January 28, 2010

Outdoor Corner

by Chris Feeney

Freezing rain and more snow… guess it goes without saying that I didn’t spend much time outdoors. In an effort to get a warm meal in the future at home, I think I’ll pick a new topic for pondering in the week’s edition.

Even with Mother Nature forcing school to be closed for three days last week, play went on at the North Shelby basketball tournament, where our Scotland County teams played on three different nights.

With Tuesday night being our publication date, the newspaper generally keeps me chained to my desk for that weekly deadline. Then I found myself at Blessing Hospital in Quincy, IL, on Thursday and Friday with a friend who is battling cancer. Needless to say when Saturday rolled around, I had plenty of work waiting for me back home. One of those tasks was trying to make it to at least one of the ball games to provide photos for the sports pages.

Fortunately for this wearied worker, fans of Scotland County sports have some awesome alternatives in place to help us keep up with the Tigers and Lady Tigers even when we are unable to travel to the ball games.

Donnie Middleton and KMEM radio have been filling that need for years. His Tuesday night broadcasts help make my deadline nights much more enjoyable.

Off course their coverage area is much larger than ours, so SCR-I isn’t always the featured game of the night.

Thanks to the Internet, we have a couple new options to help us maintain our top fan rankings with the local squads.

Scotland County R-I recently began live streaming-video feeds of home ball games via the school’s athletics website at www.gotigers.ihigh.com.

Fortunately for me, Donnie was at North Shelby all week long. I don’t know how that guy does it, but we sure appreciated being able to listen to the games on Tuesday and Saturday. I even caught some of Thursday’s girls game from my truck radio while in Quincy.

I combined Donnie’s audio with the ihigh.com streaming video broadcasts on Saturday while I was working here on my computer. North Shelby is hooked up with the national high school (hence the I High name) website service, so they were providing the live streaming video from their tournament games.

I was able to stay in the office and get some much needed work done, thanks to the aid of a third area sports information service.

Ken Mitchell has developed the website www.tristatefans.com offering coverage of high school sports teams from northeast Missouri, southeast Iowa and western Illinois. You’ve probably seen Ken at some of the SCR-I ball games snapping photos. He posts the pictures as well as sports news from across the region at the site, which also features opportunities for user feedback and chances to publish news and photos of your favorite teams.

All of these fancy new opportunities have spurred hopes of future growth for our own internet presence. The Memphis Democrat hopes to offer video clips from games on our website www.memphisdemocrat.com as well as expanded viewing options for the numerous sports photos in our archives that do not make it into the print pages of the Memphis Democrat.

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