Kenmore, NY – It’s a new day and a new direction for FromThe300Level. On Monday, August 22, FromThe300Level will officially launch a sister website; WNYAthletics.com, which will focus primarily on high school sports. It’s a direction I am proud and excited to say I will be part of.
Getting my start covering high school sports with the Tonawanda News in the fall of 2001 through the unexpected closing of Community Papers of WNY in July I have seen first-hand the impact and importance of neighborhood theme publications. I hear the reactions of residents in communities all across WNY when it comes to coverage of high school sports in smaller community style papers. Those smaller papers that show up at our doorsteps or that we pass in racks inside supermarkets and pizza places without a second thought are in actuality an important part of the fabric of our communities. They tell the stories of our towns and its people. Most of all these papers tell the stories of our student-athletes. Our kids. Stories beyond stats and the final score. Stories of who they are as people. Their hopes, dreams and goals for the future. How sports shaped their lives and, in many cases, helped them overcome adversity.
That’s what WNYAthletics.com will try to carry on. We will do our best to recreate that thrill of opening up the paper and seeing the names of you and your teammates as you battle together through the ups and downs of the season. With the recent loss of Community Papers of WNY and Tonawanda News ceasing operations in January of 2015 we felt that now more than ever there is a void in high school sports coverage and we hope to fill that need.
Continuing to provide opportunities for young, aspiring sports writers to learn their craft, FromThe300Level will continue to be a forum where college and high school students can gain experience. Longtime contributors like Marshall Haim (Canisius College) and Francis Boeck (Buffalo State College) return, as does St. Joe’s senior Patrick Veltri. Niagara University student Matthew Morris is also back. We are also excited to welcome in Cheektowaga High School student Jack Kreuzer, who was featured on a WIVB.TV Ch.4 sports feature story in February about his role as the Voice of Cheektowaga basketball. Additionally Ryan Dickman (recent Buff St. Grad) has taken on the social media manager’s role.
Our ranks will also include long time working professionals Mike Pidanick and Aaron Garland. Two outstanding reporters I have had the pleasure of working with over the years. FromThe300Level will still provide top notch coverage of the Sabres, Bisons, Beauts, Bandits as well as college and other pro sports. WNYathletics will be the place for high school sports and youth leagues.
The coming weeks WNYAthletics.com will feature high school football previews as we roll into the 2016-17 school season. We invite you all too please come along for the ride as we do our best to tell the stories of the kids and coaches that make WNY sports tick.