How can you help the new (old) guy? With ideas, that's how

 
 
Updated 9/21/2018 12:58 PM

Hello, Northwest suburbs sports fans.

Many of you may know me, or know of me. I've worked for the Daily Herald for 21 years and I've been in the newspaper business for over 40 years, with most of that time spent covering high school sports in the Fox Valley.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

But I'm not foreign to the Northwest suburbs or Cook County.

I'm going to date myself here, but to say I go back a few years would be putting it mildly.

I covered baseball at Barrington when Kirby Smith was in the prime of his coaching career.

The Snowflake Classic girls basketball tournament at St. Viator was always one of my favorite events when I was a mere youngster in this business.

Covering the 2000 Buffalo Grove state championship in girls basketball remains way up there on my career highlight reel. Anyone remember "Guth for president"? I know Tom Dineen and Bob Frisk do, and I would hope Allison Guth does.

I had so much fun covering the Rolling Meadows girls basketball teams at state in 2012 and 2013.

The Joe Petricca era of football at Palatine was special and I had the opportunity to cover several of the Pirates' playoff games back then.

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Fremd's girls basketball run the past few years has been fun to watch and cover, especially with St. Edward graduate Dave Yates at the helm.

One of the coaches I remember interviewing when I first broke into this business was former Conant boys basketball coach Dick Redlinger. That was in 1976 when the Cougars won a regional title.

And, of course, there's softball. Anyone who knows me, or knows of me, knows I've found a niche with softball. Ken Grams, Perry Peterson, Josh Teschner (who, by the way, worked for us as an editorial assistant at the Daily Herald before he became a teacher and coach), Lindsey Hamma … the list under the softball header goes on and on.

So, no, I'm not foreign to the Northwest suburbs and the 17 schools we cover here, but I'm also not a human encyclopedia like I was in the Fox Valley, or like John Leusch is here.

But now the Daily Herald has entrusted me with the position of high school sports editor, with my emphasis being on coverage of our 17 high schools in the Northwest suburbs I sure would like to become a part of this high school sports community. And that's most certainly what I intend to do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

How can you help?

Well, I want to tell stories. Stories about student-athletes. Stories about teams. Stories about coaches. Most of all, stories about people. Stories that are compelling, stories that have heart, stories that are happy and funny, and yes, stories that are sad and bring tears to the eyes.

How can you help? It's simple. Communicate with me, whether you are a reader, a parent, a student-athlete, a coach, an athletic director, whatever. You live here, play here, teach here, coach here, work here. And now so do I.

Over the past couple of weeks I've been scouring the archives and talking to people seeking ideas. Now I appeal to you for more ideas.

Each idea will be given consideration. I'd like nothing more than to have so many ideas thrown at me that I go to bed at night (or early in the morning) thinking about which ones are so compelling, so riveting, and so interesting that I have to decide what I can follow through on.

Bring it on, sports fans. I'll listen to all the ideas. My office phone is 847-427-4441 and my email address is jradtke@dailyherald.com.

I hope to hear from you soon, and often!

jradtke@dailyherald.com

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