Once upon a time it was
special for high school athletes to make the headlines. Having your
name mentioned on the radio or television was an honor and gave you a
sense of accomplishment. Parents were actually excited to see
cameras at their kid’s games and they rushed home to watch the 11
Unfortunately the expectations of coverage from some of the parents
have become a bit irrational. Supporters of local high schools
now feel it’s their right to get media attention instead of a privilege.
I was disturbed when I received a phone call from the parent of a D.H.
Conley baseball player last week. The woman was angry because she
felt the Vikings weren’t getting enough coverage during the current
season. She implied that I wasn’t being fair to the viewers of
eastern North Carolina because some schools received more attention
She was exactly right. Some schools do receive more attention
than others and D.H. Conley is one of those schools. The campus
is conveniently located in the Greenville area, the home of WNCT-TV,
the bureau site of WCTI and WITN along with Pirate Radio 1250.
For television stations it’s easy to make the drive over to DHC to
cover a 7:00 pm game and get back in time to take care of the rest of
Elsewhere in the region, great teams and great players get left out of
the spotlight too often because they’re geographically too difficult to
travel to and get back in time to make a deadline.
On a Friday night during the high school football season, television
stations get help from news photographers. It’s a total station
effort to ensure we get as many games on the air as possible.
However, for everything else that goes on, it’s usually up to the
two-man sports department. Four days out of the week there is
only one person running the show because we too need a day off every
now and then.
“Surprisingly” the angry caller felt that J.H. Rose receives too much
media attention. Again, I agree JHR gets more coverage than
anybody in our market. But you have to give credit where credit
is due. The Rampants have won back-to-back state football and
baseball championships. It’s a tricky balance, trying to share
the wealth while also making sure you acknowledge greatness.
D.H. Conley also falls into this category of giving credit where credit
is due. After their epic win in the Big East Championship game
and again on Tuesday in the state playoffs over J.H. Rose, the Vikings
received excellent coverage from all the media outlets involved.
Perhaps the media must blame itself for this whole mess. The
competition between stations to cover more games is so great that the
bar has become too high. Sometimes, you have to wonder if more
harm has been done than good because it’s not possible to be completely
fair to everyone. There aren’t enough resources to appease
everyone. There are just too many teams too spread
Believe it or not Greenville area schools have it made. I
attended Wake Forest-Rolesville High School. My junior year we
played Athens Drive in the state playoffs. Josh Hamilton pitched
that night for Athens Drive and one month later signed a million dollar
contract as the number one overall pick in the Major League Baseball
Draft. No television crews showed up to watch him pitch and no
newspaper reporter covered the game. Nobody was surprised.
In most areas of the country, outside of high school football you don’t
see a lot of prep sports hi-lites.
If possible, I’d have every young athlete on the play-of-the-day at
least once. The best part about covering high school athletics is
capturing a great moment and then being able to show it to all the
sports fans that tune in. It’s a shame when people take the time
out of their day to hang a black cloud over something you work hard
As for D.H. Conley, I’ll be at Clark-LeClair Stadium on Saturday when
they play in the Eastern Regional Final. I won’t be covering the
game because any parent wants me too. I’ll be covering the game
for the players of both teams that have worked hard throughout the
season and are deserving of such attention. I’ll be covering the
game for respectable coaches like Jason Mills of D.H. Conley.
I’ll be covering the game hopefully for one baseball fan that’s excited
to see their team’s hi-lites after the game.