The first week of high school football is in the books.
The opening of the season also marked the beginning of a new era as far as high school coverage goes at the Daily Mountain Eagle as we unveiled DME PrepZone, our initiative to bring together print, social media and digital coverage of the teams in our area.
PrepZone, which is sponsored on the year by Southern Orthopedic, debuted to much larger numbers than I even anticipated. Our Facebook coverage alone had a reach of 134,534 people. We promised to bring high school coverage to another level, and the Eagle delivered on that promise.
The Friday and Saturday editions of the DME both sold incredibly well with some reasons for that being the high school coverage. Approximately 35,000 people looked at a printed version of the paper on those two days. Mountaineagle.com had more than 20,000 hits on those two days, with much of that traffic being directed from our new dmeprepzone.com site. We also had thousands of people viewing our Twitter pages (@DailyMtEagle and @MtEagleSports) and our Instagram page. Hundreds of listeners also tuned into our audio broadcast of the Curry/Addison game on Friday night.
Kicking off the season with Cullman traveling to Jasper was the perfect way to unveil DME PrepZone. We started with pre-game videos of the band, the coin toss and the players taking the field. We also captured the fly over before the game, which was a first in my nearly 25 year covering high school football. On Friday night, our DME team had a presence at every game played by one of our 12 area schools, but our largest presence was at the Dora/Cordova game at Hudson-Kerby Field in Cordova. Those two rivalries provided us with a great Game of the Week doubleheader.
Our print coverage each day provided an entire section of the paper made up mostly of high school football action. We will continue to provide more photos and better coverage each week. Much like a head coach breaks down film to get ready for the next week, I have spent much of my time over the weekend breaking down the job we did and identifying areas where we need to improve.
While dmeprepzone.com is most busy on Friday nights, providing live scoring updates throughout the night, please check it out at other times of the week as well. The website features everything from schedules, region standings and stats to pregame notes including directions to each game. In looking over the pageviews for the new site, we had people from across the United States checking out local scores and from as far away as Germany, Hungary, France, India, United Kingdom, Japan, Mexico, Peru and Sweden. That’s really cool.
If you haven’t taken time to check out the Daily Mountain Eagle YouTube channel, please do that as well. Football season has brought three new weekly shows, including “The Coach Moore Show,” “The PrepZone Preview Show” and the “PrepZone Wrap-Up Show.” The first show features a weekly sitdown interview with Jasper coach Bryan Moore as he breaks down the team’s previous game and previews its upcoming game. The preview show will see the DME sports staff highlight in-depth the PrepZone Game of the Week, as well as preview other games in the area to get you ready for Friday night. Those first two shows will generally be uploaded each Thursday during the season. The wrap-up will feature myself and Moore going over the results of each game with video highlights from as many games as possible. That show is taped on Friday nights and airs each Saturday morning.
We could not do all that we are doing without the hard work and dedication of the Daily Mountain Eagle employees and our business partners. Those PrepZone partners include Bank of Walker County, Bevill State Community College, Kilgore-Green Funeral Home and Nelson, Bryan & Cross Law Firm. We have a limited number of partner spots still available. Any business wanting to join with us, please contact myself at the contact information below.
I hope that everyone has enjoyed the first week of the season and the content that the Daily Mountain Eagle has provided. Feel free to send as much feedback as possible. Let’s have some fun this season and support all our area teams.
James Phillips is editor and publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle. He may be reached at 205-221-2840 or email@example.com.