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Father Lopez
Ormond Beach Observer Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012 5 years ago

Scuffed shoes and winter sports

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Trying to cover most every winter sports game won't be easy, but it's worth it.

BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER

I once heard a maxim about journalists. I’m not sure who said it, but it stuck with me.

“You can judge a journalist by their shoes.”

The thinking behind it is simple: A journalist with clean and pristine shoes sits behind a desk most days, while a journalist with scuffed and worn shoes is out in the community chasing news.

This is something I keep in mind while working any story, and I plan to put it to use this winter sports season.

Before the cold weather passes, it’s my intention to hit as many basketball and soccer games as possible, and maybe a few wrestling or weightlifting meets, too.

But covering this many games has its difficulties. Sometimes you show up to a game that was canceled, or maybe one that was never even scheduled in the first place (yes, this happened to me recently).

There’s no worse feeling than showing up to a dark gym and an empty parking lot when your editors are expecting an article.

That’s why I have hard copies of every schedule, as well as several digital versions, so I can get back into my car, regroup and find the next game.

In pursuit of this ideal, I recently spent a night with Father Lopez’s athletic program. I went to the girls soccer game Nov. 16 against DeLand, in Ormond, and then made the trek up to Flagler Palm Coast High School to cover the boys basketball team.

I had two and a half hours from the start of the soccer game to the tip off of the Green Wave and the Bulldogs. I made it on time, even after having trouble finding the gym and making a call to Andrew O’Brien, the Palm Coast Observer associate editor and sports writer.

Lucky for me, though, the basketball game was delayed a few minutes. So when I got there, I was right on time.

As the season continues, I’m sure there will nights I’ll be hoping for more late starts, to give me time to find my spot on the sideline, in the stands or along the baseline.

But don't you worry, I’ll be there, with my camera, notebook and scuffed shoes.

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