Today marks the release of our annual high school football preview issue — “Kickoff 2012” — and what we like to consider the first official day of the new season. If you are an avid reader of the paper, you may notice that the 92-page special section has gone through a number of changes.
The most notable change is the glossy, magazine-style cover, and the fact the entire issue has been printed in color.
We on the sports staff hope you have as much fun reading the feature stories, team outlooks and region previews as much as we had putting it all together.
But the different look of the football preview section is just the beginning of changes for our high school football coverage for this season.
This summer, the MDJ began a working partnership with Atlanta’s Fox 5. What that means for the football season is we will have the ability to utilize the expertise of Fox 5 sports anchor Ken Rodriguez, a longtime Cobb County resident and graduate of McEachern High School.
Ken will help us by co-hosting our Cobb Football Friday mid-week preview webcast, and he will become the newest member of the Lucky 7, the MDJ’s weekly tradition of predicting all of the upcoming weekend’s football games.
And, thanks to the Fox 5 staff, we will no longer be producing the “Cobb Football Friday” weekend highlight webcast in its traditional form. Instead, Ken will be putting together a Cobb-specific highlight reel of a few of the best games from Friday nights that you will only be able to find on our websites —
CobbFootballFriday.com and MDJonline.com.
Speaking of CobbFootballFriday.com, by the time the season kicks off, we will have unveiled a new and improved — and more user-friendly — website that will be better designed.
For the sixth year in a row, we will be printing “Cobb Football Friday,” our weekly preview section. It will continue to be the place for stats, standings, rankings and schedules, as well as feature stories and previews for all of that week’s games, but it will have a fresher, more up-to-date look.
And, for the first time, the stories — along with the Lucky 7 and the Cobb Power Poll that ranks the top 10 teams in the county — will be made available online.
We take great pride in trying to cover every game each week, and we want to offer the best coverage possible. To do that this year, we are making a small change to the way we present the results.
We will no longer be running yardsticks, the statistical breakdowns of each game, in Saturday’s paper. The yardsticks will now become the centerpiece of a new dedicated high school football page every Sunday.
That page will also include features like the “Cobb Football Friday” players of the week, Friday Night highlights, statistical leaders from the week’s games, a first look at the following week’s schedule and the announcement of the “Cobb Football Friday” Game of the Week.
As always, you can continue following all the Cobb County high school football action through the “Cobb Football Friday” Facebook page, and if you are at the game, you can still keep up with all the scores from around the county by following us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cobbfballfri.
We hope you enjoy this year’s changes, along with today’s release of “Kickoff 2012.” We would also love to hear what you think about it, so send us an email at email@example.com.
And we’ll see you Friday — or Saturday if the Corky Kell Classic is your team’s opener — at the game.