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  • Writer's pictureSteve Gamel

Throwback Thursday: A Look Back At My Favorite Sports Ledes

Updated: Jul 19, 2019

I wrote a blog in November with some tips on how to write a great lead – or "lede" as journalists spell it. After all, a lede is part of our culture as writers. It gives readers the main points of an article right away and, if cleverly written, hooks the reader's attention.

So we best make sure to get it right or ... well ... no one will bother reading our stuff!

The purpose of this week's blog is to simply share my own lede writing, with an emphasis on sports journalism. For those who don't know, I also cover high school sports for the Denton Record-Chronicle. Over the last 20 years, I've spent a considerable amount of time focusing on effective lede writing in my sports coverage. I did so because:

1. I hate writing that has no creativity – it shows the writer is afraid to take chances.

2. We watch sports because it's fun. Sports writing should have just as much personality.

I'm not always the best at it – I will NEVER claim to be perfect. But I do believe placing more attention on those key first words of my game stories or feature articles has made me a better writer well beyond sports. If nothing else, I'll at least grab your attention.

I went back and pulled some of my favorites. Here are just a few:

Argyle’s Vivian Gray could have gone anywhere to play college basketball. She just redefined anywhere.


DALLAS — When Army went for it and scored on fourth-and-3 in overtime to eventually win Tuesday’s Heart of Dallas Bowl, it put the finishing touches on what everyone could see from the opening kickoff.

North Texas had no answer for Army’s triple-option rushing attack — at least not one that could withstand four-plus quarters.


With about 10 rounds left in last week’s first-year player draft, former Ryan standout Nash Knight was starting to believe he wouldn’t get his chance to play professional baseball.


Jackson Weatherford has told only a few people about the outcome of a new medical procedure that gave him partial relief from his post-concussion symptoms. Now he wants to tell everyone, with the understanding he still has a long way to go.


Jacob Castro is 9 years old, and his golf game may be better than yours.


ARGYLE -- Nathan Priddy struggled for the right words while being interviewed during the final week of his high school basketball career. Clearly nervous, he rarely took his eyes off the ground in front of him -- unless to grab the attention of a nearby teammate.


Jackson Weatherford stares at every baseball field as if it were his home — a home, sadly, he may never go back to.


SNYDER — Ryan believed it could beat Canyon in Friday’s Class 5A Region I semifinal. It didn’t take long for reality to set in.


It was billed as a showdown. The result was a beatdown.


Keith Pierce used to be a fixture on the marathon scene. Then he scaled back — way back.


ROCKWALL — Krum may have shot itself in the foot several times in Saturday's Game 2 loss, but it wasn't near the collapse Carthage had in the ensuing do-or-die series finale.


GARLAND — Opponents have been able to get the best of Argyle before. It’s just that not many could finish the job.


Nicholas Gay, who quickly turned around Ryan’s volleyball program during a two-year stint at the school, is leaving to take over as coach at Weatherford in a decision prompted by a similar move his wife is making.

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*STEVE GAMEL is the Owner/President of Edit This, a writing and editing services company located in Denton, TX. Along with being a sports writer for the Denton Record-Chronicle, Steve handles anything involving the written word. Give him a call today to help give your business a clear voice.

#ThrowbackThursday #Alookbackatmyfavoritesportsledes #writingandediting #EditThisandDentonTx #sportsjournalism

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