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Our new lineup will feature experienced sports professionals from Pamplin Media Group

Hello St. Helens and

Scappoose.

Beginning this week, you'll notice that things will look a little different in the Columbia County Spotlight's sports section.

Different and

— we believe — better.Miles Vance

Beginning this week, the Spotlight's sports coverage of St. Helens and Scappoose high schools will be handled by a journalistic version of "running back by committee."

While the Spotlight will no longer have a single person dedicated to covering the Lions and Indians high school sports teams, it will instead have a team of its own — a team of talented sports editors, reporters and photographers employed by Pamplin Media Group (the company that owns and operates the Spotlight) — to bring you news about the great high school teams at St. Helens and Scappoose.

Here, in brief, is a look at the various "players" who will keep track of the Lions' and Indians' best players for the Spotlight in coming weeks and months.

• Steve Brandon: Sports editor for the Portland Tribune and former Portland Trail Blazers beat writer for The Oregonian.

• Paul Danzer: Sports reporter for the Portland Tribune and former sports reporter for the Vancouver Columbian and the Daily Astorian.

• Miles Vance: Sports editor for the Lake Oswego Review and West Linn Tidings, Prep Sports Editor for Pamplin Media Group, and former sports editor for both The Chronicle and the Spotlight from 1988-95.

• Jim Beseda: Sports editor for the Clackamas Review and Oregon City News, and former longtime sports reporter for The Oregonian.

• David Ball: Sports editor for the Gresham Outlook and Sandy Post.

• Matt Singledecker: Sports editor for the Beaverton Valley Times.

n Wade Evanson: Sports editor for the Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune.

• Matt Rawlings: Sports reporter for the Sandy Post.

• Tanner Russ: Sports editor for the Canby Herald and Wilsonville Spokesman.

• John Brewington: Former sports editor at both the Spotlight and The Chronicle.

So what do all these writers/editors/photographers have in common? They all already have connections to St. Helens and Scappoose sports through their coverage of other schools in the Northwest Oregon Conference — home to the Lions — and the Cowapa League — longtime home of the Indians.

Between them, they already cover NWOC teams including Hillsboro, La Salle, Milwaukie, Putnam, Sandy and Wilsonville, and in the Cowapa, they already cover Banks and Valley Catholic.

Because of that, these writers and photographers already know their way around the NWOC and Cowapa, already know some history about both St. Helens and Scappoose high schools, and already know how to cover high school sports.

For me, I grew up in St. Helens (Class of 1980), lived in both St. Helens and Scappoose, bought my first home in Scappoose, and covered both St. Helens and Scappoose high schools for seven years.

I know that these two communities have grown, changed and matured in the years since I left, but I also know that they are still places that cherish their sports, root for their teams and want to see them represented in the local newspaper.

In short, while we are doing something different and unique in our coverage of sports for the Spotlight, we are convinced it will work and we are determined to make it work and work well.

So check us out. Buy the paper. Visit the website. See what we can do.

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