Why doesn’t Sandite Pride cover Debate, Academic Competition, Theater, Band, etc. like we do with sports? Don’t we care about all Sandites? Don’t all our hardworking kids deserve recognition?
I would hope it goes without saying that of course we do care, but from the outside looking in I can see why it might not seem that way. Unfortunately we only have one full time writer and there’s just not enough hours in the day at this time. Sports are a lot easier to cover for a number of reasons.
The baseball and softball teams, for example, use an app for scoring the games that automatically uploads all of the stats online where I can access them. Cross Country and Track results are also posted online. While I try to attend as many games as possible, it’s a great convenience to be able to cover those sports remotely.
With wrestling, most tournaments are also scored online. And the duals are easy to get information on when I can’t attend because 100% of wrestling stats are scoring stats that go in the book. I have a good relationship with the wrestling coaches and can easily get information when I’m unable to attend events.
Football is only ten to thirteen games a year, so that’s easy to cover. I have also been appreciative of the volleyball coaches and basketball booster club for helping to provide results for those sports.
Fine Arts and some sports have been neglected simply due to accessibility and time constraints. For example, while the school provides an app/website with sports schedules, rosters, etc., the debate and academic comp schedules aren’t even available on the school website. Some coaches, current and past, have been difficult to communicate with.
If the coaches of the underrepresented programs were to reach out or email us info, they would most certainly get coverage. But with my 80-100 hour work weeks, I just don’t have the extra time to be attending more events or emailing/calling people to track down info and expand our coverage.
In the almost three years since Sandite Pride incorporated, it has become self sufficient, but not yet profitable enough to be able to hire a second full time writer. Our team recently decreased from four to three. One accountant, one writer, and one part time writer, whose day job has increasingly conflicted with his ability to assist in local coverage. Notice what our team is lacking: a sales person, and an assistant.
As the only full time employee, I do 95% of the writing. I attend sporting events every Tuesday and Thursday, and most weekends. I’m at Board of Education meetings, City Council meetings, public forums, community events, ribbon cuttings, etc. I have business meetings to attend, I’m constantly driving hours away to road games, and in all of that mess I also have to find enough advertising to keep the bills paid.
In light of all of that, I hope you can understand why we don’t cover everything I would like to. In a perfect world, I would have multiple full time writers working together to make sure nothing goes without coverage.
Take a look at our Wrestling homepage, and the tremendous amount of time and energy that went into compiling that information. That level of care and dedication is what I want to bring to everything in Sand Springs.
I would love to have easily accessible databases on hand for every sport, as well as debate, academic competition, theater, band, national merit scholars, and more. If I had it my way, you could type in the name of anyone who ever lived in Sand Springs and find every single life accomplishment.
But I’m only one man. I’m 24, this is my first business, and I ran it like most people run businesses, we wouldn’t be providing half the coverage that we are. The fact is, it’s a passion project, not a get-rich scheme, and I can guarantee nobody else would put half as much time and effort into it.
Any time someone from the community can send us information, photos, etc. it is greatly appreciated. Sandite Pride is very much a grassroots response to a community need, and we need the community’s help to reach our goals.
Unlike other organizations, we aren’t backed by out of state billionaires with infinite resources at our disposal. We don’t have a downtown skyscraper with dozens of writers and photographers shooting on $2000 cameras. I’m just a kid with a personal laptop and a cheap camera trying to make a difference.
So if you think there’s something we could be doing better, please help us. If you’re attending events that we’re not at, take down some notes, snap a picture, and send it all our way! Try your hand at writing if that’s something you’re interested in.
And most importantly, if you own a business or know someone who does, encourage them to advertise with us so we can expand our team and bring even more recognition to the great people who make this town what it is.