By Todd Franko
The Browns are turning to Eric Mangini.
In Columbus, the Buckeyes are completely under the leadership of Terrelle Pryor.
The Steelers carry the title of “Super Bowl champions.”
Even in the football universe that surrounds my home, there’s a new Wrigley-like stadium for Poland fans.
Every new football season brings enhancements in some way to any football franchise.
And we, too, aim to be on top of our football game at The Vindicator. Blitz is our football franchise. We’re in our third season with Blitz, and we’ve upgraded our lineup yet again, much like the groups noted above.
First item to note: our preview guides.
Our traditional season preview is in today’s Vindicator, so be sure to check it out. It’s the best free guide in the Valley (just have to buy the newspaper).
Sixty-four pages of high school rosters, schedules, team pictures and more.
One thing worth noting is that we made a shift last year to allow town merchants to advertise on the same page as their teams. That is even more successful this year, so when you’re glancing through the football pages, please take special note of the many, many businesses that put their money and muscle behind local high school sports.
This is our second guide of the summer. At the start of August, when football camp started, we offered an outlook from coaches as their players took the field for the first time.
Blitz in print
Week in and week out, the two editions of The Vindicator that you want to wrap your arms around for football are Fridays and Saturdays.
Going into each week’s games, the Blitz section in the Friday Vindicator brings you the most in what you need to know. No other media comes close to the table-setting we offer in getting ready for the weekly matchups. They’d like to. In fact, one media competitor last year even “borrowed” our efforts. It was a 15-yard penalty — minimum.
And the Friday table-setting is followed Saturday by a full-course meal of coverage.
Our reporting staff will be at as many as nine games each weekend. Many of those stories will include photos and online video. And we’ll have scores and recaps from everywhere else.
On Vindy.com, our efforts to cover football get deeper and richer.
The coolest thing to note is that every player is his own Web page. So if you spend a few clicks, you’ll be able to follow any player’s stats every weekend.
We also offer text alerts for scores and stories. It’s pretty cool to sit in one stadium and have your phone rattle with the score from another. Vindy.com can do that for you.
We’re returning with our Blitz Picks game, and the prize this year is a king-size outdoor kitchen valued at $6,000 from Youngstown Propane. It’s a weekly contest that tests your knowledge of local high school football.
Also online this year are pages dedicated to bands and cheerleaders.
You can accuse us of putting too much time and space to football scores and players. But right out of the gate, Blitz targeted fans and fun, too. So add to the fun by sending us your band and cheerleading videos.
As noted, we’ve wanted to have fun with Blitz, and we’re doing that with our Blitz tailgate party.
We pack up our orange trailer, load it with hot dogs, pop, video football and video guitar games on a big flat-screen TV, corn toss and whatever else fits in it, and take it to an area high school game.
We’ll be at five games this year, and they are: Friday: Boardman hosts Mooney; Sept. 11: McDonald at Mineral Ridge; Sept. 25: Springfield at South Range; Oct. 16: Liberty at Hubbard; and Oct. 30: Canfield at Poland.
I’m out of space today, but turn to The Vindicator starting today for the best high school football coverage in the Valley.