It’s hard to believe that it has already been a full year for the Plant City Observer.
It seems like just yesterday that I was meeting all the coaches at local schools and scoping out the sports scene here.
The great thing about this job is it allows me to go out and meet some wonderful people doing great things and tell those stories.
From Kevin Garcia, a special-needs student who realized his dream of playing and scoring in a varsity basketball game at Strawberry Crest to a Little League team bulldozing all others on their way to becoming Southeastern regional champions, in the past 12 months, I have covered some of the most heartwarming and inspirational stories of my career.
When we launched the Plant City Observer, one of its objectives was to provide our readers with the most in-depth coverage of local sports. I feel we have done that and our goal is to continue to get better every day.
We are dedicated not only to covering every varsity sport at Plant City, Durant and Strawberry Crest but also delivering plenty of youth and adult sports coverage, as well. In the last few weeks, we have featured a story on former Knotts Hardware owner Johnny Knotts following his dream of working full-time in motorsports and a story on 8-year-old tumbling and gymnastics standout Aubrey Hancock. From young to old and from ice hockey to highland games, nothing is out of bounds. Our only rule is that it is sports coverage related directly to Plant City.
We are especially proud that our 2012 Football Preview received first-place honors for Best Special Section in Local Media Association’s 2012 Editorial Contest. Of course, receiving recognition from our journalism colleagues throughout the nation is great for the ego, but the honor also brought some recognition to Plant City, as well.
A few weeks ago, I received a package from Weakley County Press, a community newspaper in Martin, Tenn. In it was a copy of their 2012 Football Preview and a letter asking me to critique it. That publication has had success in its own right, winning the 2011 Tennessee Sports Writer’s Association’s award for the Best Special Section for a non-daily entry. The folks at the Press saw our section and asked for advice on how to make theirs even better.
With a full season and offseason under our belts, we’re now looking forward to making our 2013 Football Preview even better.
However, the most memorable part of my first year in Plant City sports is admiring all of our talented athletes. This area is rich with talent, and not just on the field, court, course or swimming pool, but in the classroom, as well.
Watching these amazing players make a job like mine enjoyable. Their stories deserve to be told and shared, and I am blessed to be in a position to share them.
I look forward to many more exciting years to come!