Winter Sports Edition result of great effort

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

One of the McCook Daily Gazette's biggest editions of the year goes out to readers today. It's the Winter Sports Edition, a 34-page broadsheet section featuring pictures and stories about 47 basketball, wrestling and swimming teams in Southwest Nebraska and Northwest Kansas.

Numbers show the scope of the project and also point out the impact of high school sports in this region. More than 600 student athletes and 100 coaches are pictured in the edition, which was produced over a two-week period by the Gazette's 50-member staff.

"It takes a tremendous amount of cooperation to pull off a project of this scope," said Gene Morris, the Gazette's publisher. "The effort starts with the coaches and is followed up by the newspaper's team of photographers, who travel more than 1,500 miles to get team pictures."

This year, the Gazette also received great assistance from Eric Olson of School Reflections and Russ Pankonin of the Imperial Republican. Eric shot the sparkling photos of McCook High School teams, while Russ supplied pictures from Imperial when snow interrupted the Gazette's travel plans. "Eric and Russ are among this area's top photographers, and we appreciate their help," Morris said.

The edition also showcases the photographic talents of Connie Jo Discoe, the Gazette's regional editor. It is her pictures which are featured on the full color front covers of the boys and girls basketball and wrestling and swimming presentations. Joining Connie in the area-wide photography effort were John Mesh, Billie Cole, Gene Morris and Gloria Masoner.

Gloria was the overall director of the project. As the newspaper's special projects coordinator, she handled planning, assignments and design. "It was a big job, but Gloria was up to the task," Morris said. "We appreciate her leadership."

The edition also showcases the outstanding support that high school sports receives from business and professional people throughout the area. More than 300 advertisements are featured, with many businesses purchasing multiple sponsorships.

The season is already in progress and will continue throughout the winter, concluding with tournaments in late February and early March. Join us in support of the high school sports teams, who will treat us to more than 500 games and matches during the next 3 1/2 months.

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