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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: A Soccer Classic Blog

Diary of a Mad Sportswriter

Stan Hudy is a sportswriter for The Saratogian and Community News. He covers high school and youth sports in the Saratoga County area as well as writing a weekly book review on sports books. He's not just a "stick and ball" sportswriter, he's willing to take on any sport as well as any subject.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

A Soccer Classic Blog

Friday afternoon not only kicked off the 31st annual Rose & Kiernan/Clifton Park International Soccer Classic, but also brought forward one of the more ambitious projects by The Saratogian and Community News newspaper staffs for this weekend's events.

On Friday afternoon, 30,000 copies of the Community News went out with a 4-page sports section (wrap) giving readers a heads-up of what was going to happen on Clifton Common this weekend and a view of the 32 local Clifton Park teams competing. That same section will hit the news stands Saturday morning for another 10,000 readers and we'll have them available at the Clifton Common.

After it hits the local mail boxes, porches and news stands our work is not done as for the first time in Clifton Park Soccer Classic history, scores will be updated live via this blog.

I have had the privilege of covering the annual event for the past 10 years as a writer for our newspapers, especially our weekly newspaper, the Community News devoted to Southern Saratoga County. It is an annual labor of love.

While tournament chair Helmut Gerstenberger has the support of more than 1,000 parental volunteers as well as those 25 key, returning veterans, this year's project was done with far less.

A big thanks to my newest publisher, Frank McGivern who was happy to once again become the tournament's print partner and to my sports editor, Brien Bouyea, who is on vacation and didn't blow a gasket when I sat in on a meeting two months ago to pitch this year's coverage.

Kudos to our advertising staff, Dave and Stephanie who brought along several advertisers to support this year's four-page special section in both publications. Without thier help and the support of their advertisers, it may not have gotten off the ground, so please remember those people at the bottom of our newspapers this weekend.

Some people have guardian angels and my managing editor, Barbara Lombardo has been mine for the past 10 years. She reeled in my plans, added some key points and still supported my idea even though she will always bleed Blue Streak blue compared to my Shen green blood.

Thanks to P.G. also known as Paul Gangarossa, copy editor extraordinaire who put the final pieces together after Barb almost went blind laying out the schedule and team pages in our section.

Thanks to Ian Pickus, probably the most talented writer in the room at The Saratogian Newspaper who dodged lightning Friday night to cover the NYCBL All-Star game in my absence and has the next two games covered. Go Phils!

A big shout out to Carl Aery and the gang in our composing room. Carl helped recreate the soccer map which has been a photocopy for the past 10 years. Thanks for the staff for laughing at my jokes and listening to me complain as well as talking to myself as I stared at a photo monitor.

Like everything for the past 21 years, I couldn't do this without my wife, Dr. Reda Garrett-Hudy, who will updating the scores on the blog as they come in from the fields. I'm very fortunate to have someone who loves sports and has a passion about the community I serve as much as I do.

Her love and support isn't free, but it's pretty close. So far it's only cost me some ice cream at Friendly's Friday night, but her demands may increase as the weekend and I wear on her. Whatever it is, it's not enough.

So come take a look at the scores, come out to Clifton Common or visit our web-sites to follow some of the names and faces from the 31st Annual Rose & Kiernan/Clifton Park Soccer International Soccer Classic.

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