Column: Finding a silver lining

Published 6:40 am Sunday, August 8, 2021

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ACCS girls soccer head coach Pam Weatherly was one of the first people I met when I moved here. Additionally, she reminded me of something very crucial, to be positive in reporting.

Writing stories is important because it hopefully informs, educates and entertains the reader. In a constantly negative world, there is such a great temptation to focus on the negative news.

Negative reporting, for the most part, does no good for anyone involved. There is usually some aspect in a story or game that offers a silver lining. Perhaps it’s because of all the years I spent as an Arkansas fan or a Mississippi State student, but I will try and find the silver lining.

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Last baseball season, Cathedral was on a 10 or so game losing streak when contributor Bill Barksdale noticed something unique. The Green Wave had a rally monster to spark a win and get rid of whatever bad juju plagued them.

When he submitted his story, I asked him to send a photo of the monster and I ran it at the top of our sports page. This opened up a talking point with players after a few more losses, and it seemed to give hope to Cathedral’s team before they eventually snapped the losing streak.

Sometimes there are moments where the negative is the story and sadly it’s what a reporter has to write. There is no worse feeling quite like when you have to talk to a coach after a loss.

If it were up to me, every team I covered would win their game so interviews could go better. Unfortunately, sports do not work like that.

There are occasionally moral victories, a game where a team loses but plays above expectation. This would be when Cathedral lost to Hartfield Academy in the soccer playoffs by one goal.

Sometimes a coach is so frustrated with a loss they choose to speak to their team through the paper. Defeats happen as will victories. Sports writing is about capturing the highs and the lows of a season, team and even games.

Coach Weatherly was right, positive storytelling is needed and it is what I strive to do, but every once in a while a negative story happens, as much as I hate writing them.