Keeping your hands full
The weeks have flown by this month at work because of two things – local basketball and an annual special edition known as Progress that will be released Feb. 28 in our Sunday paper.
I thought football season would the most difficult sport to cover but basketball season has proven to be a bigger challenge thanks to the sheer number of games and teams.
This county had three teams win area championships this season and two advanced to the Northwest Regional tournament at Hanceville.
There are also two thriving youth basketball leagues through the Russellville City Parks and Recreation department and the Franklin County Youth Basketball Organization, which will hold its county tournament at Tharptown Feb. 28-March 1.
This Wednesday I drove to Hanceville to cover Red Bay and Russellville, and I figured the day would be Progress-free.
But after the games I stopped to pick up some food and one of the people I photographed for a Progress feature recognized me and asked when his picture would appear in the paper. It continually amazes me how much people enjoy "being in the paper."
The towns and communities in Franklin County are overflowing with interesting people, and I think this edition allows us to tell more of these stories since it can be hard to fit everything into a tri-weekly paper.
I want to send a special thank you to Ms. Claudia Askew, assistant principal at Russellville Elementary, for navigating me through 20 third and fourth-grade class pictures in only an hour, and to RES fourth-grade teacher Stacy Akins for helping me track down some missing class rosters.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who donated their time to be interviewed and photographed for Progress stories and all the schools that allowed me to invade their classrooms and campuses for class pictures.
I'm accustomed to adults turning down stories just because they would rather not have their picture in the paper, but I quickly realized while taking snapshots at the Tharptown playground that kids absolutely love having their picture taken – repeatedly.
I hope you like reading Progress as much as I have enjoyed helping to produce it.