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As soon as I made this picture at Saturday’s Penn State game…

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Ohio State mascot Brutus Buckeye greets wide receiver Jake Stoneburner as he rushes the ball for a touchdown in the second half on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, at Beaver Stadium. After a 7-7 tie at halftime, Ohio State defeated Penn State 35-23.

…I immediately thought of this picture from another, very different Penn State game:

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Penn State’s Mike Hull rushes for a 74-yard fumble recovery touchdown in the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. Penn State won its first 2012 game, 34-17, against Navy.

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In the 48 hours between Friday evening and earlier today, I covered three football games.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. South Western’s Dillon Thomas brings in the ball for a touchdown while knocking off William Penn’s Darren Stevens’ helmet in the second half at Small Field on Friday, Oct. 26, 2012. William Penn lost 28-21 on senior night to South Western on Friday, Oct. 26, 2012, at Small Field.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. South Western’s Tyler Sterner completes a pass to Brady Thayer in the second half against William Penn at Small Field on Friday, Oct. 26, 2012.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Penn State wide receiver Allen Robinson fails to catch a pass from Matt McGloin as Ohio State defensive back Bradley Roby defends in the second half on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. After a 7-7 tie at halftime, Ohio State defeated Penn State 35-23.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. A pass from Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin flies over the shoulders of Ohio State defensive back Bradley Roby and wide receiver Allen Robinson in the second half at Beaver Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012.

(View more game photos here.)

  • Today: The Red Raiders of Boys Club of York defeated the Blackhawks of Eastern York County 12-6.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Pre-game push-ups.

I’ve been following York’s pee wee football team — specifically, the Red Raider rinkies, who are 7-8 years of age — for an upcoming photo story. These are just a few shots from today’s game, but I’ve been covering practices, and also shot their last regular-season game.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News.

As for today? After their third undefeated regular season, the Red Raiders had a bye week in the first round of playoffs and, today, won their semifinal game. They play West York in next week’s championships.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News.

So, even though I just shot my last Penn State game of the season, there’s still more football to come. But for now, it’s time to prepare for upcoming Sandy/Frankenstorm coverage.

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When the York Revolution lost the playoffs last month, they completed not only their post-season chance for a third Atlantic League championship — they also completed manager Andy Etchebarren’s career.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. York Revolution manager Andy Etchebarren shakes hands with fans after the Revolution lost 12-8 to the Lancaster Barnstormers, ending their season at the semifinal level and concluding Etchebarren’s career, on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. The York Revolution lost 12-8 to the Lancaster Barnstormers, who clinched Game 3 of the Atlantic League’s Freedom Division playoffs.

The day started well enough. The Revs had lost the first two games in their best-of-five series, but spirits were high:

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. York Revolution pitcher Corey Thurman, left, gives a pre-game spoken word performance in the dugout as third baseman Chris Nowak dances on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. York Revolution shortstop Joe Thurston jumps in the air after scoring the Revs’ first run in the first inning against the Lancaster Barnstormers on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012.

Then the Barnstormers started racking up runs, and the Revs just couldn’t keep up.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. York Revolution second baseman Andres Perez, right, and Lancaster Barnstormers outfielder Blake Gailen watch as Barnstormers first baseman Tommy Everidge, foreground, beats Perez’ ball to first base in the fifth inning at Sovereign Bank Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012.

After shooting last season’s Champagne-soaked playoff jubilation and championship victory, covering the swift end of the Revs’ post-season play and the quiet conclusion of Etchebarren’s storied career was a little strange.

Etch has managed the Revs for only three and a half seasons, but because I’ve shot those last two seasons (and was never too familiar with Etch’s career with the Orioles), it’s hard for me to separate Etch from the Revs, and vice-versa. I think I haven’t worked long enough in one place as a photojournalist to have developed a distant- or vast-enough perspective of time and the changes it brings. Sometimes, when I look back on my body of work, I’m surprised by how much I’ve covered and how much of it I’d forgotten about until reviewing it. Then I remind myself that I’ve been working professionally for just over a year and generally for barely six years — and that’s really just a drop in the bucket, in the grand scheme of things.

So maybe someday, in a few years or 20, I’ll forget that Etch was here when I first started working in York, at least until I review my work again. In the meantime, I can hardly imagine next season without his presence on the field, but I’ll find out soon enough what that’s like. Soon enough in the grand scheme of things, that is.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. York Revolution manager Andy Etchebarren waves farewell to fans after the Revolution lost 12-8 to the Lancaster Barnstormers, ending their season at the semifinal level and concluding Etchebarren’s career, on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012.

(Be sure to check out some more photos from Etch’s last game.)

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Shot my second Penn State game of the season yesterday. It’s also now exactly a year to the day that I got knocked over by two high school football players, couldn’t walk for about 10 minutes and suffered an impact fracture at the top of my tibia — all of which is relevant because shooting football even a year later can be a little painful.

But it was one of my better games to shoot. Take that, knee.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. With help from fellow Penn State sophomores Jon Pigeon (left) and Hayes Clark (right), Stefano DiPietro gets a child abuse prevention ribbon outlined in white against his blue body paint outside Beaver Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012. State students held a “Blue Out” in support of child abuse victims, during the game against Temple.

It also rained a bit. Nothing dramatic — just a steady drizzle — so when the sun came out and finally created enough contrast for the water droplets to show up in-camera, I seized it:

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. The sun comes out and rain continues falling as Penn State’s Kyle Carter rushes with Temple’s Ahkeem Smith at his heels in the second quarter on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012.

I guess I’d be angry, too, if I were getting tackled:

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Penn State’s Da’Quan Davis leaps to bring down Temple’s Montel Harris in the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, at Beaver Stadium.

It’s almost ballet-like, the way it seems as if Rumer is lifting Zordich. Almost:

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Penn State’s Michael Zordich leaps in the air to try evading Temple’s Thomas Rumer, but instead crashes into him, in the second quarter on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012.

And finally, a “whaaa–?” moment from QB1 and coach:

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin and head coach Bill O’Brien exchange looks with a referee (off-camera) during the first half against Temple on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012.

Be sure to check out more photos on the YDR website!

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The last time I shot Navy football, I was pretty frustrated. Not because the Midshipmen defeated the Missouri Tigers in the Texas Bowl, but because their triple-option offense utterly confused me and had me falling for more than a few fake plays.

The last time I shot Penn State football was the first game without Joe Paterno. The second-to-last time I shoot Penn State football was Joe Paterno’s last game — a victory that got him the title of the winningest Division I football coach. And all that was stripped when the NCAA vacated all the Nittany Lions’ wins since 1998.

Which made yesterday’s victory over Navy Penn State’s first victory since 1997 — and Bill O’Brien’s first win as head coach.

A lot has happened since the first time I stepped inside Beaver Stadium. But, as I walked onto the sidelines yesterday, all I could think about was how not to fall for more fake plays in the Midshipmen’s offense.

I think I did reasonably okay. You can check out all the (action) photos on YDR’s website, but here’re a few of my favorites:

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Two military jets perform a fly-over from the south end of Beaver Stadium for military appreciation day as the Blue Band finished playing the national anthem on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. Penn State won its first 2012 game, 34-17, against Navy at Beaver Stadium.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Penn State’s Mike Hull rushes for a 74-yard touchdown after a fumble recovery in the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Penn State head football coach Bill O’Brien greets quarterback Matt McGloin after a Penn State touchdown in the first half on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012.

On an unrelated note: Armed with editor Brad’s iPad, I was able to tweet out a few photos — from my DSLRs — during the game. The signal was pretty shaky at times, but it was a neat exercise in being actually digital-first. Editor Eileen had reassured me before the game that tweeting wasn’t my priority and, if it felt overwhelming, that I could just put it aside. But I had a lot of fun with it (at least, when the signal worked), didn’t let it get in my way and got some good feedback from Twitter as well as fellow photographers on the sidelines.

Would I do it again? Absolutely.

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The first time I ever shot boxing was also the first time the main-event, hometown favorite lost as a professional.

Fortunately for me, I got to test out vantage points and shoot several amateur and pro matches before Carney “Beeper” Bowman took the ring. The Valencia Ballroom — where high schools host their proms and older societies hold their formal events — seemed like a strange boxing venue, but I did my best to have fun with it.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Benjamin Carter is lifted by trainer Julio Alvarez after defeating opponent Leonard Langley in the 123-pound amateur bout in the Battle of York VI in the Valencia Ballroom on Friday, Aug. 10, 2012. The Battle of York VI featured several amateur bouts and three professional bouts, ending with York’s Jesus Saucedo against Alberto Manukyan and West York’s Carney “Beeper” Bowman against Ramesis Gil, on Friday, Aug. 10, 2012, at the Valencia Ballroom.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. York’s Jesus Saucedo takes in the hometown crowd as he walks to the ring before his bout against Alberto Manukyan, which he won, on Friday, Aug. 10, 2012, at the Valencia Ballroom.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. A referee signals before the start of an amateur bout at the Battle of York VI in the Valencia Ballroom on Friday, Aug. 10, 2012.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. A ring girl walks the ring before the second round of an amateur bout in the Battle of York VI in the Valencia Ballroom on Friday, Aug. 10, 2012.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. The referee stops the action before Ramesis Gil delivers a blow to West York’s Carney Bowman’s back during the main-event bout in the Battle of York VI on Friday, Aug. 10, 2012, in the Valencia Ballroom.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Trainer Julio Alvarez, right, puts a bottle of water on West York’s Carney Bowman’s head after Bowman lost by a split decision to Ramesis Gil in the final professional bout in the Battle of York VI on Friday, Aug. 10, 2012, at the Valencia Ballroom.

Check out Jim’s article, which sums up and reports Bowman’s first professional loss much better than I ever could, and which includes a few other photos as well.

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I’m pretty sure every fall sport had a scrimmage this past weekend, and begins this full season this week. So last week, my editor sent me hunting down some practices between assignments. Here’s what I found:

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. York Suburban junior Kayla Gibbs, right, leaps over the jump boxes during a drill as sophomore Sabrina Geary, left, returns to the starting block on the first day of tryouts for the varsity and junior varsity teams on Monday, Aug. 13, 2012. The teams will be announced on Wednesday evening, with the first scrimmages on Saturday. Monday, Aug. 13, 2012, marked the first day of fall sports practice for YAIAA schools.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. (Left to right) York Suburban sophomore Aly Dieter, freshman Lauren Rower, senior Lindsay Saxman and freshman Devon Hornberger complete a setting rep drill on Monday, Aug. 13, 2012, in the high school gym on the first day of varsity and junior varsity volleyball tryouts.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. York Catholic boys trying out for the varsity and junior varsity soccer teams run a speed drill on Monday, Aug. 13, 2012. The teams will be announced on Thursday or Friday, and will have their first scrimmage at Dover Area High School the following Monday.

Maybe it’s because it’s been so terribly long since I’ve been in school, but this summer really flew by. It feels like I just shot West York’s baseball championship game a few weeks ago, and I can’t believe we’re on the brink of football season. Suffice it to say, I’m keeping a bottle of Alleve in my camera bag… and will do my best to avoid further football injuries this year.

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The celebration didn’t end with the Bulldogs’ infield pile-up after they clinched their first-ever state championship win.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. West York baseball players Brandon Kinneman, Kaden Hepler (with trophy) and Jerrin Toomey share a moment during the assembly held in honor of the team’s PIAA Class AAA state championship win on Thursday, July 12, 2012. West York Area Senior High School honored the baseball team’s win with a parade around the borough and an assembly in the gym.

Something I’ve observed and come to appreciate about West York athletics is its close ties to the community. I’ve only shot a few of the program’s different sports, but at the conclusion of every game — win or lose — the West York fans line up as close to the playing field as they can get, and the players and coaches come to them to give each fan a high-five or hug. This tradition can be really exciting to observe when they win, or really heart-wrenching to see when they lose, but either way,  it’s something I’ve never seen anywhere else, and I now look forward to it each time I shoot a West York game.

As befitting a team that won state and a community that stands proudly behind its team no matter what, West York threw its champions a small parade and hosted an assembly in the gym earlier this week. Check out the video I produced, which features some Wes Anderson-y editing in one section:

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Summer means baseball, and in these parts, that means a) the York Revolution and b) local league ball.

I’d never shot at Stewartstown’s field before, nor had I ever seen a similar setup. The playing surface is maybe six feet below the ground on which the nearby community building stood, and the fence serving as the backstop extends all the way to the dugouts, whose roofs rise about three feet above ground level. So, after securing the home team manager’s permission, I camped out on their dugout roof while I covered the game.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Taken in the bottom of the seventh and final inning. That red thing on the dugout roof marks roughly where I sat.

With that vantage point and some gorgeous evening light, I got to make baseball pictures I’ve never made before.

For example, twin dirt clods:

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Red Lion’s Eric McNeil gets home for a run as Stewartstown’s Adam Allshouse waits for the ball in the third inning on Thursday, June 28, 2012, at Stewartstown.

Evening light was insanely nice. And the game was moving at a pace where I felt like I could relax and make pictures, not just shoot-shoot-shoot.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Red Lion’s Austin Hinkle lets a ball past him in the fourth inning against Stewartstown on Thursday, June 28, 2012, at Stewartstown.

I’d never shot on a field with such nice, selective light on a pitcher:

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News.

The sun soon faded beyond the horizon, and the light evened out on the playing field. Then I noticed that the pitchers — from both teams — had dug quite a hole into the pitching mound. Never saw that before, either:

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News.

So, combined with the nice angle-of-light and the higher vantage points possible, I’m excited for the next time I shoot at Stewartstown.

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Yesterday, I went to State College not for Penn State (for once) but, rather, a local team making its first state championship baseball game appearance. West York, who had lost the district semifinal football game last fall to Lampeter-Strasburg, was facing them again — this time, for the state title in baseball.

Sure enough, the West York Bulldogs delivered their comeuppance in a 9-6 victory over the L-S Pioneers.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. West York’s Brock Gladfelter hoists the state championship trophy toward West York fans after defeating Lampeter-Strasburg to win the school’s first-ever state championship in baseball on Friday, June 15, 2012, at Penn State in State College.

As the only photographer sent to the game, I was responsible for two section fronts, a slideshow’s worth of photos, a video and, of course, a bit of social media as well. After some pre-trip brainstorming with editor Brad and fellow photographer Jason, I walked into the stadium three hours before West York and L-S took the field, and started working right away: I explored the stadium, found the team and didn’t stop until after the game was over.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. West York’s first baseman Brandon Kinneman kneels in prayer during batting practice at Medlar Field before playing the state championship game against Lampeter-Strasburg on Friday, June 15, 2012. Kinneman’s grandmother Maryland Slonaker passed away on Wednesday, June 13, and a post-victory huddle was held in the outfield in memory of Slonaker and others close to the West York team.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. West York pitcher Kaden Hepler stretches with a band before playing the state championship game against Lampeter-Strasburg on Friday, June 15, 2012.

The game itself wasn’t my best in terms of shooting for action. Unlike any other high school baseball game or even any Revs game, I was pretty limited in my mobility by the officials as well as by the geography of the dugouts. But, as reporter John assured me, state championship games are all about emotion — and I did get plenty of that.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. West York’s Brandon Kinneman celebrates in a dogpile among his fellow players and coaching staff after defeating Lampeter-Strasburg 9-6 for the school’s first-ever state championship.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. West York head baseball coach Roger Czerwinski leads the team and staff in a moment of silence in the outfield in memory of family members and close friends of the team who have passed recently, before greeting West York fans after defeating Lampeter-Strasburg to win the school’s first-ever state championship in baseball on Friday, June 15, 2012, at Penn State in State College.

For my video — thanks to Jason’s suggestion — I focused on the starting pitcher, Kaden Hepler, who ended up pitching 23 of 26 innings in West York’s state playoff games:

Check out a slideshow of more photos, too.

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I had only shot one track-and-field competition — and, since I was to focus only on the track events, I had never shot any field events — until I was assigned to make pictures of Jared Allison.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Dallastown’s Jared Allison ties up his training shoes as Palmyra Springs senior Shawn Mayer watches Cumberland Valley senior Chase Gehr use the rings before they all began a pole-vaulting training session on Wednesday, April 25, 2012, at the indoor training facility VaultWorx in Camp Hill. Dallastown’s Jared Allison — one of the best pole vaulters in the state — trains at VaultWorx, which is an indoor facility in Camp Hill.

At the time that reporter John and I followed Jared during one of his pole-vaulting training sessions at an indoor facility, the high school senior had his eye on breaking the state record and capturing the gold at the state championships, which were about a month away.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Dallastown’s Jared Allison works on his lift method during a training session at the indoor facility VaultWorx in Camp Hill on Wednesday, April 25, 2012.

I did my best in the indoor facility. The light situation was terrible. One end of the large, tall-ceilinged room was lit with blue-white fluorescents, the other end (where the landing pad was) was lit with dim orange lamps and finally, just beyond the landing pad, were windows that let in a good amount of sunlight. Not the ideal situation for decent white balance.

But I had fun. Pole-vaulting is such a fundamentally strange sport, as John alluded to in his profile of Jared, and I had never shot it before. So it was a challenge on multiple levels — lighting and exposure, the novelty of the sport — but it was fun.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Dallastown’s Jared Allison runs with the pole during a training session on Wednesday, April 25, 2012, at the indoor facility VaultWorx in Camp Hill.

Be sure to check out John’s full article, which includes more photos.

And as for the state championship? Jared didn’t get the gold or break the state record — but that’s okay.

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I’ve only shot softball three times (including a doubleheader, so four games), and every time, Central York has won.

More significantly, each time I’ve covered their games, the Panthers have won by scoring a run in either the last inning in regulation or the last, pre-tiebreaker inning.

The first time:

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Central York’s Courtney Hastings slides safely into home in the seventh inning against Spring Grove to score the game’s only run on Thursday, March 29, 2012. Central York defeated Spring Grove 1-0 in softball at home on Thursday, March 29, 2012.

The second:

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Central York softball players gather at home plate to cheer on pitcher Taylor Rohrbaugh, far left, as she runs home after hitting a homerun in the ninth inning of the YAIAA softball championship game on Wednesday, May 16, 2012, at New Oxford Senior High School. Central York defeated Littlestown 4-2 in nine innings.

And the third — last night’s:

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Central York’s Kelsey Wisner hugs Courtney Hastings after Hastings hit a walk-off double that allowed Central York to defeat Elizabethtown 1-0 in nine innings on Thursday, May 24, 2012, at Millersville University to advance to the PIAA District 3 softball semifinal.

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Last night, I shot a spectacularly weird football game. It was played on the ice rink… with turf carpets laid directly on top of the ice:

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. A crack in the turf's seam shows the ice underneath at the American Indoor Football game played on Saturday, April 14, 2012, at the York City Ice Arena.

It was an American Indoor Football league exhibition-style game, and it was by far the strangest one I’ve photographed. The “field” was 50 yards long, and the goalposts were suspended from the ceiling. Early in the first quarter, management decided to have the game played in only one direction after a player slid on the carpet — which then slipped on the ice — in the far end zone.

Most significantly, the players and the ball were prone to crash into the crowd at any point.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Harrisburg Stampede linebacker Vincent Tiberi is brought down by the Virginia Badgers against the boards as members of the crowd pass by during the third quarter on Saturday, April 14, 2012, at York City Ice Arena. The game was played like an exhibition game to gauge interest in York, with the Stampede winning 70-24.

Almost as significantly, the unevenness of the turf carpet meant extra caution had to be taken.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Bumps in the turf carpet and breaks in the seams were an inevitable obstacle throughout the game between the Harrisburg Stampede and the Virginia Badgers on Saturday, April 14, 2012, at the York City Ice Arena. A referee in the fourth quarter tripped on the carpet and hit his head.

But everyone seemed to have fun. And if the higher-ups think the game was a big-enough hit, who knows? Maybe one day York will have its own indoor football team.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. The Virginia Badgers team occupied the visitors hockey bench at the rink in the York City Ice Arena.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Members of the Harrisburg Stampede Starletz dance team perform their number during a dance-off against the Virginia Honey Badgers dance team during halftime on Saturday, April 14, 2012, at the York City Ice Arena.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. The Virginia Badgers give the kickoff return during the third quarter against the Harrisburg Stampede on Saturday, April 14, 2012, at the York City Ice Arena.

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Softball was one of the few mainstream sports I’d never shot, at least until yesterday.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Central York's Courtney Hastings slides safely into home in the seventh inning against Spring Grove to score the game's only run on Thursday, March 29, 2012.

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“The Steelers? Aren’t they a… football team?”

I may be somewhat pop culture-illiterate, but I had to double-check on that one because, one day last week, I saw I was assigned to photograph the Steelers play a basketball game against local teachers.

Sure enough, the Steelers are a football team. But they also play basketball for fundraising, and West York hosted them to play three games last week.

Here’re a few photos I made during their game against the middle-school teachers:

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Mundy high-fives wide receiver Antonio Brown before leaving the bench during player introductions prior to the game against the West York Area Middle School faculty on Friday, March 23, 2012. West York is hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers' basketball team in three games -- one against the faculty of each the elementary, middle and high schools -- on Friday, March 23, and Saturday, March 24, to raise money for the girls field hockey team. The Steelers defeated the middle school faculty 84-46.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. West York Area Middle School's Kelly Kessler, back, gets the ball after fellow faculty member Matt Smith, center, was blocked by a Pittsburgh Steeler in the second half on Friday, March 23, 2012.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Twins Carrington and Zoey Henry, 3 of West Manchester Township, offer up their teddy bears to be autographed by Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Mundy during halftime on Friday, March 23, 2012.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Wes Lyons goes up for a dunk against the West York Area Middle School faculty in the first half on Friday, March 23, 2012.

Be sure to check out Ryan’s recap of the alley-oops and fun that everyone had at the game… as well as this video I made about how the middle-school teachers prepared to play basketball against professional football players:

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The night before I left for a three-day photojournalism workshop in Fairfax, Va., I shot and turned in photos for our 2012 spring sports tab.

Earlier that day, my editor told me three female athletes would be arriving for the studio shoot.

“Do anything you want,” she said. “Make it gritty or stylized or anything, but they all have to be in the shot.”

“All three?”

“All three.”

So I worked with the girls, took suggestions from them, made them get closer to each other and turned in three different options before I left for home to pack.

The next day, as I was in one of the workshop’s sessions, my editor texted me… because, in the photo I’d designated as my favorite, the track-star girl in the center seemed as if she were missing an arm.

I wasn’t there for any of the deliberations, but they kept the shot. And no, New Oxford’s Jamilla Janneh is not, in fact, missing an arm.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News and GameTimePa.com.

I also turned in this similar option:

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News and GameTimePa.com.

For both of the shots above, I had a three-light set-up: One in the back to highlight Jamilla’s jumping figure, and two — with umbrellas — flanking me. The cover photo was taken from the third or fourth rung of a ladder we have in the studio; the outtake was taken from almost floor-level, as I sprawled out on my stomach.

Below one of the last shots I tried, this time with only one front light for a more stylized approach. Not as punchy as the others, and my depth-of-field was way too shallow for this to work for a cover photo, but I still like it:

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News and GameTimePa.com.

Related: Check out this past football season’s preview tab, which I also shot.

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Last night, I photographed the end of an era.

Rewind: A few weeks ago, I was assigned to a York College men’s basketball game. Not unusual, except the assignment was to make pictures of the coach, who had announced he would retire at the conclusion of the season and who stood gruffly during a short, pre-game ceremony that honored his tenure.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. York College mens basketball coach Jeff Gamber, center, stands in front of his team's bench as an announcer recognizes his achievements and tenure as head coach in a pre-game ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012. Gamber will have served as head coach for 36 seasons.

The man showed no emotion… until the game began.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. York College mens basketball coach Jeff Gamber, left, reacts to a play by a Mary Washington player during the first half on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012.

Those photos ran the next day.

Then, last night. It was the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament, and for the first time since 2006, York College was in. If the Spartans lost, it would be Jeff Gamber’s last game. If they won, they’d live on to see another game the next night.

York College lost, 72-50. And, after the post-game handshakes, Gamber returned to the stands, beckoned his wife out of the crowd and left the court, grasping her shoulder with one hand and wiping his eyes with a tissue in the other.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. York College men's basketball head coach Jeff Gamber and his wife walk off the court after York College lost 70-52 to Franklin & Marshall College in the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament on Friday, March 2, 2012, at Franklin & Marshall College.

Today in the office, one of the sports reporters and I remarked on the photo.

“I was surprised he was emotional,” I said.

“Yeah,” the reporter agreed. “That man is a stone.”

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Last night was the first time I’ve ever used flash to cover a sports assignment.

Last night may also have been the first time any of us photographers has shot basketball in New Hope Academy’s cafeteria/gym, so I tried to have some fun with it. After shooting one quarter from the ground, I decided to get up on the stage behind the home basket so I could pretend to be a remote camera clamped to the nonexistent post. It definitely resulted in photographs I’ve never before been able to make for high school basketball, which was exciting.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. New Hope Academy's Brandon Murray goes for the basket against Millersburg in the second quarter on Friday, Feb. 24, 2012, at New Hope. New Hope defeated Millersburg 59-30 to advance to the District 3A semifinals.

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Every time I shoot a new sport, I a) overshoot, b) just follow the ball, c) keep faces in focus and d) also try not to get overwhelmed. Then again, and again, and again, through the next few games until I start to better understand the sport. This has been my method with baseball, football, tennis, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, field hockey, wrestling, volleyball and a few others that I might have forgotten here.

And, now, ice hockey.

I have attended a professional hockey game and even voluntarily watched a few games on TV, both thanks to Jeff, who’s a fan. Despite his best efforts, though, I have little understanding of the game. So, last night, I just did my damnedest to follow the puck. Maybe someday, I’ll understand hockey the way I understand football: well enough to shoot it.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Central York's Kenny Gross and Hempfield's Kyle Long keep their eyes on the puck in the third period on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012. Central York defeated Hempfield 7-2 to clinch the CPIHL Tier 1 regular season title.

Off the ice, I saw these kids pressing their noses against the glass, so whenever the action headed their way, I trained my lens on them — at which point, naturally, they would immediately become distracted by something else and lose their focus on the game. This is a picture wherein I don’t mind that they’re not too terribly engrossed in the sport at that moment.

© 2012 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Aaron Miller, 3 of Manchester Township, wipes his nose as his sister Autumn, 7, watches their cousin play goalie for Central York against Hempfield on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012, at the York City Ice Arena.

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© 2011 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News.

Last Friday, West York ended its 10-3 season with a loss that cut short the team’s hopes of playing the district championship final.

But the Friday before that? Victory.

I shot the game for the next day’s sports section, but I also shot outside the game for a monthly gallery feature that ran in Tuesday’s living section. Here are a few frames, which I did convert to black-and-white for this blog post. You can view all the photos, and read the brief, as they were published.

© 2011 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. (Left to right) Head bowed, West York running back Brock Snellbaker sits on the steps outside West York Area High School as wide receivers C. Kingsley Chikezie and Ryan George (sitting on railing) wait for pregame warmups to begin before the PIAA District 3AAA quarterfinal game against Susquehanna Township at home on Friday, Nov. 18, 2011. West York defeated Susquehanna Township 42-14 at home on Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, to advance to the District 3AAA semifinal round.

© 2011 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. (Left to right, bottom) West York residents Brett Butler, Tom Eyster and Chris Eyster watch the game as West York eighth grader Emma Rikas and West York Bulldog Marching Band color guard members Daniela Ngounou, Ornella Ngounou and Maxine Stough cheer after a second-quarter West York touchdown during the PIAA District 3AAA quarterfinal game against Susquehanna Township on Friday, Nov. 18, 2011.

© 2011 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. West York football players lift their helmets as they return to their home fans after defeating Susquehanna Township in the PIAA District 3AAA quarterfinal game on Friday, Nov. 18, 2011.

© 2011 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. West York head coach Ron Miller gets high-fives from students and fans after the Bulldogs won the PIAA District 3AAA quarterfinal game against Susquehanna Township on Friday, Nov. 18, 2011.

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