Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Different Sports Game

Yesterday I was back into taking sports photos, but this game was different. At the beginning of the New Year the community was hit with the death of a Chico High student. Chico High's basketball coach Sam Simmons benched 7 players, including 5 starters from playing in games until Feb. 3, as punishment for their presence at a party the student had attended the night he died.

With no back story to the punishment, I had approached sports reporter Leland Gordon about who he felt would be a contender in the game. He informed me that he couldn't decide, being that all the starters were benched. He told me the reason and I checked out for myself. Sure enough, I found the whole starting team in well-dress attire not suitable for ball play.

I decided the to take a picture of the benched players being that it might be necessary for Gordon's blog. It wasn't my intention to have it dominant in the story, but rather a side bar of some sorts. I didn't know how Gordon would address it, if at all in his story. I took a quick snap and focused the rest of my time on the game.

The seven Chico High players who were suspended earlier this week watch during the Panthers' 49-28 home loss to Red Bluff that opened Eastern Athletic League play Tuesday. (Jason Halley/Chico Enterprise-Record)

When returning to the office to edit my images, there was a phone call to the sports department. I overheard the dialogue talking about the benched players. I quickly handed the image of the benched players to the sports desk. It was just to illustrate that indeed the starters had been benched. The desk thanked me for snapping a shot of that. They felt it was an important part of the story. From Gordon's story, it did prove to be a major part. It is an impressive image to see 7 key players are to sit out for almost a month of games, which explains a lot into their major loss that night. I am sure that the loss of the game will pale in comparison to the loss of a classmate.

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