Photo Finish

The Santa Maria Quakes 8U All-Star team continues to shake things up during the summer softball season. The Quakes won the Coast Summer Slam Sunday, their fourth straight tournament championship. The Quakes opened the tournament Saturday with a 3-2 win over Paso Robles then followed that with an 80-1 win over Arroyo Grande. Lylah Garcia pitched a complete game in Sunday’s 4-1 win in the semifinals over Goleta Gold setting up a game against Paso Robles for the tournament title – the third straight week the Quakes face Paso for a championship – with the Quakes winning 6-3. The team posed for a photo after Sunday’s championship game. The players and coaches are; (bottom row, from left) Jayda Neal, Natalia Rocha, Lylah Garcia, Tiana Estrada and Kaleena Barragan; (middle row, from left) Kali Padilla, Solei Gutierrez, Kianna Real, Lexie Salazar, Annalyssa Cota, Jaelah Melena and Tati Hamane; and (top row, from left) coaches Daniel Barragan, Jesse Padilla, Tino Estrada and Jesse Acevedo.

We regularly publish photographs that are submitted by our readers.

For years we’ve set aside space on either Page B2 or D2, depending on which section of your newspaper sports will appear in, for an item we call “Photo Finish.”

Photo Finish gives us the chance to highlight the accomplishments of local athletes or teams that we aren’t able to cover in person.

These color photos are accompanied by a short story highlighting the person or team’s success.

When we can, we list the names of everyone on the team.

As regular readers, you’ll notice some teams are in Photo Finish all the time, some are featured once in a while and some never get in at all.

That’s because we rely on coaches and parents to help us out.

Some take the time from their busy lives to make sure we get the pictures and details so that we can, in turn, recognize these hard-won achievements.

The Santa Maria Quakes 8U All-Star softball team, for instance, has been included in Photo Finish for four straight weeks.

The Quakes have won four straight tournaments, going 16-0 along the way.

One of the Quakes’ coaches, Jesse Acevedo, always takes the time to send something in.

We appreciate his hard work with the girls and for him taking the time to send us the photos and details each week, and we’re more than happy to give his girls the recognition they have both earned and deserve.

But we can always use more.

That’s why I’m writing this blog – to encourage even more of you to be part of our Photo Finish family.

Here’s how you can get involved.

First, get a good, in-focus picture.

Everyone is walking around with a camera these days.

Modern cell phones produce remarkably high quality photos.

Then email me the photo or photos with the important details:

  • What is the team’s name and in what league or tournament do they play?
  • What was the outcome of the game or tournament?
  • If it’s a tournament, when did it start, end and what were the game scores along the way?
  • And where was the tournament or game played?

If you can, please include everyone’s names in this order; front (or bottom) row, from left to right, middle row, from left to right, and if there is a back (or top) row, also make it from left to right.

And spelling is important.

Many of these kids will go on to play high school sports and by that time, we not only know them but can also spell their names.

But the younger athletes are, in many cases, new to us and we use your spellings, so please make every effort to get them right.

If we have to come back and publish a correction, we’ll always do that. But we’d rather get everyone’s name spelled correctly the first time.

Action photos are OK, but we prefer team photos.

While an action photo looks good, it only highlights one or two players.

With team photos, we can get everyone’s face and name into the paper.

Once you’ve got it all together – photo, details and names – send it all to me.

The photos should be sent as .jpg attachments. I can usually dig them out of an email if they are embedded in the text, but we’ll get higher resolution if they are sent as .jpgs.

And the details can go in the text part of the same email.

I’ll send you a response letting you know when it will appear in the paper.

There are times, especially after weekend soccer tournaments, that I receive several photos for Photo Finish.

In that case, I publish them in the order in which they were received and I’ll let you know that so you can let everyone know when to look for it.

So get those photos coming.

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Senior Sports Reporter