The Southerner

South football focus of Star Tribune

South players listen to coach at homecoming.  The Star Tribune's article will center on difficulties city teams face when competing with suburban schools.

Haley Deparde

South players listen to coach at homecoming. The Star Tribune's article will center on difficulties city teams face when competing with suburban schools.

Caroline Stevens and Louisa Lincoln, Opinions Editor and Managing Editor

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South’s football team has felt the spotlight so far this season following Vice President Joe Biden’s visit over the summer, and it’s looking like that streak will continue with the publication of a feature story in the Star Tribune based on our very own gallant tigers.

Jason Gonzalez, a sports reporter with the Star Tribune, said that he is currently working on a story regarding the challenges faced by athletic programs at inner-city public high schools like South and the difficulties of competing against large suburban schools such as Eden Prairie or Wayzata. He described the focus of the article as “an in-depth look at what it would take to be competitive and rebuild [a football] tradition,” something athletic director Mark Sanders is currently trying to do.

What started as a broad article suggestion about “what city schools have to do to be competitive with suburban schools,” as Gonzalez described it, has turned into a massive project with a special focus on the South football team that he has been working on for months now. “We are very invested in it,” he said.

Gonzalez started working on the article mid-summer, by attending leadership events and workshops held by the South High football program, and has continued to be a strong presence at other South football events, from practices to the homecoming game.

In addition, Gonzalez has been taking an ethnographic approach by being “a fly on the wall” to observe certain players that the story will specially focus on, including freshman Peyton Bowdry, sophomore Anthony Hockett, junior Jaylin Bynum and seniors Connor Bass and Kaleb Pritchard, along with coach Lenny Sedlock and Sanders. Gonzalez stated that this enables him to “get to know why they are the way they are” and how that is reflected in the team dynamic on and off the field. “I feel like I can learn a lot about who [they are] just from being around,” he said.

The story, which is due to be released October 23rd, will be in the print edition of the paper as well as feature exclusive content on the Star Tribune’s website, including three additional stories and videos from the season.

UPDATE: The story, video, and pictures by the Star Tribune can be found at this link http://www.mnfootballhub.com/news_article/show/186211?referrer_id=648058%23nodePicker-lb

 

 

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South football focus of Star Tribune