Well, somehow, someway, we pulled it off again.
After nearly a month of hounding coaches and athletes, and quite a few stress-filled nights in front of a computer monitor, I'm happy to say the 2012 fall edition of The Fan is complete and inserted into your copy of The Daily Freeman-Journal today.
I'm not going to lie to you, it's not easy. Scheduling has never been my forte, so keeping a running record of what has been done and what still needs to be done doesn't fall into my wheelhouse. By the second week of August every year I'm pulling out what little hair I have left while I contemplate if I got the photos I needed for the Webster City football spread, or if I have to - gulp! - make the phone call to coach Bob Howard to see if I can get a few more minutes in front of his team.
Cover Photo: The Fan
But it always seems to come together, and for that I am grateful to everyone involved.
To the coaches, I know I can be a pain. Constantly calling, constantly requesting things that you're not comfortable with. When I hear silence on the other end of the line after I pitch an idea, I know it's time to move on to Plan B. But for the most part, everyone is willing to put up with my antics, and I thank them.
To the athletes, you are the cornerstone of this operation. Without you, The Fan would not exist. Sometimes I ask crazy questions that I'm sure leave you wondering if I've lost my mind, but you always seem to come up with the answers. I hope you enjoyed the experiences as much as I have.
Inside The Fan, you'll find 44 pages of photos, interviews, and preview articles - all in color - on all of the area football, volleyball and cross country programs.
The returning starters on the Webster City volleyball team were chosen for the cover, and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. The five girls - Tiffany Constable, Bridget Moriarty, Kaylee Schnathorst, Morgan Gourley and Kaitlyn Kehoe - were great to work with to get the photos I needed, and I hope it's a keepsake they'll be able to stick in a drawer somewhere and keep forever.
Choosing the Lynx volleyball program to feature was a no-brainer, in my opinion. A year ago, Webster City won its first North Central Conference championship in 25 years, and with the majority of its lineup returning the question had to be asked: Can the Lynx do it again?
It's going to be fun to watch.
But don't worry football and cross country fans, your teams weren't placed on the back burner. There's plenty of information - quite possibly even information overload - inside to keep busy.
I hope you enjoy flipping through it as much as I enjoyed putting it together (I can say that now that it's completed).