A Journalistic Approach to Sports Photography

Coach Stacy Perryman’s chair before the game night in Pocono Summit on Friday, January 24, 2020.

Coach Stacy Perryman’s chair before the game night in Pocono Summit on Friday, January 24, 2020.

Sports photography is all about capturing the action. Fast shutter speeds, wide open lenses, and lickety split frames per second rule the day. My routine to get ready for a game is pretty routine and often the same. Tonight, however, my routine was anything but same old.

Stroudsburg vs. Pocono Mountain West in Pocono Summit on Friday, January 24, 2020.

Stroudsburg and Pocono Mountain West captains and coaches before Tip-Off in Pocono Summit on Friday, January 24, 2020.

Coach Stacy Perryman died of breast cancer this past Monday at the young age of 45. She has been the coach at Pocono Mountain West for 17 years! The team was allowed to grieve for the loss of their coach and the previous two games were postponed for this reason. Tonight they would take their place back on the court with heavy hearts.

Stroudsburg vs. Pocono Mountain West in Pocono Summit on Friday, January 24, 2020.

The Pocono Mountain West players and Interim Head Coach share a moment just before the Star Spangled Banner in Pocono Summit on Friday, January 24, 2020.

Interim Head Coach, Chrissy Campos, is Coach Perryman’s sister and has been her assistant coach. She did an incredible job tonight getting the girls ready to play a competitive game against a very good Stroudsburg team. They put their emotions in check for 32 minutes and played their hearts out.

Interim Head Coach Chrissy Campos accepts a memorial gift in honor of her sister, Coach Stacy Perryman in Pocono Summit on Friday, January 24, 2020.

Interim Head Coach Chrissy Campos accepts a memorial gift in honor of her sister, Coach Stacy Perryman in Pocono Summit on Friday, January 24, 2020.

Before Tip-Off, Coach Campos was presented with a memorial gift in memory of her sister and the girls’ coach. The few moments at mid-court were somber and respectful. Then everyone was invited to pause for a moment of silence as we remembered Coach Perryman.

Stroudsburg vs. Pocono Mountain West in Pocono Summit on Friday, January 24, 2020.

Coach Campos receives a special gift in memory of her sister, Coach Perryman, at midcourt in Pocono Summit on Friday, January 24, 2020.

Sometimes I am asked to photograph Senior Day or a presentation of a student-athlete during halftime, but usually my job is simply to capture the game with my camera. I really enjoy this simple, straightforward task. One of my interests is setting up remote cameras, which I mentioned in my previous blog post last week. Tonight was different–totally different. How does one capture the heavy emotions and sadness in a tactful yet unintrusive way?

Interim Head Coach Chrissy Campos coaches the Panthers during the game in Pocono Summit on Friday, January 24, 2020.

Interim Head Coach Chrissy Campos coaches the Panthers during the game in Pocono Summit on Friday, January 24, 2020.

As I began shooting the pre-game and then the game, my mind went back to my journalism training I received from Temple University many years ago. My professors were clear about the important job we had to do and getting into the right frame of mind to do it. Our job is to report the news, or in my case, report and re-tell the basketball game in its entirety with my camera.

Interim Coach Chrissy Campos greets Caroline Weirich during a timeout in Pocono Summit on Friday, January 24, 2020.

Interim Coach Chrissy Campos greets Caroline Weirich during a timeout in Pocono Summit on Friday, January 24, 2020.

My mind also was swept up into what in the world these girls must have been thinking in their minds. How could they lace up their sneakers, take the home court, and play a basketball game with so much running through their minds but they really focus in sports like basketball or golf and as practice is important, using equipment as a home golf simulator could be really helpful to practice at home.

Samantha Columna is defended by Caroline Wierich in Pocono Summit on Friday, January 24, 2020.

Samantha Columna is defended by Caroline Wierich in Pocono Summit on Friday, January 24, 2020.

They played in memory of Coach Perryman. Each moment was filled with effort and grit as they displayed all their coach had taught them over the years. It was incredible to watch and photograph. The heavy hearts did not bog them down on the court and they put up an awesome game!

Stroudsburg vs. Pocono Mountain West in Pocono Summit on Friday, January 24, 2020.

A referee officiating at the Stroudsburg vs. Pocono Mountain West game, holds the ball during a timeout in Pocono Summit on Friday, January 24, 2020.

The journalistic approach I am referring to here is trying to capture the story of the night, not just with the action on the court during the game, but specifically in the tiny moments that capture the whole essence of the night. In other words, trying to paint the picture of the wealth of emotions circling the gymnasium. Pink was the color of the night and that seemed a good place to start.

Stroudsburg vs. Pocono Mountain West in Pocono Summit on Friday, January 24, 2020.

Stroudsburg vs. Pocono Mountain West in Pocono Summit on Friday, January 24, 2020.

Some things happen during a timeout or during a break in the action. Sports photographers learn not to put the camera down too quickly after a shot or play but to follow the action and try to capture the emotion and celebrations. This was all in my mind tonight, too.

Stroudsburg vs. Pocono Mountain West in Pocono Summit on Friday, January 24, 2020.

Stroudsburg vs. Pocono Mountain West in Pocono Summit on Friday, January 24, 2020.

Try as they may, the game did not end the way Pocono Mountain West had hoped. They fought hard and kept things close even producing a nice run at the end of the game. Victory was not theirs tonight as they lost 50-40.

Stroudsburg vs. Pocono Mountain West in Pocono Summit on Friday, January 24, 2020.

Pocono Mountain West’s Interim Head Coach, Stacy Campos, looks downcourt during the game in Pocono Summit on Friday, January 24, 2020.

Cancer is an opponent that seems to win way too often, leaving its opponents to lick their wounds or say goodbye to their loved ones. It is not fair. It is not fair for a young, gifted, and inspirational coach to die at the age of 45 leaving behind a team she loved and who loved her. It is not fair for a sister and assistant coach to be thrown into a coaching position rift with heartfelt emotions swirling around like a tornado. It is not fair for a community to lose someone so incredibly giving and to be left with nothing but memories.

Pink shoes worn by a Panther player during a foul shot in Pocono Summit on Friday, January 24, 2020.

Pink shoes worn by a Panther player during a foul shot in Pocono Summit on Friday, January 24, 2020.

Every game has winners and losers. Cancer does, too. Some battle courageously and live to see a long life to come. Others battle courageously and find their lives cut way too short. Winners and losers. Basketball teams experience this as well. Two teams can practice just as hard and dedicate a great portion of their lives to the game but one ends up winning it all while the other team is left hanging their heads wondering what happened. Tonight, however, at this game, I do not believe there were really any losers. Every player and coach was a winner in a bigger sense of the game and in life. It was an emotional game and I was fortunate to be there with my camera. This is my journalistic approach to one emotional and incredible game.

 

 

ESU Finishes Elite Eight in Style

The journey is over but it was an incredible run! ESU Men’s Basketball Team just completed a season to remember and one that most teams would trade for in a minute. It wasn’t how they wanted it to end, but they fought extremely hard and made the other team  sweat. Congratulations for an incredible basketball season! Go Warriors!

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ESU Men’s Basketball Atlantic Region Champs!

ESU defeated Shippensburg in the Atlantic Region Championship and are headed to the Elite Eight! In a tight game, ESU led by three at the half. It was nip and tuck most of the way with many lead changes. ESU surged at the end to secure the championship by a 12 point margin. Way to go Warriors! These photos show some of the action and celebration of the team’s championship victory.

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ESU Men’s Basketball = PSAC Champions!

Koehler Fieldhouse was rocking on Sunday evening as the Warriors tipped off against the Golden Knights for the PSAC Championship Game. It was a night for the memory books in many ways. ESU took an early 12-2 lead over Gannon and never looked back. Their full-court press and speed forced mistakes and turnovers throughout the game. The game plan was executed precisely and the championship was won! These photos take you through the game and post-game celebrations. I hope they help you see and sense the excitement of this incredible accomplishment. Way to go Warriors! We are very proud of you and the championship title you achieved!

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Josh Williams shoots over a Gannon defender to score two early in the contest.

BKBM180304 0476Montrel Morgan works through a defender.
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Nick Giordano connects on a layup.

BKBM180304 1018Jakwan Jones drives to the hoop.

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The ESU bench erupts on a score late in the game as a timeout is called!

BKBM180304 1654Williams completes a commanding dunk.

BKBM180304 1947Steve Harris swishes a free throw to get to 1,000 points in his career!

BKBM180304 2024Jakwan Jones defends an in-bounds attempt.

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Josh Williams goes up strong to score two more points.

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Ralik Wise adds two more to the scoreboard.

BKBM180304 2934Najee Walls adds to the scoring momentum.

BKBM180304 3018Giordano goes up strong to the bucket and scores.

 

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The ESU men start to celebrate as the clock hits zero.

BKBM180304 2347Students and fans rush the court to congratulate the victors!

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The individual plaques, MVP award, and team trophies await presentation.

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The Gannon men had a great season and accept the runner-up trophy. Congratulations Golden Knights!

BKBM180304 2577Coach Wilson makes his way to the trophy table.

BKBM180304 2707Harris recognizes some family and friends on his way to receive his individual plaque.

BKBM180304B 0138Harris receives MVP honors for a game well-played. Congratulations, Steve!

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The team celebrates with their championship trophy!

BKBM180304B 0438Team photo with all the spoils of victory.

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Kobi Nwandu cuts a piece of the net.

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Harris smiles in jubilation as he cuts down his piece of the net.

BKBM180304B 0721Giordano sports his piece of the net and wears it well.

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For those not well-versed in lip reading, Coach Wilson is saying, “HOLD this ladder!” I think he is suspecting some possible shenanigans.

BKBM180304B 0761Coach Wilson makes the final cut to bring the net down.

BKBM180304B 0778Coach Wilson shows off and celebrates with the now fully detached net.

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Ralik Wise and Ryan Krawczeniuk pose with the PSAC banner.

BKBM180304B 0839Steve Harris relaxes behind the PSAC Championship trophy prior to the press conference.

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A drenched Coach Wilson, from a Gatorade bath, sits beside Steve Harris, who is still taking it all in, as the press conference begins.

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A funny comment brings smiles to Coach Wilson, Steve Harris, and Jakwan Jones during the press conference.

Step One Accomplished for ESU in PSAC Quarter Finals!

BKBM180228 1823Kobi Nwandu is fouled in the second half.

BKBM180228 1902Jakwan Jones drives inside against Kutztown.

BKBM180228 0705Marc Rodriguez makes a reverse layup.

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Ralik Wise eyes up a free throw.

BKBM180228 2005Steve Harris dunks for two.

BKBM180228 0188Nick Giordano splits the defense to score.

BKBM180228 1579Ralik Wise scores in the second half.

BKBM180228 2050Jakwan Jones goes up strong for a finger roll.

BKBM180228 1052Kobi Nwandu tops a defender for a bucket.

BKBM180228 0588Steve Harris goes over two defenders.

BKBM180228 0409Marc Rodriguez gets around a defender.

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Steve Harris scores two more.

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ESU Faces Final Foe in Regular Season

Wolves vs. Warriors 2018

East Stroudsburg University faces Millersville University on Saturday for the last game of the regular season prior to gearing up for the playoffs. ESU is 20-5 overall and 17-4 in Conference so far. They already secured the number one seed in the PSAC Playoffs, which begin next week. These photos were from last week’s win over West Chester.

Wolves vs. Warriors 2018

Mules Kick Garnet in Overtime 91-88

Mules Kick Garnet in Overtime 91-88The Muhlenberg Mules kicked it up a notch to defeat Swarthmore in overtime on Wednesday night at Memorial Hall. In the photo above, Nick Rindock (#15) drives to the basket.

Mules Kick Garnet in Overtime 91-88JeanLee Baez makes a layup early in the game.

Mules Kick Garnet in Overtime 91-88Another view of Baez’s same layup.

Mules Kick Garnet in Overtime 91-88Owen McLeod receives a pass from a teammate.

Mules Kick Garnet in Overtime 91-88 Nick Rindock goes up for a reverse layup.

Mules Kick Garnet in Overtime 91-88Ryan Gaynor (#3) passes the ball to Alex Mitton.

Mules Kick Garnet in Overtime 91-88Alex Mitton (#44) receives the pass and scores an easy two.

Mules Kick Garnet in Overtime 91-88Owen McLeod goes up against Swathmore…

Mules Kick Garnet in Overtime 91-88and over the defense to score!
Mules Kick Garnet in Overtime 91-88Owen McLeod makes a sneaky behind his back pass!

Mules Kick Garnet in Overtime 91-88Matt Gnias drives through the Garnet defense.

Mules Kick Garnet in Overtime 91-88Owen McLeod does it again!

Mules Kick Garnet in Overtime 91-88Alex Mitton works around a defender…

Mules Kick Garnet in Overtime 91-88and goes strong to the bucket!

Mules Kick Garnet in Overtime 91-88Matt Gnias receives a high pass.

Mules Kick Garnet in Overtime 91-88Not only did the Mules win a nail-bitter in overtime, 91-88, but Nick Rindock (#15) reached 1,000 career points. What a night for the Mules!