Last month, South Western hosted its 36th annual diving competition. I wasn’t able to arrive on time to photograph the girls, but I did photograph every single dive performed by the boys later in the afternoon. Some favorites:
Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category
One does not simply cover a bowl game.
At least, not if you’re The York Daily Record.
In the weeks and days ahead of the 2014 New Era Pinstripe Bowl, I was involved in one formal planning meeting and at least a half-dozen informal others. The main points were these:
- It’s Penn State’s first bowl game in three seasons, following the NCAA’s lifting the sanctions enacted after the Sandusky scandal erupted, so this game is important for the players and the fans.
- It’s in New York City, which is weird because bowl games are usually played in nice, warm places, but New York is also iconic, so pictures of Penn Staters — who usually tailgate in the rolling hills of rural, central Pennsylvania — wandering or partying in the concrete jungle are paramount.
- It’s my first bowl game to cover for the paper, so it’s crucial I’m on my A-game.
To be fair, the third point was never actually uttered, but it stood.
So, the day after Christmas, writers Frank and Lizi and I boarded the Amtrak to Penn Station, and got to work immediately upon our arrival in Manhattan. The only chances we had for relaxation and/or exploration were in the late evenings after we finished work on Friday and Saturday, as well as Sunday morning before we departed for home. We made the most of these limited opportunities, and had a nice Roman-Jewish dinner, a hoppin’ late-night Korean dinner and a hearty Sunday brunch.
(The Korean dinner was particularly memorable: Not only was it weird and delicious, it also followed an unintentional 12-hour fast during which I was so busy covering festivities, the game and the celebration that I didn’t have time to eat anything, including the provided meal for media.)
As for the actual festivities, game and celebration? Check out some pictures:
In two days — the day after Christmas — I’ll be covering the New Era Pinstripe Bowl in Yankee Stadium, where Penn State will meet Boston College in the Nittany Lions’ first bowl game since the Jan. 2012 TicketCity Bowl.
This will be my first-ever Penn State bowl game, and only my second-ever college bowl game. (My first was in 2010, when the Navy defeated Missouri in the Texas Bowl.) This will also be my first time in Yankee Stadium.
I’m ready for it. But first, I’ll finish out my Christmas Eve shift and enjoy Christmas Day. In the meantime, here are pictures from the Penn State football games I’ve covered this season:
Tomorrow is officially the first day of winter, so naturally my mind is turning towards warmer, summery topics. I’ve also been reviewing the pictures I’ve made in 2014, which reminded me just how many summer nights I spent at William Grove Speedway. (Three — which isn’t that many, but definitely more than any other YDR photographer this year.)
This job has a way of flinging me out of my comfort zone, with the expectation that I’ll make it out not just alive and relatively unscathed, but with some decent pictures as well. Four years ago, I wouldn’t have imagined being able to navigate my way around a dirt track, but now I’m hailed as a familiar face by crew members and push-truck drivers. The more time I spent with these folks, the more I appreciated how the races are just a big family reunion.
Here are pictures from three of those reunions, or races:
I never thought about it til Penn State football beat reporter Frank brought it up, but I’ve covered three different head coaches in as many years as I’ve been with The York Daily Record (about three and a half years).
My first season photographing Penn State football turned out to be Joe Paterno’s last (2011).
Bill O’Brien took the helm for the next two seasons, but signed on with the Houston Texans basically as soon as he possibly could (2012-2013).
And now, we have James Franklin (2014).
I photographed the Blue-White Game in April, which was technically Franklin’s first game in Beaver Stadium. Tomorrow, editor Eileen and I go to cover the game against Akron, which will be his first regular-season game in State College.
Another season, another coach. This’ll be fun.
I wouldn’t call myself a sports photographer by any means, but when you photograph as many sports as we at the Daily Record do, you can’t help but consider the immense variety of humanly physical achievements these athletes are attempting via any amount of training or number of techniques.
Take, for instance, javelin. Javelin is but one sport in the all-encompassing term “track and field,” but it’s similar to shot put in that both involve an athlete manipulating his/her physique in order to manipulate physics in order to propel an object as far away from him/her as possible. Yet, if you observe different javelin athletes, you can’t help but notice each one is using completely different techniques to attempt the same basic objective.
And that’s just javelin. Shot put has the same basic objective, but it’s achieved completely differently. And again, each athlete has his/her own techniques to that end.
Maybe I think too much about these things. But these are the types of things I think about when I’m sent to cover two very different track assignments in one day.
Track and field…
…and sprint car racing:
Yesterday was the first of two days of PIAA District 3 track and field championships at Shippensburg University. Track and field is a good sport to cover if you want to stay on your toes, because it comprises so many different types of sports (and, in the case of track, different events) that are all photographed differently.
Yesterday was also the World of Outlaws’ season debut at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg. Sprint car racing is a good sport to cover if you don’t mind partial hearing loss.
Anyway, when you cover these different sports in one day, it’s hard not to marvel at what the human body (plus the occasional gears, wheels and oil) is capable of doing.
I’ll stop babbling. Photos:
Penn State ended its 2013 football season on a high note tonight, but here’re a few action-feature photos from the two regular-season games I shot this year. (I did shoot the spring Blue-White game, and did video for a third regular-season game.)
The first high school football game of the season is tomorrow, and we’re sending folks to cover Penn State’s first game on Saturday. With that in mind, here’re a few pictures I made last year while working on a story about pee wee football.
For one and a half years, practically every fall evening as I drove back to the office via Parkway Boulevard, I’d see miniscule football players running through drills and practices. Finally, my interest had been sufficiently piqued and, one evening, I pulled over, observed the final minutes of practice and chatted up one of the fathers who was making sure his son wasn’t slacking. Then he introduced me to the coach, and after that, I was at practice at least once a week.
After following the “rinkies” for about a month, I pulled the story together with this basic summary:
After an undefeated regular season — and not allowing first downs or touchdowns in all but the last game — the Boys Club of York Red Raiders’ rink varsity football team lost the York County Youth Football Association championship game 12-0 to West York’s rink varsity football team on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, at Northeastern High School. The “rinkies” are 7-8-year olds who had practiced every weekday from August through the beginning of November on a field just off Parkway Boulevard in York. This team of rinkies has played together for three years so far and, despite three consecutive undefeated seasons, has yet to claim a league championship title.
Happy football season, everybody!
Softball picture from forever ago:
Today, the York Catholic girls played their seventh state championship game in the past eight seasons.
Today, they lost 45-38 to Bishop Canevin.
But — they lost with grace.
I began following the team’s journey this morning after I checked in with the student tailgate outside the Giant Center:
After the game, tears:
And a pep talk:
I’d like to thank the girls for letting me follow them around, even inside the locker room, and being completely normal about it. They’re a class act, a strong team and wonderful people.
For more coverage:
- Check out the full slideshow of photos I took today
- Read reporter Matt’s game story
- Watch photographer Jason’s video about Morgan Klunk’s mother watching her last game
My first-ever cheerleading assignment took me to the YAIAA Cheerleading Championship, where seven teams competed in two divisions. It was a lot of fun, especially with the presence of the youth cheerleaders who performed showcase, non-competition routines. If I shoot this next year, I’ll definitely take my shooting to the next level, but nevertheless — this was fun.
I love shooting basketball. It was the first sport I ever shot (thanks for throwing me in, Rae) and much of my first winter in York was spent covering high school games. This season, not so much, oddly enough. But here’s a collection of some reaction-oriented feature pictures — or jubilation, or “jube” — from the post-season.
And, to end on a joyous note, four pictures from the York Catholic girls’ eighth consecutive district title win — which, by the way, is a District 3 record:
For me at least, it’s easy to forget, after covering some of these girls for three seasons, that they’re just girls. They’re still in high school. They’re just kids. Then you get off the court, and they’re jumping and whooping and giving each other piggy-back rides back to the locker room, where they then break out into song and run around and remind you that they’re still girls, and that’s totally okay.
When I asked fellow photographer Kate about shooting wrestling at Milton Hershey School, she gave me two really good tips: Use a 300, and shoot from the track level.
I understand wrestling just enough to shoot it, so I’ve never tried to have fun with it before. Today, I did just that by acting on her tips. Thanks Kate!
As soon as I made this picture at Saturday’s Penn State game…
…I immediately thought of this picture from another, very different Penn State game:
In the 48 hours between Friday evening and earlier today, I covered three football games.
- Saturday: Penn State lost 35-23 to Ohio State.
(View more game photos here.)
- Today: The Red Raiders of Boys Club of York defeated the Blackhawks of Eastern York County 12-6.
I’ve been following York’s pee wee football team — specifically, the Red Raider rinkies, who are 7-8 years of age — for an upcoming photo story. These are just a few shots from today’s game, but I’ve been covering practices, and also shot their last regular-season game.
As for today? After their third undefeated regular season, the Red Raiders had a bye week in the first round of playoffs and, today, won their semifinal game. They play West York in next week’s championships.
So, even though I just shot my last Penn State game of the season, there’s still more football to come. But for now, it’s time to prepare for upcoming Sandy/Frankenstorm coverage.
When the York Revolution lost the playoffs last month, they completed not only their post-season chance for a third Atlantic League championship — they also completed manager Andy Etchebarren’s career.
The day started well enough. The Revs had lost the first two games in their best-of-five series, but spirits were high:
Then the Barnstormers started racking up runs, and the Revs just couldn’t keep up.
After shooting last season’s Champagne-soaked playoff jubilation and championship victory, covering the swift end of the Revs’ post-season play and the quiet conclusion of Etchebarren’s storied career was a little strange.
Etch has managed the Revs for only three and a half seasons, but because I’ve shot those last two seasons (and was never too familiar with Etch’s career with the Orioles), it’s hard for me to separate Etch from the Revs, and vice-versa. I think I haven’t worked long enough in one place as a photojournalist to have developed a distant- or vast-enough perspective of time and the changes it brings. Sometimes, when I look back on my body of work, I’m surprised by how much I’ve covered and how much of it I’d forgotten about until reviewing it. Then I remind myself that I’ve been working professionally for just over a year and generally for barely six years — and that’s really just a drop in the bucket, in the grand scheme of things.
So maybe someday, in a few years or 20, I’ll forget that Etch was here when I first started working in York, at least until I review my work again. In the meantime, I can hardly imagine next season without his presence on the field, but I’ll find out soon enough what that’s like. Soon enough in the grand scheme of things, that is.
(Be sure to check out some more photos from Etch’s last game.)
Shot my second Penn State game of the season yesterday. It’s also now exactly a year to the day that I got knocked over by two high school football players, couldn’t walk for about 10 minutes and suffered an impact fracture at the top of my tibia — all of which is relevant because shooting football even a year later can be a little painful.
But it was one of my better games to shoot. Take that, knee.
It also rained a bit. Nothing dramatic — just a steady drizzle — so when the sun came out and finally created enough contrast for the water droplets to show up in-camera, I seized it:
I guess I’d be angry, too, if I were getting tackled:
It’s almost ballet-like, the way it seems as if Rumer is lifting Zordich. Almost:
And finally, a “whaaa–?” moment from QB1 and coach:
Be sure to check out more photos on the YDR website!
The last time I shot Navy football, I was pretty frustrated. Not because the Midshipmen defeated the Missouri Tigers in the Texas Bowl, but because their triple-option offense utterly confused me and had me falling for more than a few fake plays.
The last time I shot Penn State football was the first game without Joe Paterno. The second-to-last time I shoot Penn State football was Joe Paterno’s last game — a victory that got him the title of the winningest Division I football coach. And all that was stripped when the NCAA vacated all the Nittany Lions’ wins since 1998.
Which made yesterday’s victory over Navy Penn State’s first victory since 1997 — and Bill O’Brien’s first win as head coach.
A lot has happened since the first time I stepped inside Beaver Stadium. But, as I walked onto the sidelines yesterday, all I could think about was how not to fall for more fake plays in the Midshipmen’s offense.
I think I did reasonably okay. You can check out all the (action) photos on YDR’s website, but here’re a few of my favorites:
On an unrelated note: Armed with editor Brad’s iPad, I was able to tweet out a few photos — from my DSLRs — during the game. The signal was pretty shaky at times, but it was a neat exercise in being actually digital-first. Editor Eileen had reassured me before the game that tweeting wasn’t my priority and, if it felt overwhelming, that I could just put it aside. But I had a lot of fun with it (at least, when the signal worked), didn’t let it get in my way and got some good feedback from Twitter as well as fellow photographers on the sidelines.
Would I do it again? Absolutely.
The first time I ever shot boxing was also the first time the main-event, hometown favorite lost as a professional.
Fortunately for me, I got to test out vantage points and shoot several amateur and pro matches before Carney “Beeper” Bowman took the ring. The Valencia Ballroom — where high schools host their proms and older societies hold their formal events — seemed like a strange boxing venue, but I did my best to have fun with it.
Check out Jim’s article, which sums up and reports Bowman’s first professional loss much better than I ever could, and which includes a few other photos as well.
I’m pretty sure every fall sport had a scrimmage this past weekend, and begins this full season this week. So last week, my editor sent me hunting down some practices between assignments. Here’s what I found:
Maybe it’s because it’s been so terribly long since I’ve been in school, but this summer really flew by. It feels like I just shot West York’s baseball championship game a few weeks ago, and I can’t believe we’re on the brink of football season. Suffice it to say, I’m keeping a bottle of Alleve in my camera bag… and will do my best to avoid further football injuries this year.