Can you help a sports writer out?

The top ten serious and not-so-serious things football teams can do to increase newspaper coverage…

1. Thursday Night Games: This is what the mid-major’s do for national exposure, and it works in our backyard too. Highly recommended for teams that normally feel slighted on Friday night’s by the more traditional schools.

2. Schedule Bishop Amat: This is sort of a joke, but also has a ring of truth to it. When area teams take on our only PAC-5 representative, its newsworthy.

3. Programs/Rosters: What will inevitably happen the first full week of football games is that half our reporters will return to the office complaining that schools not only don’t have programs, they forget rosters. If you’re going to charge $5 bucks to get into the stadium, the least you can do is provide fans/writers with names to go with the numbers.

4. Non-League rivalries: Not enough of these anymore. You have the Smudge Pot: Bonita-San Dimas; MD Classic: Duarte-Monrovia, and whatever Temple City vs. Arroyo is called, but we need more of these. Bishop Amat and Damien should be a regular occurrence, so should South Hills and Charter Oak. Make it happen.

5. Earlier kick-off times: This is why you see reporters running off the field after the final whistle. Those who traditionally play 7:30 p.m., football games will have a rough time making our deadlines this season. If you’re shocked that some games miss the newspaper entirely, it’s probably because the game ran late and missed deadline. Our deadlines are nearly two hours earlier than they were a decade ago, so 7 p.m., games and (can I ask) 6:30 p.m., games are strongly encouraged.

6. Scheduling Upgrade: Nobody is asking that you go crazy and schedule like Diamond Ranch did in 2008, but upgrading the schedule against traditional locals or Southland giants is always appealing.

7. Quotable: Coaches and players who don’t make us wait long after games and aren’t afraid to speak their mind go to the front of the line.

8. Snack Bar: We don’t accept free food, but we take donations (hint, hint).

9. Parking: Time is precious. For those stadiums impossible to get out quick, reserve a spot close to an exit for your hometown newspaper.

10. Stats: Our annual reminder for coaches to upgrade stats on MaxPreps. Stop hiding and saying you don’t want to be scouted, stats are for the many fans that follow your programs, and for the newspapers that desperately need them to keep track of what’s going on.

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