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Palm Coast Friday, Mar. 30, 2012 8 years ago

To single out ... or not?

by: Andrew OBrien Contributing Writer

In sports, striking a balance between team and individual is an ongoing struggle. It’s an issue writers often face.

Coaches are hesitant to single out players for potential stories. But there’s a broad spectrum of coaches’ attitudes. There are the coaches who say zero interviews — team only. Then, there is the coach who is willing to do feature stories, but always wants to include another senior or captain to even things out. And then there is the coach who is eager to have any player recognized at any time.

Matanzas baseball coach Rob Roe is strict in team mentality. In the season preview story and in the sports cover story March 28, Roe has been adamantly against singling out individual players.

About a week ago, I was emailed by a parent stating a Matanzas baseball player might be on the verge of breaking the single-season stolen bases record. Roe said he would be willing to give me any information I needed after the season, but told me that he really didn’t want anything covered during the season.

Roe said he is teaching team and not individual success.

“The players understand about team and that records do not mean anything unless the team wins,” he wrote in an email to me.

Flagler Palm Coast girls soccer coach Pete Hald is the type of coach who is willing to do feature stories, but also likes to include other plays if it makes the overall story better.

A feature story during soccer season was evident of that. We wanted to do a story about the Lady Bulldogs defense. Instead, Hald wanted to include another senior who overcame a huge injury. It made the story so much better, and everyone was happy.

Then there’s Matanzas football coach Keith Lagocki. In my three football seasons, Lagocki has preached team, but knows individual accomplishments should be recognized. Feature stories on Shawn White, Tim Morley, Christian Benvenuto and Taylor Haire prove that.

Of course, singling out a player can lead to ego issues or jealousy by teammates. But it could also push one or more players to step up their performance because they want to be the next player featured.

Isn’t telling the community about people’s accomplishments the whole concept behind a community newspaper?

The person next door to you might be batting .500 in softball, averaging 25 points per game in basketball or will be playing football at the U.S. Naval Academy. We want to spread the good news!

It’s our mission to inform you about what people in your community are doing and accomplishing. Writing about individual athletes has its pros and cons — but it’s clear the pros outweigh the cons. It fosters a sense of community, in sports and elsewhere.

And that’s what the Palm Coast Observer is all about: you, your neighbors, your neighborhood.


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