Thursday, July 10, 2014

New beginnings at the Valley Center Times-Advocate

To everyone in Valley Center and all my other supporters elsewhere, I am writing to you today to formally announce that, as of June 25, I am no longer with the Valley Center Press and am now working for a new startup newspaper called the Valley Center Times-Advocate.

I apologize right off the bat for any confusion that this may cause. Please know that I didn’t make this decision lightly and that I had very good and very specific reasons for leaving.

Some of you know the details, others may not, but for how I'm going to handle the situation going forward, I’ve decided to follow the lead of a person who helped me get to where I am now.

Whenever anyone asks about why I left the VC Press, my standard answer is going to be, “It just didn’t work out.”

Those words remind me of when I first came to Valley Center in 2006. I had been working for my hometown’s local newspaper, the Post-Journal of Jamestown, NY, for a couple of years before moving to VC. When I got here, I of course sat down with Dale & Shirley Good at the Roadrunner to inquire about a position as a sportswriter.

At the time, Lisa Sharp was the sports editor, so, through a series of events that are inconsequential to this story, I ended up taking another full-time job and doing some freelance writing for the Roadrunner on the side.

Sometime in the summer of 2006, however, Lisa left to take a position teaching ESL somewhere in Asia (I can never remember the exact country) and because I already had a job, the Goods hired another sports editor.

The new sports editor, Scott, was at the Roadrunner for a month or two, then all of a sudden, he was gone and I was able to take over the position.
Some time later, I asked Shirley what happened with Scott, and all she ever told me about the situation was, “It just didn’t work out.”

I’m sure Scott was (and is) a fine person, so whatever the circumstances were behind his departure, it was clear from how Shirley handled the situation that she was being intentional in how she spoke about it. Scott was moving on, the Roadrunner was moving on, and all I needed to know was that it just didn’t work out.

When the Goods hired me to be the sports editor, they told me that they wanted to keep the newspaper as positive as possible to reflect the many great things about this community.
Now that I’ve lived and worked here for eight years, I totally get what they meant.

And now that I’ve been in a couple of situations in which I’ve moved on from working with some people to working with other people, I want to follow that example and keep things positive.

So I’ve moved on from the VC Press because it just didn’t work out.
I’m sad that it didn’t work out, but I’m excited about the next chapter with the Times-Advocate.
The name on the front page may be different, but as far as I’m concerned, I’m going to keep doing what I love doing: covering the sports here in Valley Center and shining a spotlight on our local athletes.
I’ll also be writing some other stories, I’m sure, as well as doing some behind-the-scenes work with the layout and other graphic design.

(David and I joke about it often that Sheena Lintz, our longtime graphic designer at the old Roadrunner, was the unsung hero of the newspaper. Now that I’m doing a handful of the tasks for which she was responsible, I wholeheartedly agree.)

The Valley Center Times-Advocate will begin as a monthly publication that will be mailed to every mailbox and PO box in Valley Center and the surrounding areas (Pauma Valley, Pala, Palomar Mountain and parts of Escondido). As soon as we’re able, we would like to move to two issues per month, and eventually, once a week, funds permitting.

We aren’t offering subscriptions just yet, but you can still help by advertising with us or becoming a founding member. For more information about that, you can email me at anytime.

Thank you for all your support through the last eight years. I’ve had a great time seeing all the great accomplishments achieved by our young local athletes, and I’m looking forward to seeing even more.

Dan Kidder

Saturday, June 7, 2014

VCHS Powderpuff 2014: VIDEOS & PHOTOS

After some bumps, bruises and at least one bloody face, the seniors in the Class of 2014 outlasted the juniors in the Class of 2015 with four touchdowns in a 27-0 win in the 2014 Powderpuff flag football game at Valley Center High School.

The seniors, led by quarterback Parris Toedt, running back Bianka Pacheco and all-around standout Savanna Reilly, scored a pair of touchdowns in each half, as Toedt ran for a score in each half--one from 21 yards out and the other from only one yard away--while Pacheco scored on a 22-yard run in the first half and Reilly caught a four-yard touchdown pass from Toedt in the second half. Pacheco also had an interception on defense and Reilly left her mark on all three phases of the game, including a collision with junior quarterback Brooke DeLauder that left a nasty cut over Reilly's left eye (see video and photos below).

The game had its share of physical moments, including a hard tackle by junior linebacker Brie Dunckel on Toedt and later a crash along the sideline involving Dunckel and senior kick coverage player Victoria Lawrence (see videos below), but in the end, the seniors held on through the rough patches and claimed the victory in their final year at VCHS.

Here are some video highlights and photos from the game:

Photos by Dan Kidder, videos by Kelly Kidder

(To view photos as a slideshow, click on any photo and use your keyboard's arrow keys to navigate through the photos)