Christmas and hoops in downtown Juneau

Posted: Friday, December 25, 2009

If there's one thing that goes with the holidays almost as well as family, friends, presents and egg nog, it's basketball.

And lots of it, please.

The 19th Annual Capital City Classic tips off Sunday with a shooting contest between this year's participants, which includes prep hoopsters - boys and girls - from JDHS, Palmer, Service, East Anchorage and Wrangell.

The games begin Monday and run through Wednesday (see B2 for a full schedule).

I'm looking forward to getting my first real look at the Crimson Bear boys' team, which has struggled early on and is happy to be back in Juneau with a chance to play in front of the home faithful.

I also wanted to take a second to dispel any notions of favoritism shown toward Thunder Mountain sports thus far.

It is, quite simply, not true.

No one in this sports department is from here or has a dog in this fight, so there's no reason for us to feature one school over the other.

People need to understand that everything that happens with TMHS sports this year is a first, so it should be noted and celebrated as such.

Feature stories on individual athletes have heavily been in favor of the Bears' boys and girls, and it likely will remain that way the rest of this year as the Falcons are just now beginning to lay the foundation for their program's future.

Their identities and legacies on the playing fields have yet to be established.

Recent game stories have reflected on the only teams playing games over the last two weeks - JDHS hockey and Thunder Mountain basketball.

Now that the Bears are playing, they'll have an equal amount of game stories. Frankly, there are only so many stories you can write about teams that aren't even playing yet.

I've heard complaints about Thunder Mountain coaches having stories featuring them, but not for JDHS.

The stories were done to introduce the people leading your kids' programs, not to spotlight one school over the other. Many JDHS coaches are household names already, whereas the Falcons have many first-time, fledgling coaches.

And most of these new coaches are former Crimson Bears in some fashion or another, so in essence, the stories are still about both schools.

Let me just say, whenever any of the two schools gets a new coach, they will be introduced to each and everyone in the community through our pages. It's a standard practice that will continue.

Is everyone going to be happy all the time? Hah! Not hardly.

At my last job in Virginia, we covered eight local high schools.

Rarely did a day go by when someone somewhere didn't feel like their school was being slighted.

The school in the same city limits as the paper itself felt like they should get all the attention, the school in the other city felt like the red-headed stepchild because it had a different zip code, and all the county schools felt like they were just too small for us to show any real love to them.

Each one of those feelings went against everything we prided ourselves on being - fair to each school.

I said this when I first got here and these words will remain true long after I'm gone: We will cover each school fairly, and that is my promise.

• You can reach sports editor Shaun T. Cox at 523-2228, or at shaun.cox@juneauempire.com



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