Blog Wild for High School Sports
Blog Wild for High School Sports
John Rumery Thursday, March 18, 2010
But local bloggers see an opportunity to fill at least a bit of the hole with their own mini-media outlets that can morph into possible business opportunities. For Don Passenger and Dan Wytko, the launch of their michigancrosscountry.com and michigantrackandfield.com websites was rooted in the nagging belief that the high school cross country methodology for rating boys and girls teams statewide did not a represent a fair ranking system. Through their efforts, their sites now rank boys and girls for both the upper and lower peninsulas in track and cross country.

Dedication to the Sport
Although they both focus on high school athletics, Passenger’s motivation for creating his sites were different than Vaughn’s. Passenger, 49, a cross country coach for West Catholic High School in Grand Rapids, and his partner, Dan Wytko, felt that the method for ranking boys cross-country teams statewide wasn’t accurate. The pair decided three years ago to create their own divisional-based system that has since become “the most relied on cross country ranking for statewide prep cross country,” Passenger says.

Since launching their site michigancrosscountry.com , Passenger says their state wide rankings are distributed to all print media sources “we are aware of” and picked up by 135 media outlets. With Gazelle Sports in Kentwood as an initial underwriter, their costs remain modest and are covered through some advertising dollars. But Passenger says there aren’t any plans to monetize the site because its primary purpose is to promote cross country running. “We could not do our rankings without the dedicated group of experienced coaches who spend several hours each weekend pouring over the results to submit rankings that we then compile, ” he says.

By using their system and then aggressively communicating race results weekly to various traditional media streams, michigancrosscountry.com has become the premier source for this information.

Categories: Track and Cross News

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