It’s here, organized football at last.
Friday night marks “Week 0” of high school football season, spelling the end of the grueling summer months and spurring the beginning of another fall sports season.
Well, fall doesn’t really begin until Sept. 23, but you get the idea.
Here’s a snapshot of our area teams this week:
• Conway at Georgetown (TSN Game of the Week)
• Carolina Forest at Darlington
• West Brunswick at Socastee
• Dillon at North Myrtle Beach
• Loris at St. James
• Andrews at Waccamaw
• Green Sea Floyds at Hannah-Pamplico
*Myrtle Beach, Aynor and Carvers Bay all have off weeks;
**all games at 7:30 p.m.
And with those games comes a change in our publishing philosophy here at The Sun News, something we’ve been moving toward for quite some time now. Simply put: Due to the games running later and later, and our print deadlines coming earlier and earlier, we will no longer be offering high school football recaps in the Saturday edition of our paper.
That said, our coverage isn’t going away. We will be offering all that content – expanded in many cases – at MyrtleBeachOnline.com. Check online as early as Friday nights to get your fix of Grand Strand high school action, as well as more expansive photo galleries than we’ve been able to offer in the past. How is this content expanded? Simple: More time means more refined, quality material.
Unshackling our reporters and photographers from a prohibitive print deadline will allow them to stay later, conduct more interviews, develop targeted story lines, take and edit more photos, even shoot video when possible.
Our coverage of last week’s CNB Kickoff Classic is a good indication of what to expect in terms of timing and content; albeit in a pared down format from what you’ll be seeing when the season begins.
That said, we have been listening, and we understand this system will not work for everyone. There is a portion of our readership that does not, and will not go on the Internet for news, and we do respect that and are constantly working to update, upgrade and reorganize to find a happy medium so all of our customers will be satisfied.
With that in mind, here’s how our print lineup will look in the coming months in terms of sports coverage.
Tuesday’s edition will continue to feature a high school notebook that delves into story lines from all across the fall sports scene. Fast forward to Friday’s print edition, and we will also continue to provide our high school football preview package that details players of the week, the top matchup, area standings, picks and capsules for each game.
Saturday’s edition is where the change will be the most noticeable. Sans high school coverage, look for a heavy dose of primer content for the college football action of the week (games begin the first week of September). But we haven’t forgot about you, print readers. On Sunday, high school coverage will be presented in a wrap-up package that includes results from the week’s action, story lines, updated standings and photos from around the area.
Remember, this will only affect live coverage. The Sun News will continue to seek out stories and deliver them in print as they develop.
With the first preseason week out of the way, NFL teams will look for their offensive and defensive units to begin to round into form. The Carolina Panthers face off with the Miami Dolphins in Charlotte at 7 p.m. on Saturday (ABC). Nationally televised games include: Thursday: Buffalo at Cleveland, 8 p.m., ESPN; Friday: Seattle at Kansas City, 8 p.m., NFL Network; Saturday: Baltimore at Philadelphia, 7 p.m., NFL Network; Sunday: Green Bay at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m., NFL Network; St. Louis at Tennessee, 8 p.m., Fox ... It may be a scrimmage, but their final tilt before the games count for Coastal Carolina men’s soccer will be a preseason top 25 matchup. North Carolina heads to Conway for a 7 p.m. start Saturday. The Tar Heels are No. 5 in the coaches poll, while the Chants sit at No. 21. … Unless you plan to travel, don’t expect to see the Myrtle Beach Pelicans this week. The squad is on the road with series against the Winston-Salem Dash and Frederick Keys. They return Aug. 24.
The change to our football coverage is just one piece of the puzzle. Here’s a breakdown of when and what to expect when you pick up the paper each day.
Monday: Live NFL coverage; college football wrapup package; On Your Mark planning column
Tuesday: On Grand Strand Golf column by Alan Blondin; recaps for area touring golf pros; high school sports notebook by Ian Guerin
Wednesday: Golf capsules; Brad Redding golf tip; On The Fringe column by Doug Ferguson and/or golf notebook
Thursday: “That’s Racing” package; Recreation scoreboard, highlights and calendar; Coastal Carolina non-football feature package
Friday: Football Friday preview package; local fishing report
Saturday: CCU and general college football preview packages; outdoors column by Gregg Holshouser
Sunday: High school football wrapup package (with photos); Pelicans week in review package; NFL preview (with capsules)
*fall sports season schedule
**beginning Monday with this column
***golf coverage will remain unchanged