No one is yet saying they feel a telltale nip in the air, but there's one sure sign autumn is approaching: High school football, soccer and volleyball players are back in the game.
For The Salt Lake Tribune, their return has triggered coverage that offers depth and insight to readers who follow the agony and the ecstasy that defines competition and accomplishment for these young athletes.
We begin the season with a number of improvements to tribpreps.com, the website that showcases the work of our reporters and photographers but also captures detail about each school, sport and game.
Most of the changes boost the site's functionality, according to developer Antonio Ramirez.
The GameTracker, for example, now has a bigger presence on the tribpreps.com homepage and enables users to search by sport and date.
Schedule and standings pages allow users to search by classification, and game pages now include standings for each team within their regions along with their schedules.
Schools have finalized their rosters, and once they've all been entered, they'll appear on team pages, too, Ramirez says.
"The changes make the site more aesthetically pleasing and easier to use," says Kyle Goon, The Tribune's lead high school sports writer, who along with fellow staffers and intern Jack Wang, began lead-up coverage in earnest in July by introducing two football teams each day on the Overtime blog, http://www.sltrib.com/Blogs/preps.
Those introductions are in addition to numerous athlete features appearing in The Tribune's five Close-Up neighborhood editions during the past several weeks plus several larger enterprise stories appearing in the Sports section, including this past Wednesday's preview coverage featuring Jordan High School's phenom sophomore quarterback Austin Kafentzis and offering class-by-class analysis of the teams.
On Aug. 30, a new editor joins our staff to oversee and continue to improve our high school sports coverage working with sports editor Joe Baird.
Kevin Winters Morriss has been appointed assistant sports editor to replace Danyelle White, who left The Tribune earlier this summer.
Winters Morriss has been sports editor at the Southeast Missourian in Cape Girardeau, Mo. He also worked in sports at Gannett Central Wisconsin Newspapers and the Wasau (Wis.) Daily Herald.
"The Tribune's track record of providing insightful coverage that isn't reliant on game stories drew me to the position," Winters Morriss says. "I wanted to join a team that explains the issues involved in high school athletics and isn't afraid to tackle big projects that offer a better understanding of what's happening with athletes around the state."
We're pleased to have him join our team.
And along with all the athletes, we think it's great to be back in the game.
Lisa Carricaburu is managing editor. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @lcarricaburu.