I traveled back to my hometown to cheer for my nephew on the Wilkes Central High School homecoming court the last weekend in March. We were even more excited to see that he won. This was cause for celebration. We enjoyed the weekend and anxiously awaited the newspaper announcement. Unfortunately, the latter was not only disappointing but essentially non-existent. The homecoming kings from Wilkes Central and West Wilkes were not named and not pictured. The photo of the homecoming queen from Wilkes Central was unrecognizable, as her head was turned sideways.  The field lights mysteriously went out right before the announcement. 

As such, there should have been additional consideration for the picture quality. To add insult to injury, you also published a very nice picture of North Wilkes king and queen together. That picture was larger and obviously more well planned. I would expect more professionalism and effort from the newspaper to adequately display such an anticipated annual event.  

Upon reading the article, "Friday night (no) lights: When sports go dark," by Marty McGee, to my dismay I saw that the unprofessionalism and lack of consideration extended to this section as well. There is only one sentence about the homecoming queen. The remainder of the article focused on other technical issues with lighting in other games. Why was this the chosen topic to highlight on Homecoming night? The game itself was a blowout, literally in the first half because the second half was canceled.

You chose to highlight the problem of the night, instead of the momentous occasion. You could have reported on the caravan of luxury vehicles that carried the members of homecoming court. You could have reported on the high spirits of the graduating class and loud cheers in the stands, despite the unexpected conditions. You should have reported on the homecoming king and queen, in addition to other students on the field. This could have been an opportunity to celebrate the class of 2021, as so many negatives have occurred this past year. Instead, you rant about lighting issues at other arenas, but manage to include a sentence about pizza prices at the concession stand. Is that breaking news?  

In closing, I request that you also choose your words more carefully. The subheading "when sports go dark" justifies the content of your article, but it also casts a shadow over the king and queen of Wilkes Central as they are both black students. Most of your readers may have missed that reference, probably due to the missing picture of the king and poor quality picture of the queen. I am not familiar with the king and queen of West Wilkes, but it makes me wonder about their ethnicity as well.  


Durham, N.C.

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