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Helping hands appreciated

Thursday, we released our 56-page football preview section, and this year's theme was all about service.

We did a series of stories – one from each area football team, to be exact – about people who go above and beyond the call of duty to support their programs.

This allowed us to tell the stories of people that probably otherwise would never have received much recognition – not that recognition is why any of them do it.

We also did a photo spread spotlighting players who take the time to give back to their communities.

I liked how well both features turned out so much that I'd love to keep the theme going the rest of the year.

Football certainly isn't the only sport where people in the community put in time and effort to make the experience better for the athletes. I'd love to hear about some of these people.

I am also sure that there are tennis players, swimmers, volleyball players, and soccer players that do some cool charity within the community. If you know of one, feel free to send me a note.

I'd love to do a couple stories each month about people and athletes giving back to the communities. I'm inspired to call this the school year of helping.

And if you didn't just notice, that's me asking for help.

I try not to fall into the stereotypical sitcom male role of never being able to ask for help, and this is one of those cases where I don't have any qualms for a little direction.

In fact, to do this job right, you have to ask for help all the time.

One way is by the box you'll find on the bottom of page B8. It gives area coaches our contact information to submit results.

While we keep stats for games we cover, there are about 70 fall sports teams participating in the Sauk Valley. That leaves dozens of events almost every day that we can't get to.

That means we have to ask for help from coaches to provide results in the most convenient way for them.

If you are a coach wondering how to submit results, take a look at B8, or drop me a line.

I am also hoping that we can improve our coverage of local athletes that are now competing at colleges across the country.

In order to do that, we need more eyes than we have. My hope is to run a weekly roundup of various accomplishments and performances of those athletes.

If you hear something, or find a link to a game report, send it along to me, and we'll try to get it in.

So, I hope to hear from you, and in case I forget, thanks for the help.

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