2012 ATHLETES OF THE YEAR — BASKETBALL

27 03 2012

When Serra loss to Mitty in the CIF playoffs, the Daily Journal Winter Sports season officially came to a close. And for July!, it was time to get working on the Athletes of the Year package that I’ve been a part of regularly now for all my three years at the Daily Journal. Like I said before, some ideas work better than others. This time around was a disaster! I had several ideas floating around in my head, nothing I was absolutely in love with actually, but some that I thought might work. Come Sunday, I went into the office to do the heavy lifting after a couple weeks of planning — and it blew up in my face. Nothing worked, nothing fit, nothing really clicked or spoke to me. After pulling my hair out for a bit, this is what I came up with.

BOYS’ BASKETBALL — COLE McCONNELL  << story here

The original sketch we came up with with my boss, Nathan Mollat, looked nothing like this. We wanted to go vertical with the All-Daily Journal teams and run the feature art piece along four of our columns. But after tinkering with the previous ideas (which are now in the TRASH), I decided that since we were going with a full page spread with all five of these, that we should go BIG. I spread the photo across all five columns and tinkered with the typeface a bit. I wasn’t necessarily in love with the font, BUT with the DJ computers, it’s slim pickings and my laptop was at home and not at my office.

I have to say though, I picked up a copy of the newspaper this morning and, after going home 8-9 hours in the office last night not thrilled about what I had produced, I saw the finished result Monday morning on my Starbucks run and could not have been any happier. I thought it printed great. And if you’ve read July! at all, you know I tend to be pretty hard on myself. Here’s Tuesday’s version:

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL — DREW EDELMAN << story here

After Tuesday, they’ll be three more left. I’ll be writing the stories for those. Do we delve just a wee bit into our selections? Well, if you have a closer look, we ran the All-Daily Journal Basketball teams along with our Player of the Year story. It’s the first time since I’ve been @smdailyjournal that we’ve done this. For boys’ basketball, Cole came up strong at year’s end. At the end of the regular season, we were leaning towards El Camino’s Elijah White, who’s led a resurgence of sorts for the Colts. But El Camino’s stumble in the finals, and SHP’s success, spear-headed by Cole, in the playoffs, was huge for us. Cole helped SHP win CCS and make it all the way to the Nor Cal finals. That is no small feat. Plus, Cole had some of his biggest games in the postseason. The kid was very deserving. Making the All-DJ team are: White, Frankie Ferrari, Jalen Bitanga, Henry Caruso and Richard Harris.

For the Girls’, I can honestly say that Drew was on our radar since the beginning of the year. We were emailed Menlo’s box scores after every game, and after a while, it became a bit of  a running joke trying to guess her points and rebounds — which were usually teens and teens every single time. It was bonkers to see. Obviously, Drew had stiff competition, mainly from last year’s winner, Terilyn Moe of Terra Nova. But we felt, at the end of things, that without Drew, Menlo goes nowhere — especially given that they run a 7-girl rotation and have no big outside of Drew that can play well in the post. Terilyn is flanked by a couple of Division I guards — even without her, Terra Nova wins the PAL running away. Making the All-Daily Journal Team is: Moe, Kristin Lastofka, Ivonne Cook-Taylor, Balou Maitatoga, Jane Hafoka. 

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