I’m sure many of you can agree with my current line of thinking: “Man. I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I took this job.”Some of you probably wish I hadn’t taken this job, but I promise I’ll continue to try and win you over with my wit and charm. Plus, a good newspaper. Having worked in sports for so long, my calendar typically revolves around the high school seasons anyway. Feels like I’m coming up on the offseason with spring sports postseasons ramping up, set for a big climax this Saturday with district tennis, district baseball and district and sectional track.
If Bryce and I can make it through this weekend, we probably have it made. If we miss your favorite team with pictures this weekend, just know that we tried. Really hard.
This first year of acclaimation to (mostly) new teams and new faces provided challenges. I’ve learned a lot along the way about how we need to approach each week to best blanket all of Platte County with sports coverage, a notably desired product that helps make us who we are.
I already look forward to next year, knowing we are better prepared to do a better job.
(See, I told you I wouldn’t quit trying to win you over.)
However, the second year surely can’t be as exciting, can it? I guess maybe that’s an unrealistic hope because even following somewhat from a distance in St. Joseph for years, this area always seems to have success.
I’m going to leave some huge accomplishments out, but here’s a quick stab at recapping what the students in this area were a part of this past school year.
Keep in mind there are still a few stories yet to be told.
North Platte AND Platte County advanced to the Missouri State Softball Championships. Neither brought home a state title, but what a rare dual showcase opportunity that was for the area.
Park Hill reclaimed its football glory and made a run to the Class 5 state semifinals despite a host of tough injuries along the way.
Platte County soccer won a district title, finally toppling Smithville on the way to the Class 3 playoffs.
Platte County volleyball recorded another record-setting season despite a shift up to Class 4, while the Pirates cross country team produced standout showings from Nathan Straubel and Rebekah Geddes despite bumping up from Class 3.
Park Hill’s boys nearly toppled powerhouse Rockhurst for the state championship in swimming. Marcin Glebocki won an individual state crown in the 50-yard freestyle to help.
Park Hill South went out and won another state trophy in girls swimming. With all that’s returning, the Panthers might not be done collecting hardware.
Not to be outdone, Park Hill South’s boys advanced to the state semifinals in Class 5 for the second time in history, coming up just short of an unexpected state championship.
Park Hill won a third straight Class 4 state wrestling title behind three-time state champs Colston DiBlasi and Ke-Shawn Hayes and first-time winner Canten Marriott
I’ve always said that I don’t openly root for the teams that I cover, but it sure makes it easier to do the job when they have success.
With that in mind, North Platte went out and won the girls district track and field championship this past weekend in Higginsville, Mo. That’s the first ever in the history of the school, a pretty huge deal even in Missouri’s expanded five-class system.
Read plenty more on that in this week’s edition and stick close to these pages in the coming weeks. I wouldn’t bet against more superlative performances because that’s become the norm this past year.
I never take it for granted because I’ve seen lean years, and interviewing upset teenagers is a necessary but not desired part of this job. Most of the time, at least this year, the disappointments were small and usually tied to some unique accomplishments.
Ross Martin is publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached via email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @Citizen_Ross.