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STEVE WAGNER: Watch for more local, regional sports coverage

One week from today, the Herald plans to publish its 2014 prep football guide.

For months, Herald Sportswriter Greg DeVillers has worked to gather and compile information on players and teams from 10 regions and sections, spanning both sides of the Red River.

Typically, the newspaper has published conference capsules in the daily sports section, but this year we’ve decided to put them all in one easy-to-read, convenient collection, available only in the Aug. 23 print edition.

At the Herald, we’re ready to let readers know that we intend to be great at covering high school sports by providing in-depth reporting of teams from Grand Forks, East Grand Forks and regional communities. We are putting a greater emphasis on local and regional sports coverage — content readers will begin noticing later this month.

To do it, we’re putting our money where our mouths are and bolstering the budget for staff and travel.

Starting with the upcoming football season, we’ll provide game coverage from a regional “Game of the Week,” plus timely capsules of other regional games. But before we cover the highlighted game, we’ll preview it and other key matchups so you can better follow your hometown team.

In addition, we’re also going to write a weekly feature about standout prep players.

One of the best aspects of our plan is adding people to help.

As editor, I’m excited to announce Ryan Bakken will rejoin the Herald as a part-time sports writer.

Longtime readers will remember Ryan, who retired a few months ago, as an exceptional sportswriter who was inducted into the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame in 2007.

While Ryan bolsters our regional coverage, it’s noteworthy to mention that Greg, who was inducted into the NDAPSSA hall earlier this year, will focus even more attention on teams from Grand Forks and East Grand Forks.

Greg and Ryan help continue the Herald’s history of exceptional sports coverage. The newspaper boasts five current or former staff members who are NDAPSSA Hall of Fame members — more than any newspaper in the state and nearly a quarter of all inductees.

Other parts of the Herald’s plan includes revising photographers’ schedules to capture more game action, adding part-time staff and hours to gather game details and dedicating more money for regional travel.

Finally, other members of our sports team — Tom Miller, Brad Schlossman and Sports Editor Wayne Nelson — will assist with high school and small college sports while continuing to deliver terrific coverage of UND hockey, football and basketball.

The Herald will continue to be your best source for UND sports news. 

Steve Wagner

Grand Forks Herald Editor Steve Wagner can be reached at 701.780.1104 and He joined the Herald in April 2013, and previously worked as editor at the Bemidji (Minn.) Pioneer and in several roles -- including news director, investigative reporter and crime reporter - at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. His reporting experience includes coverage of Dru Sjodin's disappearance and the federal death penalty case for her murderer, Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., along with several investigative projects. In his spare time, Wagner is an avid runner and occasionally writes about his experiences on his blog, Addicted to Running.

(701) 780-1104