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Monday, Sept. 4, 2017: Hilton back runs for 346 yards, six touchdowns

   Leading off today: Max Chamberlain rushed for 346 yards and a school-record six touchdowns to lead Hilton to a 48-30 win over Horseheads in Kickoff Classic football Sunday at the Carrier Dome.

   The Cadets ran for 466 yards in the season-opener.

   In other games in Syracuse wrapping up the first weekend of the 2017 season:

    • Senior quarterback SirVocea Dennis passed for three touchdowns and ran for two as Syracuse CBA rolled to a 41-0 victory over Henninger.

   Dennis ran eight times for 151 yards. All three of his completions in six pass attempts went for scores.

    • Batavia junior Ray Leach carried 19 times for 256 yards in a 37-0 win over Johnson City. Leach scored on carries of 56 and 95 yards in the first half. Senior QB Chandler Baker went 9-for-15 for 193 yards and two touchdowns.

    • Port Byron/Union Springs, which played in the National Football Federation division for rebuilding programs a year ago, returned to Section 3 Class C with a 52-0 win over Phoenix.

   A change in direction: I understand the intent, but I worry about the potential consequences.

   That's my reaction just about every time I see a "to the readers" column from newspaper managers to announce changes in what will be covered and how it will be distributed.

   The latest to check in with an explanation along the lines was The Advance on Staten Island. long a stalwart in the metro New York media scene. Citing the ongoing evolution in reading habits, Brian Laline revealed that the daily high school scores report will more or less go away in favor of a focus on projects and the big events.

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   "Today's readers want to know more," he wrote. "With social media, finding game details is easy. Readers want to get inside the locker room, inside the thinking of the athlete. They want to get to know the individuals. They want to be told a story."

   All true (arguably with the exception of game details being readily available elsewhere) and understandable. It's reasonable that newspapers in the Internet no longer strive to continue the "paper of record" approach. Gains in online ad and subscription revenue haven't come close to keeping up with what's been lost on the print side of the operation since 2000 or so due to the Internet, resulting in substantial jobs cuts at most papers. Newsrooms that used to have more reporters and photographers than all the local TV stations combined now sometimes have smaller staffs than the leading TV outlet in town.

   And that's where it's become dicey. Though the announcement in The Advance didn't suggest a move in that direction, other papers have gone video-happy. It largely

  
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RoadToSyracuse.com football site





reflects a belief that advertisers prefer video content because their 15- and 30-second commer- cials generate better results than banner ads, pop-ups, pop-unders, etc. The truth is that the jury is still out on that. Personally, I bail out 100 percent of the time when pages start to auto-play a video, and I seldom click on other videos embedded in a story.

   If newspapers are going to do more reporting by video and less via the printed word, though, they need to up their game. TV does video considerably better -- other than studio inter- views -- than newspaper websites. There's better camera work on game coverage, better editing and better audio and graphics.

   Newspapers do themselves no favors by slapping a 90-second snippet of action (during which there may or may not have been a goal or a game-changing development) from an 80-minute soccer game onto a page. If there isn't a story and/or photo gallery to accompany the video, then readers are going to tune out.

   And if daily scoreboards and roundups go away or tell little more tan the final score, there's less for those readers to find and consume on the website. At some point, they go to the TV stations websites or apps; the scoreboards and roundups generally won't be there either, but the video will be better.

   When I left my local newspaper/online gig a decade ago, TV websites paled in comparison. It was Mike Tyson vs. just about any of the pre-Buster Douglas tomato cans. These days, the media giants of the last century might still have some Floyd Mayweather in them ... but they would do well to take Conor McGregor seriously.

   Looking ahead: The Wayne Eagles Cross Country Invitational is coming up Sept. 16 and will attract a strong field since the meet is a dry run for the NYSPHSAA championships on that same course on Nov. 11.

   There's a video walkthough available for the course.


  
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