Students returned to campus this week, marking the beginning of classes; the inevitable all-student email from Matthew Biette after hundreds of students simultaneously converge on Proctor’s panini machines; and the myriad a cappella groups roaming the campus, removing bleary-eyed first-year vocalists from their beds.
For the sports section of The Campus, the new school year represents another chance to improve upon our coverage of Middlebury athletics, whose fall season has already kicked into gear. Because while many of us were enjoying the final weeks of our summer vacation, the fall varsity athletes were back on campus lacing up their cleats, dusting off their equipment and enduring the late August heat in the name of camaraderie. Some things are timeless.
While the culture of unity that draws us to athletic achievement is constant, individual teams, and their accomplishments and failures, are closely associated with specific, iconic years that carry special meaning for players and fans, alike. U.S. hockey fans have immortalized 1980; Mets faithful grimace at the mere thought of 1962, their pain rivaled only when Red Sox nation recalls 1986.
So now we have to ask ourselves: what does the year hold in store for Middlebury athletics? And how should we as journalists — and fans — best relay it to you?
While 2013-14 likely won’t evoke Bill Buckneresque despair — nor miracle on ice joy — from even the most diehard Panther fans, there will be moments — be it in the final seconds of a NESCAC championship game, or on the intramural fields, the result of a play drawn up on a Proctor napkin the night before — that will be forever remembered by the athletes on the field.
This year, we plan to write about both kinds of athletes. All kinds of athletes. In 2013-14 we, the sports section, plan to be far more intentional in our coverage of different forms of athletic achievement on campus. In the past, the sports section has had a mandate to cover every game of every varsity sport. Our decision to be wider-reaching in our coverage of student-athletes this year signifies not so much a break from that past coverage as an expansion. While it’s true that we might not be able to give play-by-play reports on every game, in their stead we will share stories of students whose achievements might otherwise go unrecognized.
Our transition is already underway: this issue features the story of three Middlebury cyclists who recently competed at the highest level of amateur racing. And we hope to bring you more nontraditional coverage in the future. But to do so, we need help from you, our readers. If you know someone who is performing or competing in an interesting or unexpected field, let us know. Submissions can be sent to [email protected], or to any member of the editorial board. We look forward to undergoing this transition with you, and hope that, as a result, we can better shape the way 2013-14 will be remembered.
-The Sports Editors