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Who's on first?

It's more than Abbott and Costello's comedy routine or a mere question regarding the weekly prep rankings."Who's on first" is way of life for coordinating weekend coverage of high school sports - particularly prep football - so that stories, scores and other information are provided to readers throughout Utah.

For its Saturday and Sunday editions, the Deseret News shifts from its typical afternoon emphasis to a morning mode. That means early evening deadlines for its "first" edition - the first of two issues - that goes statewide, primarily to readers in the non-metropolitan areas outside of Salt Lake, Davis and Utah counties.

Despite an ever-dwindling number of afternoon football games being played, stories and results from the earlier contests are included in the first edition. However, since the majority of prep teams schedule 7:30 p.m. Friday night games, the first-edition deadline usually comes and goes before the evening games are finished.

The result is a relatively few game stories and scores making the Saturday morning statewide edition, with the night's work emphasis then turning toward the metro edition - Saturday's paper for the three metropolitan counties.

Stories are coming in, as are dozens of phone calls reporting results and scoring summaries from the night games. As if that rushing-to-make-deadline scenario isn't hectic enough for the few sports-desk workers compiling the scores, they're also on the phone calling coaches, principals and other media outlets to try and provide at least a score for every scheduled game.

With that concerted effort among reporters, correspondents and sports-desk workers to gather information, it's no surprise that the most comprehensive prep report is avaiable in the metro edition - including several featured game stories, a roundup of other games played, a list of how the 20 ranked teams fared, scoring summaries of a dozen-plus games, and line scores.

Even without the scores and scoring summaries (which are found on the Scoreboard page), the Deseret News' prep football reporting generally is afforded a full page of space - evidence of a renewed emphasis on high school athletics by Executive Sports Editor John Robinson.

Admittedly, the featured stories and roundup results available in the metro edition are selected for the anticipated interest of readers in the Salt Lake, Davis and Utah counties.

So then, what's available for the football aficcionados living in the likes of Logan, Ogden, Richfield, Moab, St. George and the smaller cities scattered throughout Utah? Included in the first edition for Sunday is a recap of scores and information, with a featured game story and accompanying roundup of game results underscoring the games played outside of the tri-county metro area.

However, because of Saturday's full slate of college football and the limited Scoreboard space, not all the prep scoring summaries can be reprinted for Sunday's first edition.

The same applies to prep basketball and weekend action of state tournaments - especially the late-night state basketball tourney contests.

So the "who's on first" phrase becomes an often-used measuring stick in helping to cover all the bases, as we try to include results from Wasatch Front teams for the Saturday's metro edition and emphasize the games played outside the metro are for Sunday's first edition.

Th result - even after only four weeks of prep football game stories and midweek features - is a good cross-section of coverage representing all areas of Utah, including teams like Mountain Crest, Davis, Granger, Kearns, Alta, Jordan, Springville, South Summit, San Juan, Beaver and Hurricane.