For as long as I’ve been writing about high school sports, at least 7-10 times a year, I have had the same question asked of me.
I’ve been asked this question a bit more since we began SportStars, but I’d hear it when I was in the newspaper business as well.
What do you guys do during the summer months?
My canned response is usually along the lines of, ‘The days of high schoolers taking a summer off from sports are pretty much over.’ I go on to explain how we still follow many elite athletes and teams at the club levels.
But in truth, we also look at summer as our own little break. Not so much a break from putting out magazines, but a break from the norm. Without the confines of the academic season sporting schedule, we can stretch our legs and find stories about high schoolers whose sports rarely find a spotlight from September to June.
This issue — both the Sac-Joaquin and Bay Area editions — are perfect representations of how we like to spend our summer.
We obviously get a boost from Little League, especially in the Bay Area where hundreds of soon-to-be-freshmen from across the U.S. and various locations throughout the world, come to Livermore for the Little League Intermediate World Series. Those stories are fun, but still somewhat in our wheelhouse. The rest of these issues are a break from the norm.
In the Bay Area we wrote about about a Newark Memorial sophomore who began open wheel racing in the Formula Car Challenge Series this past March — when he was still just 14 years old. We also took a close look at the sport of synchronized swimming and how the Bay Area practically pioneered the sport behind two clubs who continue to churn out national-level talent.
Seriously, if you didn’t know that half the U.S. National Team roster for synchronized swimming came from Bay Area clubs, well you wouldn’t be alone. It is, and many of them are high schoolers or very recent graduates.
In the Sac-Joaquin edition, writer Jim McCue dives into trap shooting and how it’s taken off as a high school club sport. (De La Salle fans, this is a story worth looking up on SportStarsOnline.com, as the Spartans are featured prominently as a team quickly encroaching on the long-dominant foothill schools.)
McCue also spent an evening with retiring Sac-Joaquin Section Commissioner Pete Saco and put together a solid feature on the man and the lasting legacy he’ll be leaving.
That’s four stories that we just don’t get to stretch our legs on in the fall, winter and spring. But they fit our mindset perfectly these days.
I now look forward to the next person to casually ask me how we spend our summers at the magazine. I’ve got four solid examples to offer up.
And in the meantime, I’ll be plotting out our 64-page football preview due out on Aug. 21. Because, well, you know.
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