Our “Faces” photo series seems to have become one of the most anticipated elements of any given school year.
As a prelude to fall, winter and spring school sports (as well as last school year ‘s “summer” sports), athletes from across our coverage area come to The Champaign office. News-Gazette to represent their team and their school.
It’s like yesterday we were having our first (and hopefully the only) Faces of Summer photoshoot for baseball, softball, women’s football, track and field and men’s tennis in April.
But it’s definitely time for the last Faces of Fall shoot.
On Saturday we invited hundreds of athletes from football, volleyball, men’s soccer, golf, cross-country skiing, women’s tennis and women’s swimming and diving to show their school spirit from this event. unique way.
And the descriptor “hundreds” is not an exaggeration. As of this writing this Friday morning, I had 221 athletes signed up to attend the photoshoot. And these are kids whose coaches told me they would be there.
The filming of Faces of Fall is by far our most important undertaking of the school year. There are technically up to nine teams per school – counting boys ‘golf, girls’ golf, boys ‘cross country and girls’ cross country as separate teams. We allow two athletes per team for this event, selected by their coaches, which means some schools may have up to 18 children representing their brand. Again, we leave it up to each school to choose who they want to send to this event and do not select which athletes participate.
Photo editor Robin Scholz is up between 10 a.m. and noon, then 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. as high school athletes crowd our building. You will be able to see the fantastic results of his efforts in our pages over the next few months and at news-gazette.com in a few weeks.
We’re also bringing Ed Bond’s services back to record radio promotional material with a few selected kids. You can hear their voices during commercials on WDWS 1400-AM and WHMS 97.5-FM as they tout upcoming Illinois football games and more.
For those worried about an event of this magnitude as COVID-19 cases rise again: we continue to stagger the arrival and entry of athletes into our building by school, with each school assigned a specific time. The last thing we want to do is be the reason a team is having trouble with COVID-19, and we’ve tried to reflect that in our “Faces” photoshoots since the start of the pandemic.
Colin Likas covers Illinois football and high school sports at The News-Gazette. He can be contacted at [email protected], or on Twitter at @clikasNG.