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Wahl to Wall: Fall means school begins and sports follow

Wahl is editor of The Wallowa County Chieftain.

Published on September 4, 2018 4:12PM


This week, all of the children of school age have returned to classes. Another year has begun with plenty of challenges and opportunities ahead.

I spent about a half-hour last Monday in Alyse Shetler’s kindergarten classroom at Joseph Charter, capturing our traditional “back to school” image. I left exhausted. Can you imagine how Mrs. Shetler was feeling at the end of a full day with these live wires?

Someone remarked how all of the children in the photo were sitting quietly and facing forward. Truth is, I cropped out the ones that weren’t. It’s a joke.

The other aspect of classroom life that strikes an outsider quickly is the noise level. I was glad to get back to my relatively quiet office.

We all owe a debt of gratitude to those who serve as classroom instructors. We salute all of you.

THE START of the school year also means the start of the fall sports season. Wallowa County’s schools participate in volleyball and football and are on a combined team for cross country.

Beginning my freshman year, I attended my high school’s sporting events with a camera strapped around my neck. I was the photographer for our high school yearbook.

Later I did double duty, shooting for my hometown weekly newspaper and the yearbook.

While staff writer Steve Tool does the bulk of the heavy lifting for sports, I help out with stories and photos wherever possible.

There are a lot of sports all happening at once each fall. We do our best to get as many results, stories and photos as possible into the newspaper.

A great deal of our success ratio rests with the coaches and assistant coaches who are willing to provide us with stats and quotes. We couldn’t do it without them.

Some coaches, it seems, are just more naturally inclined toward being willing to help out with coverage of their teams. Others decidedly are not.

Some of our coaches even use online portals to post game information. They are our heroes. They should get a raise.

If you notice a difference in the coverage level from team to team and school to school, “there’s the rub.” to quote Hamlet.

Did you know that’s a sports term?

The rub is a reference to the English game of bowls, where a rub is a flaw in the playing surface that interferes with the ball’s trajectory. In today’s idiomatic sense, a rub is a difficulty or impediment.

So if your favorite team isn’t getting the amount of press you think it deserves, think about assisting your coach by offering to be a liaison person with the Chieftain. We’re not particular about who provides the information, as long as it’s timely and accurate.

If you’re an advanced amateur photographer and have high resolution images you would like to contribute, that would be terrific.

Look for a complete schedule for all of our high school fall sports teams in next week’s edition.

Then get out there and cheer on your team.



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