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Jason Schmitt is the editor of, the high school sports website for The Oakland Press. He has served as the sports editor for a number of newspapers, including the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak and the Macomb Daily in Mount Clemens. In his time in the industry, he has covered every high school sport and has served a a beat writer for boys and girls soccer, boys and girls tennis, hockey, wrestling, bowling and cross country.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Unfair criticism at Clarkston?

As a journalist, our job is to be objective. We keep our opinions to ourselves and state the facts and back them up with commentary from our sources.
There are situations where all the facts do not come out in a story, where due to requests from our sources (generally off the record comments), we write around them. This happens in journalism. It's the reality of our business.
Last night we had a breaking story from Clarkston, where athletic director Dan Fife informed The Oakland Press that the school's football team would be forfeiting their wins in the first two weeks of the season. The reason was that an academically ineligible player had participated in the victories over Rochester Adams and West Bloomfield.
The player had attended summer classes and had completed his obligation to be re-instated onto the team. All he needed to do was submit some paperwork to finish the process. Somewhere, somehow, that paperwork did not get into the proper hands before the team played its first two games. Thus, an academic violation had occurred. It was an honest mistake by all accounts.
The school, including Fife, followed the proper procedures and the result was that the team would have to forfeit their season-opening victories over the Highlanders and Lakers. As hard as it is to accept the punishment, basically a self-imposed one, for the mix-up, I applaud Fife, coach Kurt Richardson and the school for doing the right thing.
So many other schools would have taken the easy route and claimed ignorance or swept it under the rug to maintain a 3-0 record and an inevitable spot in the state playoffs. Clarkston did not.
But already people are commenting on message boards and Facebook walls that the Wolves cheated. It's unfortunate because the proper steps were taken, but a mistake was made. The school fessed up to it and took its medicine.
Everyone is entitled to their opinions. And we love them here at The Oakland Press and I just figured I'd offer up mine. Clarkston did the right thing and, although it's a hard pill to swallow at the moment, the kids will ultimately learn a lot from this situation. And it's quite possible they'll learn it sooner rather than later. And that might spell trouble for the Wolves' opponents the rest of the year.

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Football Game of the Week

We're entering Week 3 of the football season, and The Oakland Press sports crew, along with Woodward One Media, will be out at Walled Lake Central High School tonight to broadcast the Vikings' game against cross-town rival Walled Lake Northern.
If you haven't seen one of our broadcasts, you have to check it out. Staff members Ross Maghielse and Keith Dunlap will call the game as Woodward One CEO Dave Scott and his crew (including producer Rich Miller) do a wonderful job with all the technology needed to put out a high quality product.
To listen (live at 7 p.m.) and view this week's game, click HERE.
Click the following links to view Week 1's game between Lake Orion and Oxford, and our Week 2 matchup between Farmington Hills Harrison and Southfield.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

An oversight on my part

As much as it grinds me to make a mistake, or an oversight in this instance, at least this blog offers me a chance to try and make amend for something I missed while putting together my 2011 Boys Tennis Preview.
I take great pride in attempting to rank the best teams and players in the county. I speak to a number of coaches, research previous-year's results and accolades and even try to go out to preseason practices or early-season matches to gauge the talent. As difficult as it is to rank the singles players, trying to configure a Top 5 list of the best doubles teams is equally difficult.
In piecing together my five best teams this season, I left out the pair of Matt Kuntzman and Kento Mizusaki of Troy. The senior duo return after an outstanding 2010 season which saw them put together a 22-9 record and an appearance on the first-team all-state squad. Watch for them to do some big things in the Oakland Activities Association Red division this year and perhaps make a deep run in the Division 1 state tournament.
And for the record, I'm predicting big things for Oakland County teams in 2011. As I stated in my brief appearance talking tennis in the latest MIPrepZone Weekly (allow video to buffer and forward to 5:33 remaining in the show), I think we're going to see Novi Detroit Catholic Central and Birmingham Brother Rice battle it out for a state title in Division 1, and Birmingham Detroit Country Day and Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood once again finish 1-2 in Division 3.
Check back here for more tennis talk throughout the season, and if you have a comment about this or any other blog post, please don't hesitate to leave one. You can follow me on Twitter @jasoneschmitt or better yet, @MIPrepZone, where I often post about all of our fall sports.