I hope everyone is ready for some football

By the time you read this, week one of high school football, incredibly, already will be in the books.

High school football kicked off last week with several games to “preview” the season Thursday night, followed by the regular exciting Friday and Saturday night games under the lights, as usual.

If it feels early, that’s because it is. Our Sports Editor Greg Macafee tells me this was the earliest start date for Ohio high school football ever.

Despite that, our sports coverage team was ready to roll. In fact, they’ve been rolling for much of the summer by interviewing, photographing, writing and designing the more than 50-page annual High School Football Preview, which published in last Sunday’s newspaper, and subsequently, for the High School Football Keepsake section, which is included in today’s newspaper.

Readers sometimes ask why we publish both “Preview” and “Keepsake” sections, rather than combining them. The reason is simple.

We strive to have our annual in-depth analysis of each team — offense and defensive standouts, and special teams, along with lists of schedules, coaches and more — in the hands of football fans before the season even starts. That gives everyone a chance to read up on their hometown teams along with any rivalries, well before kickoff.

Unfortunately, the team photos and complete rosters aren’t always ready in time for the print deadline of that book. So we come back with another section a little later — usually after the season has started — in order to include that information. Plus it gives football fans something else to look forward to as the season is getting underway!

(If you missed last week’s football preview, some are still available for purchase. Inquire by calling 330-841-1600, or stop at the newspaper’s front counter at 240 Franklin Street SE, Warren.)

Keep watching the daily sports sections for complete advance coverage and predictions on games on Thursdays and Fridays, and for game coverage in words and photos appearing in the next day’s paper.

If a game runs late and complete coverage isn’t possible before our print deadline, please go to www.vindy.com or www.tribtoday.com for more complete coverage, which will be posted online overnight.

Additionally, the Tribune Chronicle and The Vindicator sports team again this year will be producing a weekly high school football podcast called “Sideline Chatter.” The audio recordings will include discussions about Mahoning Valley rivalries, standout performances from the previous week and expectations for the week ahead for various local high school teams. This year’s podcasts also will include more one-on-one interviews with coaches and players.

The approximately 45-minute recordings are released by Thursday of each week, in advance of the upcoming slate of games. The podcasts are available for listening by clicking the buttons found on www.tribtoday.com or www.vindy.com, or going to iTunes, Spotify or anywhere you typically get your podcasts.

In addition, in keeping with the football coverage tradition of our newspaper, we also will be previewing the upcoming college football games each week with in-depth looks at the Youngstown State University Penguins football team and the Ohio State Buckeyes on the locally produced Penguin Page each Thursday and the Buckeye Page each Saturday during game week.

As always, the full-page, color layouts will include a look at the roster for each team and their opponents, a glance at stats, a recap from the previous week and what to watch for this week, whether fans are planning to watch the college games on TV or in the stands at the YSU Ice Castle or the Horseshoe in Columbus.

The Penguin and Buckeye pages have been a consistent fan favorite each week during the college football season for many years.

And, of course, if you miss any of the Penguin or Buckeye action, you’ll be able to read all about it at www.tribtoday.com, or at www.vindy.com or in the newspaper’s print editions, on newsstands or in your paperbox very early the next morning.

I hope you’re ready for some football, because it’s time! The season has arrived.

Linert is editor of the Tribune Chronicle and The Vindicator.


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