One sure sign that fall is winding down and winter is around the corner is the appearance of our first high school sports all-star series of the school year. We do three each academic year: fall, winter and spring.
Our two sports reporters, Jeremy Houghtaling and Justin Ritzel, spend hundreds of hours in the field and on the phone with coaches over the course of a sports season, and based on that work, they formulate all-star selections and a most-outstanding player choice for each sport. They then go about reporting and writing profiles of the top athletes, and gathering photos from the schools of all of the all-stars.
Another fun aspect of the project is setting up photo shoots with our talented photojournalist, Kevin Rivoli. It's neat to see the creative portraits that he comes up with for these features.
All-star selections are never easy, and they naturally lend themselves to debate and second-guessing. But I hope readers — including the athletes, coaches and parents involved in the covered sports — appreciate the effort that goes into these presentations.
The process is meticulous and time-consuming, but the end result is a terrific tribute to the many hard-working and talented student-athletes we're fortunate to cover in this area.
The all-star series got a bit of a late start this fall due to a certain football team. We always wait until all of the local teams are done competing before starting all-stars, and this year that meant going past Thanksgiving because the Skaneateles Lakers played in and won the state championship on Friday.
Following an awesome package put together by Justin and Kevin from that final game at the Carrier Dome, the all-stars kicked off on Sunday with the best in boys soccer.
The series runs daily, with each sport going first online at auburnpub.com the night before it appears in print. The final all-stars will be published in the print edition Tuesday.
If you've missed any of the teams or profiles, you can find them all at auburnpub.com. The easiest way is to click on the "sports" button at the top of the homepage and scroll through the headlines, although you can also search for a specific athlete's name or a specific school.
In addition, we always have our recent print editions available for purchase at the front desk of our downtown Auburn office. Whether it's to secure some extra copies of a child or grandchild's sports all-stars MVP profile or for any other keepsake edition, readers are always welcome to stop down.
Congrats to all the honorees, and thanks to Jeremy, Justin and Kevin for doing such great work on these.