Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I know you Washington

I have never braved scaffolding while covering a high school football game.

But that doesn't mean this blog -- which will soon be up and running at full capacity -- will change.

Hi, there. This is Jason Mackey, the high school sports reporter hired to replace Mike Kovak, who left this joint with a tale about his near-death experience at Beth-Center.

While Mike and I are friends and share a lot of the same views of how high school sports should be covered -- the focus on the athletes, coaches and people involved, not me -- I can't say I have anything to rival the yarn he spun on his way out the door.

We do, however, share the same taste in music, which is reflected in this Grateful Dead song title. (I Know You Rider, more often than not coupled with China Cat Sunflower.)

Kovak set the bar high. He wrote a lot. Reported even more. And he was universally respected by coaches, readers and fellow journalists. I realize replacing him will be a monumental task, but I'm both confident I can do it and excited for the opportunity.

I come to you via the Tribune-Review and Washington Post. At both papers I carved out an interesting niche: essentially a full-time freelancer, someone who was not a staffer, yet worked every bit as much as one.

It's good to finally have a place to call home. (Your suggestions on cool things to do around the area ... always welcome.)

I started at the Observer-Reporter on July 23 and have loved every minute of it. The people are great. The coverage area has proven to be even better -- even though I haven't been able to get one of those white roadside boxes that say "Observer-Reporter" on them. Can't wait to kick it into full gear with the start of the fall sports season.

Some of what you can expect in this space goes like this:

My own views, though I'm not one to criticize high school kids -- only promote them. Of course, those who make high school sports more complicated than they need to be? (There are plenty, believe me.) Fair game, in my opinion.

Mike did an excellent job of keeping this blog updated, and that's something I will continue; regularity, as those reading this can attest, is essential for any successful blog.

Nuggets that I pick up on the reporting trail will land here. Same with predictions, reflections and things to watch during upcoming events. Hopefully breaking news -- hint, hint coaches and ADs, I can be contacted at 412-400-1391 or -- will become a part of the routine, too.

One thing I'm particular excited for is the start of football camp. To travel to various schools much like Mike did for Camp Kovak. I don't want to be completely unoriginal -- you'll notice the blog name hasn't changed -- and keep this as Camp Mackey, so we'll make it our own personal Oklahoma drill to think of something different.

So with that, let's start the climb.

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