Football is back

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Some holidays have a way of sneaking up on us.

Not Labor Day.

Two reliable reminders of summer’s unofficial last weekend are a spike in gasoline prices n a whopping 13 cents between the time I went to bed Wednesday night and when I awoke Thursday n and the return of high school football season.

The latter means some late and long Friday nights here at the newspaper, where we will hold the press as late as necessary to provide game coverage in our weekend edition. After several years of either not covering games at all or making readers wait nearly a week to read about their favorite team’s outcome, we recommitted ourselves last fall to covering the action on cycle and giving our readers next-morning stories and photographs.

The response was overwhelmingly positive, and area fans have told us they are clamoring for more.

A special pullout section in Friday’s edition previewed the season, which got into full swing this weekend.

A new tool —, a Web site we launched in the spring — will allow us to be even timelier with game coverage this year. As soon as we put the last page of our weekend print edition on the press, we will post game results to the Web site — usually by 1 a.m. Diehard fans and night owls who are up that late can get game results then; early birds will have the scores waiting on them the next morning.

What you’ll see on the Web site will be a synopsis of the prior night’s games; for the full scoop, you’ll still want to read the print edition, which will contain more in-depth coverage.

Delivery may be a bit — but not much — later on Saturday mornings, due to the later press run. The other change readers will notice is the return of the Life section, including the Celebrations page, to Friday’s edition in order to make room for the Sports section in the weekend edition.

On the plus side, the Celebrations page, where we feature wedding and engagement announcements, now will be printed in full color, thanks to a recent expansion of our printing press. I’ll write more about the press expansion — and its positive impact — in a future column.

Meantime, we wish our readers a happy and safe Labor Day.

Steve Stewart is publisher of The Tidewater News. His enmail address is .