Dear faithful News Advertiser sports section readers:
It’s been an absolute pleasure to serve you all for the last year-plus. To be a source for your daily news is something I never take for granted, and to have got to this point makes me feel not only incredibly fortunate, but also very lucky.
However, our industry has been shell-shocked over the last few days by the COVID-19 pandemic. This shaking to our core has made a tidal wave that will extend across the country, and world, for the coming weeks and potentially months.
To put this in sports terms, we’ve been benched. Put on injury reserve. Demoted, for the time being.
The decision did not come by our own discretion. As many readers know, the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union and the Iowa High School Athletic Union followed the orders of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ and suspended action for four weeks, as many schools had done a day prior, with a potential opportunity to come back in mid-April.
The suspended action means no practices, events, or any team-related action is permitted. From Corning to Mount Ayr, and everything in between, hundreds of athletes are home for the spring and out of action right now.
As an entity that not only revolves our daily lives around sports and what’s going on, the trio of Brennen Normand, Larry Peterson and I are devastated. There’s been anger, sadness and so many questions. A sports reporter, with no sports? What does this make of us now?
However, for the next few weeks our sports section will reduce to a once a week issue, starting with this one. A decision I feared would come eventually by force has come by choice, in order to keep our news cycle full and fresh.
The sports department will publish a sports section every Wednesday, similar to our sister paper the Osceola Sentinel Tribune, and will start rolling out projects on our local athletes.
Just because sports stops, it doesn’t mean we do. We’re still working every day, monitoring the situation and hoping we can get back out on the sidelines with you all.
Our daily news will be moved to our website (www.crestonnews.com), with select information coming in our restructured weekly issues. This has been seen by our coverage of the athletic unions suspending action, along with the NJCAA canceling the spring sports season, both of which were broke by us as news unfolded with a story in the next print issue.
For our fellow news writers, the restructured schedule of publishing will not happen. Instead, they’ll work a dedicated schedule to bring you information in print every week day. You can count on them to keep you updated and you may see us sports guys mixed in as we help them manage the next few weeks.
But, as this unfolds and information changes every hour, we urge you to consider a subscription for online to stay in the loop on local news. This information can be important to your health, and will provide details that could keep you from spreading illness or contracting it.
The online yearly subscription costs $126 for one year. We also offer your first month for 99 cents before the rate changes to $13 per month.
I urge you to stick with us in this difficult time. This is unprecedented waters for writers, young and old, and we are going into this with as much uncertainty as you are.
For sports, we will be back at full strength and better than ever soon. I promise to you this is not a permanent decision.