

The new beach volleyball courts are completed, and after a temporary slowdown work on the new track and field facility is once again moving along moving nicely. By the start of the fall sports season the facility upgrades should largely be completed.

It should be an exciting time for CCHS?athletics. With major upgrades to the facilities and a new league, it’s truly a great time to be a Cowboy or Cowgirl.

Will the volleyball team find a way to win a ninth-straight state championship? Can the cross country team reach state despite being in a new and stronger league? Will the gradually improving boys and girls soccer teams finally have a break out year and reach the playoffs? And last, but not least, will the football team, which has had a winning record each of the last two years, finally reach the playoffs?

We are just going to have to wait and see.

Lon Austin is the sports reporter for the Central Oregonian. He can be reached at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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