Meridian Star

October 10, 2013

The Star’s star helper

Tony Tsoukalas
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     As a small daily newspaper, The Meridian Star strives to provide coverage for all 19 of the high schools in our reading area.

    It’s a battle.

    As part of a two-person staff, it is difficult each week to figure out which games will get covered and how to provide a full report of Friday night’s action for the Saturday paper. It’s almost an impossible task — I say almost, because sometimes you get a little bit of help when you least expect it.

    Heading into Week 4, as I started my weekly routine of  trying to figure out how to be at three places at once, I stumbled upon an email from Mrs. Laura Hyche. The Star had missed Lamar School’s last two games, which caused quite a stir in the Raider community. Hyche wasn’t calling to complain, however, she was calling to help.

    In her email she stated she realized our lack in numbers and wanted to provide help covering Lamar if possible. Hyche, a former english teacher at Lamar School, just wanted to see her Raiders in the paper.

    By now you have probably seen Hyche’s stories in the Saturday edition. Not only has she stepped up to cover the Raiders, she has done an excellent job. Her accounts of Lamar have become a favorite of mine, as I find she has both an extensive knowledge of the team and its players.

    Even more, she has been a pleasure to work with. Every week she offers to cover the game both on the road and at home. In my conversations with her, I have found her not only to be understanding, but sweet and caring as well. Coming from a suburb north of Houston, Texas, I never got the privilege of having Mrs. Hyche as a teacher, but I’m sure I would have been better for it if I had.

    I’d like to think Hyche, who has a brief amount of journalism experience herself, writes for the same reason I do — because there is something special about football on a Friday night in a small southern town; because each game, each team, each kid has a story worth telling; because documenting those special memories saves a little bit of that magic forever.

    In my year and a half with the Star, I’ve had countless interactions with subscribers. You have sent me messages that I hang on my refrigerator to get me through a rough day and others that keep me up pulling my hair out at night. But, one thing has been consistent — you have proven to be knowledgable, caring and one of the most passionate fan bases I have ever written for.

    Mrs. Hyche is a perfect example how great our sports scene really is. Here’s a woman who saw a need and stepped up not only for her team for but her community as well. It’s a privilege to have Hyche as a guest writer on our staff on Friday nights, but it doesn’t have to stop with her.

    The Star would like to extend an invitation to anyone willing to help out on Friday nights. Whether it’s a short blurb on your team’s game or simply a call-in with scores and stats, we’d certainly appreciate the hand. You can reach us by email at or by phone at 601-693-1551. All calls or emails need to be placed before 11:00 p.m.

    As always, the Star will continue to strive to provide the best local content possible as we work to become an even better community newspaper. I look forward to not only working with Mrs. Hyche, but also the rest of our exceptional sports community as we wrap up what is sure to be an exciting second half to the 2013 football season. Thank you all for your support.