Welcome to Juneau's new sports section

Posted: Monday, April 25, 2005

Tim Nichols

From the Sidelines

I hope this is the start of a new era in how sports are presented in Juneau.

This is a beautiful, scenic and stunning town. It's also a city I don't know much about.

I moved here from Newark, Del., three weeks ago and took over a sports department that oversees some of Alaska's finest athletes.

Through I'm still very new to the area, it didn't take me long to realize that things around here run a little differently than the rest of the nation. Instead of being parked on their couches, people in Juneau are playing basketball, softball, hockey, running, skiing, practicing yoga or doing something physical.

There also seems to be hundreds of different leagues for all kinds of sports and age groups.

These are the things Juneau residents are doing. Therefore, as your newspaper, your sports section should report on the activities important to you.

I want the pages you read everyday not just to be a recap of professional sports, but a megaphone for the community. Hopefully, in the next few weeks, people will use this section to discover what's going on locally and to tell others about the leagues and races local athletes are competing in.

But I need your help.

If your recreational softball league is drawing a crowd, keep them up to date by publishing the standings and results. If you just shaved two seconds off your personal best 5K time, tell me about it. If you're 80 and just happy you still have the strength to watch basketball, let everyone know.

This is your community. Let it know what's happening here.

With local pictures, games, stories, standings and features, I want this section to become Juneau's section.

Now this doesn't mean I'm going to forget about the Crimson Bears. The state championship banners alone demand that Juneau-Douglas High School receives the best coverage I can provide. Hopefully I'll be able to accurately report the Bears' games and relay the stories that emerge from a grueling season.

I also believe the sports section must evolve to meet your demands. True, Alaska is still wild and untamed, but it also has high-speed internet and 500-channel cable packages. Your sports pages must meet the need that ESPN left behind.

So I'm going to give you something different. Rather than print game stories of last night's Major League Baseball action, I'll print more opinions that are fun to read and in-depth features that go beyond the 6 p.m. highlights.

Most of all, I want this section to become interactive. With exclusive web content, including more pictures and sound-bites, I aim to enhance Juneau's sporting community and present the diversity and uniqueness of this town.

This can't be done alone, however. That's why I'm open to anything you have to offer.

If you have standings, game results, pictures or if you have a story you believe people should know about, give me a call at 586-3740, ext. 228, or e-mail me at sports@juneauempire.com.

I will be open to any idea you have and try to present it in a way so everyone in town knows about what's happening.

Whether it's youth sports, adult leagues, high school athletics, boxing, skiing, running, table tennis, rugby or competitive basket weaving, it doesn't matter -- If it's happening in Juneau, it'll be in the Empire.

Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at sports@juneauempire.com

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