Monday was one of my favorite types of days. I took a vacation day from my 9 to 5 job. After waking at 7 a.m., I took a nice morning nap on the couch with the dog and woke up again and caught My Cousin Vinny on HBO. (What is a yute?). When I finally got up and around, I ventured off to Panera for a quick lunch before hitting the Orchard Park High School fields to cover a day of events.
I started off by getting a few quick photos of the track team and had a nice chat with Coaches Justin Abel and Greg Lardo. I shot a decent photo of Shannon Smith jumping the hurdles, which is one of my favorite photos to capture. A good hurdling shot provides a nice balance of athleticism and emotion much like when a runner emerging from the water barrier in the steeplechase.
Coincidentally, Coach Lardo asked about shooting volleyball (he is the varsity girls volleyball coach), which I find is one of the more difficult sports to shoot. There are many obstacles, including the net, players crossing paths on the court and a fast-moving ball. Capturing a shot of a setter is easy, especially if you go up into the stands and shoot down, but trying to capture a big defensive dig is difficult. Between the speed of the ball and having no idea where to ball will be hit, sometimes the best option is to simply fixate on a particular defender and hope you get lucky.
Getting back to Monday, I then headed softball practice where I needed a shot of a few players for this week’s spring preview issue of the Orchard Park Press. I previously interviewed Kristen Klemmer and got some additional thoughts from Taylor Jezuit, who is one of the best interviews I’ve had. She gathers her thoughts quickly, and is very candid and professional with her remarks. I tried getting some more thoughts from Arielle Alessi, which is where the fun began. I already warned Arielle that her remarks would make this website. When I asked her the same questions as Taylor, she wanted to read what Taylor said and respond off of that. The three of us shared a laugh as I told her that that is not how it works. So, of course, after I turned my recorder off, Arielle gives me a great quote about pitcher Carly Loffredo. When I told her how impressed I was with the comment, she responded: “I can say some pretty intelligent things. Don’t underestimate the cheerleader.” Ah, Arielle…always entertaining.
Speaking of Arielle, here’s a fun fact: Five starters on the softball team have double initials: Arielle Alessi, Jess Jozwiak, Shaye Swiatek, Sam Sarles and Kristen Klemmer.
I went to the tennis courts to get a couple shots of Sawyer Dina and August Bruno before heading over to cover the baseball game where I saw some big changes to Barrows Field. A maroon mesh was added to the backstop behind home plate, which serves as a fielder’s eye so infielders and see the ball off the bat better. Dugouts have also been added. They already look magnificent, and once the project is complete, they’ll look even better.
From there, I covered the first half of the boys lacrosse game where I had the opportunity to shoot alongside Chloe Wasteneys, a senior at Orchard Park, who has taken a strong interest in photography. I love sharing thoughts and ideas with other photogs.
Then I got headshots of the girls lacrosse players for future use on this site. The girls played after the boys game and captured a 7-6 win. Regrettably, I left early. My hands were cold and I had to get home and write my spring previews for baseball, softball, girls lacrosse and boys lacrosse for submission to this Friday’s issue of the Orchard Park Press.