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The Citizen's print edition presentation of 2017 high school football all-stars. The 2018 all-stars series for fall sports will be appearing soon in print and at

A couple of heavy snow events and below-average temperatures that have frequently dipped into the freezing range have made it feel a lot like winter already in the Cayuga County area, but the calendar says fall will still be around for a couple more weeks.

So as autumn 2018 winds down, our sports department has been busy getting the annual fall high school sports all-stars series prepared. The goal is to launch those features at the end of this week.

All-star packages are always some of the most popular local sports features we do every year. For each of the high school sports across the three athletic seasons of the school year — fall, winter and spring — sports reporters Justin Ritzel and Jeremy Houghtaling, along with photojournalist Kevin Rivoli, work to produce presentations that include a player of the year profile and portrait photo, along with the names and photos of the most accomplished student-athletes.

Each sport is different in terms of the number of athletes honored, but by the time the series has been completed over the course of roughly a week and a half, we will have honored well over 100 local sports participants.

The all-star packages can be seen in both the print edition and online at Our typical approach is to post a new feature in the early evening on the website, with the print version appearing in the following day's print editions.

College basketball package

Print edition readers may have noticed in recent months a number of specially designed national content packages in all of our sections: news, sports and lifestyles/features.

Some of them are put together to amplify an existing national story, such as special presentations related to the recent death of former President George H.W. Bush.

Others have been featured pages and half-pages that appear in regularly, like a weekly health package and a National Football League Sunday review page.

This week we debuted a new weekly content package in the sports section devoted to a sport that has extra popularity in our region: men's college basketball.

With the storied Syracuse University basketball program in our backyard, we've always tried to give our readers a healthy of dose of NCAA hoops coverage because Orange fans want to follow not only the local team, but also keep tabs on other top programs around the country and in Syracuse's conference.

The weekly NCAA page will be published on Wednesdays, and it will include content specific to the Atlantic Coast Conference. I think it will be an informative and engaging fixture for our many basketball-loving readers.

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