Let's start with saying Thanks to all of the people who have supported OhioPrepScene.com since going live one year ago. December 10th, 2002 saw a dream come to life with OPS making its first showing on The.Insiders.com network of sites.
We have done a lot of writing in our first year with over 650 stories published on OPS. That's an average of over 55 stories per month about Ohio's High School sports. As I wrote last December, this was a dream come true. The goal I set for the site, was to make it the best web-site covering Ohio High School sports. And to help families going through the recruiting process learn what this once in a lifetime experience was all about. While we have done a lot, were not were we want to be. The OPS staff is growing each month and many fans have even sent in stories to be posted. But keep an eye out, we have a lot planned for 2004.
OTHER PREP WEB-SITES & WHY TheINSIDERS.COM
Web sites covering Ohio high school sports are many today. Most sites are driven with message board traffic, OPS strives to be different in our approach and has been a story based site since it started. OPS is always open for suggestions about how we can make OPS the best. Without you, the site and the goals we have placed would never see the light of day. Competition is strong and many changes have happened in the industry during the past few months. The largest site covering Ohio High School sports has seen its founder sell out. While others sites are in need of money to keep afloat, OPS with the help of TheInsiders.com and Citadel Media is stronger than ever.
The reason I, as publisher of OPS, chose TheInsiders.com are simple. They are the largest online sports network covering more than 100 colleges, all the major professional sports, and a growing list of high school sites. TheInsiders.com also syndicates network content through partnerships with the world's largest media companies. They are, FOXSports.com, SI.com, CBSSportsline.com and Yahoo! Sports.
TheInsiders.com is the leading online network of niche content (sports), independent websites. We are proud to be part of this family. And hope they feel the same about us.
While some sites charge for you to post on message boards, all but one of the message boards on OPS are free. OPS publishes both free & premium story content. The choice is yours to make on if you want to subscribe for the premium content. Our goal is always to give you as much free content as possible. While we wished all content was free, there is time and money invested with getting you the inside information.
Computers, phone bills and internet connections are just a few of the expenses in running the site. We don't hide the fact our goal is to have a full time paid staff. Ohio is a great state for Prep Sports and we want to cover all of it.
Premium content is no different than buying a newspaper. Spend .50 cents and see what sports coverage you get. While you will get the information for your area, you won't see about the top teams and athletes from around the state. OPS is only .22 cents per day with a one-year Total Access Pass, plus you will receive TheInsiders.com National Recruiting Yearbooks. Your Total Access Pass is good for all content on any Insiders.com site. You may also subscribe on a monthly basis or a 6-month basis. As always the choice is yours.
THEN AND NOW
When the site started in December 2002, one person was writing content for OPS. That all changed in February 2003. Craig Schwieterman joined the OPS staff as Football Director. Craig works hard on finding talent that is missed by others. With players sending Craig tapes, he was able to give them the credit that other wouldn't. Craig's best example is Athens High School quarterback Grant Gregory. After Craig viewed Grant's tapes, he called and said this kid is going to have several offers. After that we had tape sent to Insiders.com Midwest Analyst Chris Pool, after Chris viewed the tape he saw what Craig saw and Grant went up the charts. We don't take any credit for what Grant has received. Every athlete earns what they get on their own. Were just here to spread the word and give them more exposure.
In March OPS saw Ozie Davis III join the staff as Basketball Director. Ozie gives OPS a person who knows all the big players from the Buckeye state. With Ozie in charge, look for OPS during the 2003-2004 season to bring you more hoops action than any web-site. Ozie also gives OPS great insight with college football and the recruiting process involved. Ozie played college football at Miami of Ohio and has helped many kids with his youth development program based in Cincinnati over the years. Ozie also writes a sports report for the Cincinnati Herald.
Also covering basketball for OPS is Rob Taylor Sr. Rob covers the youth AAU players and teams from across Ohio. He's written many stories about the players who are working there way to the prep level. In working with Ozie, Rob gives OPS a one-two punch in its basketball coverage, and allows you the chance to learn who the younger players are in AAU basketball. Look for Rob at AAU tournaments around the state and country during the AAU season.
This fall saw OPS start its coverage of Soccer. Ervin Mitchell joined the staff as Soccer Director and is building a following with his growing soccer coverage. Ervin knows the club and high school soccer scene. Ervin is building a trust with coaches and players from around the state. OPS is not giving lip service to Soccer, we want the information on all of the top players and teams. In November Ervin brought OhioSoccerStats.org on board as a full partner to help provide the best soccer coverage in Ohio.
In November OPS welcomed Matt Polkovitch as a full time writer covering Northeast Ohio. Matt brings a great knowledge of Ohio High School sports. He's a son of a coach and has even coached some himself. If your in Northeast Ohio contact Matt with your information.
OPS also has several writers who cover different parts of the state, and have helped the site grow. Spencer Waugh knows Southeast Ohio high school sports. As publisher of LoganFootball.com, Spencer brings a knowledge about part of the state that gets missed by many.
Stew Gardner is located in Washington Court House, Ohio. As radio voice of both the Panthers and Blue Lions, Stew has seen many of the top athletes from South Central Ohio compete over the many years of his sports coverage.
Scott Leo has Springfield and other parts of the Dayton and Southwest covered. Scott works for WULM in Springfield and has covered High School sports along with college sports. Scott has broadcasted several Ohio Boys Basketball Championships along with Football games in the Clark County area. Scott has written several articles and will also do some Internet broadcasting on OhioPrepScene.com.
Roger Barber has covered high school sports for many years. Roger has done radio work for high school sports in Clinton and Highland County and called many championship games over the years. During the fall he has a weekly football preview on WSRW with Bill Liermann.
For myself, I learned first hand about the recruiting process while helping my brother and parents during its confusing twist and turns. I have followed high school football and basketball for many years in southwest Ohio. And the recruiting practices of several colleges since 1998. I oversee all aspects of the site and speak with parents who contact us for help. I also try and see as many players in person be it practice or in games.
During the past year OPS has seen several people bring stories that no one else had. Bruce Hampton, Greg Sheen, Troy Ratcliff, Tony Tabor, Craig Bickel, Mr. & Mrs. Greg Gregory, Coach Mo Douglass, Dean Eversole, Jeff Pax, Lindsey Eldred, Eric Frantz of MVP The Magazine and Tim Hower have all help with putting stories on OPS during the past 12 months.
I would also be missing the main people who have help with much of the content. The athletes and parents have been great help in building OPS into the site you see today. I wish I could list all of the families that have been involved but its just way to many. Thanks!
OUTSIDE THE WEB
In 2003 OPS was the home of Huber Heights Wayne Football. OPS provided 10 regular season games plus 1 playoff game. Warrior Football will be back in 2004 bigger and better then ever. David Thomas and myself enjoyed doing the games and getting to learn more about the players from Wayne. We both want to thank all the sponsors, the players and coaching staff for making our job easy. Look for more Internet Web-casting in the future from OPS. We have many areas that were working on to provide more sports coverage. Look for Brian Buchanan, Tommy Johnson, David Wells and Scott Halasz along with Scott Leo and others during the coming months broadcasting live from events from around the state.
We are working on seminars on recruiting, so parents know what they are getting into with the recruiting process. We will have academic experts along with experts in recruiting to explain the In & Out's of recruiting. If you have a child getting ready to enter the recruiting arena you don't want to miss this.
Were also working on having football combines for athletes to come and show what they can do. All information will be posted on OPS. During the combines well also include information on academics and the recruiting process. We are also working on holding basketball shootouts.
One area athletes are looking for help is speed training. OPS is now talking with a former college football player who is trained in this field and has conducted several camps in the past year. Stay tuned! If we hold one in your area you will want to be there.
Ohio Prep Scene The Magazine is getting closer to being published. We have the funding in place along with a printer and are putting the final touches on what is going to be a full color glossy magazine. The first issue is going to have the Best of the Best of Ohio Prep Sports in 2003-2004. This first issue will be one you will want to collect.
NEED YOUR HELP
How can you help OPS? Its simple, keep coming to OPS and seeing what stories we have for you. Tell your friends and family and help OPS keep the pace of growth its seen in the past year. Put the OPS Message Boards to work. The one area that OPS has not grown is on the message boards. Let us know what's needed to make you want to post your thoughts on these boards.
Athletes and parents of athletes. Send us your information so we can contact you and show the world what type of athlete you are.
If you have story ideas or want to write about a sport or team for OPS, contact us and we will get you started.
As with any media source, sponsors are very important. If you have a company and want to help OPS grow, contact myself for rates on the site, magazine or for special events.
The entire staff of OhioPrepScene.com can't say this word enough. We love what were doing and are proud of the work posted in the past year. We look forward to having another great year and bringing you even more special stories about Ohio's prep sports and the athletes that play them.
I also want to thank all the people behind the scenes who don't want there name published in helping OPS grow.
Remember! "OUR JOB IS TO EXPOSE OHIO PREP SPORTS AND ITS YOUTH WORLDWIDE"