One of the perks of this job is getting to know the subjects we report on both on and off the field, court or track.
A few years ago, the sports department at NWA Media publications decided to kick up our all-area teams a notch by honoring athletes in every Arkansas Activities Association-sanctioned sport. If the AAA awards a championship, we recognize the sport’s top performers.
We release these honor teams three times per year during a “dead period” in the school year. The first ones we do are the fall sports, which includes volleyball, cross country, golf, tennis, and of course, football.
The fall honorees are announced during the holiday week starting with football players in the state’s largest classification and continuing each day until it wraps up with football players in Class 5A and Below.
We also decided to break some of the sports down into larger school and smaller school teams to give the players in all schools a chance to be honored from the smallest schools on up.
Our NWA Media photographers really embrace this and come up with creative ways to photograph the honorees. We are always trying to come up with new ways to photograph the top players and coaches.
The theme this year is “Dressed For Success” and the players and coaches brought out their best suits, dresses and bow ties for the photos. It was awesome to see the athletes out of their normal uniform of their sport. The girls were all dolled up and the boys looked dapper with shined-up shoes and their hair neatly combed.
NWA Media photographer Jason Ivester put together an awesome video series from the three nights of the photo shoots. You can see those videos at video.nwaonline.com. Here is the video that was shot during the photo session for cross country.
Be sure and check out this year’s All-NWA Media teams starting Sunday, Dec. 21 and continuing each day through Sunday, Dec. 28 in all NWA Media publications and online at www.nwaonline.com.