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MURRELL COLUMN: As sports go on, so will we

Since the time I graduated from college in 2003 — maybe before then — I’ve worked in many offices of an ever-changing industry. Yet, I was never warned in college how much the industry was changing.

Some publications could no longer give its reporters the updated resources — working laptops, for an example — to cover a sporting event in a timely manner. Some workers have had to diversify their portfolio of tasks to stay afloat.

Me? I’ve always adjusted and conquered. But I haven’t changed who I am or my God-given purpose, and neither have sports seasons.

The value of going to a local Division I college football game — maybe not the price — is still the same as it was when I was 8. Having a big ol’ party on a Saturday afternoon or evening and enjoying family and friends created irreplaceable memories.

Watching a top-10 college basketball game on TV has always been a favorite winter activity of mine — just pick a night.

And Sundays? Thank God for football and golf, right?

No matter what, looking forward to devouring the next morning’s sports section — and the funnies — has been just as memorable the past three decades.

The journalism industry has evolved since I was 8, and even more since I first got paid to write at age 20. Sports seasons hardly change on the calendar, however.

You can pretty much count on high school football every Friday night between September and November (except Sept. 21 this year for most of our local teams), or if your team is lucky enough, December.

You can count on Saturday college football during those months, too. And you can fire up your grill or order pizza for Sunday NFL action.

Guess what: You can also look forward to how we cover local teams.

Rich Macke, publisher of The News, announced on page A5 of Sunday’s issue that our newspaper will be distributed via the U.S. Postal Service starting Tuesday, Sept. 11.

Every weekend edition will be a combination of content you would expect to see in our present Saturday and Sunday runs — with the obvious exception of postgame coverage of a Saturday game.

Still, you would expect to find out how Lamar and other Texas universities did soon after the game is over, correct? If a high school team plays Saturday, you’d still want to know as soon as possible who threw for how many yards and who rushed for what. You’d want a primer for each Texans’ and Cowboys’ game set to kick off.

So do I. Therefore, my work will continue on Saturdays.

Our website, panews.com, is an extension of our print edition. We prioritize local news so that you may digest it in a timely manner, and to draw our readers to the digital world, we throw in more photos and videos on many of our stories that you’re not going to find anywhere else.

That’s what you can expect to see in an online story on a Saturday game, high school or college, no matter who’s writing it.

Through the week, we will continue to preview each football game and feature our local high school and Lamar standouts. Volleyball will not be left out. Just be sure to read us each day, online and in print, so you don’t miss your team.

You will see your game stories in print each Saturday, as well, even as our print deadlines tighten up with USPS delivery. When you need more, we’ll have extended coverage of our Friday night football games at panews.com. More photos, box scores and video.

I’ll continue to preview Lamar’s games each Saturday, cover each game I am able to attend and post complete coverage online immediately, with follow-ups of every Saturday high school and college game available Tuesday. (Note that a follow-up will not be the exact game story re-hashed, but an update on the game that was with a first look at the game ahead.)

You’ve seen me clear every hurdle in the past three years since I took over the sports section, bad back and all. Sports don’t stop, and we won’t.

Believe me when I say we’re not done.

I.C. Murrell can be reached at 409-549-8541 or at ic.murrell@panews.com. On Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews.


**UPDATE 9/9/18: Due to deadline-related circumstance, high school box scores will only be available at panews.com**

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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