High school sports coverage has always interested me, because as a reporter you could be covering the next big story in collegiate or professional sports. I worked an internship with NYHoops.com (no longer active) back in 2010 and became familiar with the New York high school basketball scene, but also got acquainted with the New York Posts' high school sports staff.
The New York Post decided to stop their high school sports coverage last week, which is why I decided to see what the future was like for the Tampa Bay Times' section. I was very surprised by the layout and content. The site has a much newer and eye catching look than the professional sports section. There are a lot of photos and articles that not only provide game recaps of local high schools, but rankings and analysis.
There is a lot of interaction with the readers on social media with an active twitter page, many likes on Facebook, and live chats are hosted on the site weekly. For a small staff of writers, the coverage spans over a large community that cares a lot about its high school sports. Florida high school football may not be at the same level of Texas high school football, but it has become a source of talent for top NCAA football schools.
Recruiting is always an interesting part of the process transitioning from high school to college, which is why their section on recruiting is my favorite part of Home Team. There are timely updates and over time you get to track the changes in an athlete's selection process. With a lot of schools like Florida State, Alabama, and LSU getting their names on a recruit's list, you could be reading about a future star.
I've always been a fan of tracking a sport on all levels, whether it is track and field or basketball. Home Team by the Tampa Bay Times is setting an excellent example of what their professional sports page should look like and the type of content that sites across the nation should provide for their audience.