Small community, big deal: Covering Hamilton sports

High School Preps

HEATH TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The paper version of the school newspaper has evolved to be delivered via smartphone, laptop or desktop.

“In a small community there’s not a lot of things going on, so Hamilton Athletics is a pretty big deal,” Hamilton High School teacher and coach James Mikolajczyk said.

It’s a big deal to the athletes, the community, but especially to the students of a class called Covering Hawkeye Sports. They deliver Hamilton High School varsity sports stories, scores and features via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“It combines graphics, journalism, statistics, also probability. You know, during different seasons they’re predicting what they think is going to happen,” Mikolajczyk said.

He and Mark Behnke team teach the two CHS classes. They say because the class revolves around social media, there are plenty of real-world lessons.

“One bad post on social media can ruin six years of what we’re trying to build,” Behnke said.

“I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into,” Makynlie Rockhold said.

Rockhold is a senior and has been in CHS all four years. Her specialty is photography.

“Right now, I’m working on a video of a diving versus a CHS member. So it’s kind of like a fun video to bring everybody, get people involved, see what other people can do,” Rockhold said.

CHS is Hamilton’s own little ESPN newsroom, with the students hard at work long before Friday night rolls around to make sure everyone can keep up with the Hawkeyes.

“It’s fun for us to be able to really highlight the successes of our students. There’s a lot of pride in that,” Mikolajczyk said.

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