ABOUT THIS SERIES
Each day we’ll turn this page over to one of our sports writers to share behind-the-scenes stories from their years with The Times-Dispatch. Ashley Wood covers prep and college sports.
Best atmosphere/crowd at a single game: This year’s basketball game between Collegiate and St. Christopher’s on Jan. 17 at St. Christopher’s. The gym was so packed that people were standing because they couldn’t find a seat. Before the game started, the announcer announced the names of the starting lineup, but it wasn’t your normal high school way. They had turned off the lights and had flashing lights to announce the players. During the game, the crowd was engaged from beginning to end. Whether it came from the student sections or the fans, the gym was loud and rowdy.
Best game I’ve covered: The men’s basketball game between Virginia Union and Virginia State at Barco-Stevens Hall in February. The gym reached its max capacity of 2,500 people, and they had to turn fans away. In the last game of the regular season, the Panthers ran out to a 43-24 lead in the first 17 minutes. However, the Trojans stormed back to take the lead a couple of times before the Panthers rallied for the victory. It was a great game and showed that anything can happen in a blink of an eye.
Most memorable story I’ve covered: I interviewed two cross country runners from Highland Springs High School who helped a fellow athlete from another school cross the finish line. The runners — Kaila Corprew and Madison Cunningham — saw Chole Ellen fall, then saw her struggling to make it to the finish line at Pole Green Park. Even though I wasn’t at the meet that day, the girls explained their selfless and commendable actions. The story was a great reminder that sportsmanship still exists.
Favorite stadium food: My go-to food would be cheese fries. When I was younger, I would always just get regular fries and put ketchup on them until at a football game my friend introduced me to cheese fries. Once I started putting cheese on my fries, I never looked back.
Best part of the job: Having the opportunity to be a part of RTD Sports Weekend. With my background in broadcasting, I love making videos and being able to get in front of the camera and talk about the high school and college sports in the area. Being able to combine my love for sports and my mass communication background is the best job I could ask for.
Why you do what you do: I always appreciated the creative side of delivering sports stories to the community. When I was growing up, I always admired how some journalists or broadcasters told their stories. It wasn’t in the traditional way of telling a story, but you could tell that they put thought and effort into the stories they were writing about to make it understandable to the readers and/or audience. Knowing that when I write a story for the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the readers email me positive feedback, it lets me know that I am reaching out and engaging people to the stories in our community. Whether it’s from feature stories or game stories, knowing that others appreciate and enjoy the stories I write motivates me to continue to do what I do.