Tag: IHSA

How The Most Retweets I Ever Got Were On Out-of-focus Photos

When My Most Popular Photos Are Out Of Focus

They say you rarely go viral for the the posts you want.

To be honest I hardly consider the number of likes and retweets I received on one of my recent posts to be what anyone would consider viral, but given that it was a reply to another tweet and not an actual post to my account I think it ranks as one of the most interacted with tweets I’ve ever made. Which is why I’m sharing the story. Plus the end of this game was one of the more intense and controversial I’ve seen in 20 plus years of covering games.

 

Simeon’s Alante Brown (3) avoids a Nazareth defender during their 7A quarter-finals game, Saturday, November 10, 2018, in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press). This photo was one several photos submitted to the Chicago Tribune from my assignment to shoot the Nazareth vs. Simeon game.

 

The moment photographed above would lead to one of the more dramatic moments I’ve seen in high school football in a long time and what I thought was a highlight reel moment for a season, not just a game. Simeon, a Chicago Public School hosted Nazareth Academy in the Illinois quarter-final round for class 7A.

Simeon’s Alante Brown was a force on the field, who seemed to put his heart into every play and it’s always hard to see someone like that lose a game, but I could be saying the same thing about Nazareth’s Michael Love if the game had gone the other way. With around 30 seconds left in the game, I had lined up right on the goal line of the visitors side. With the score Nazareth (visitors) 34 – Simeon 27, this ensures I’ll be in position to photograph the tying score if it happens, or the victorious celebration if it doesn’t.

Brown finished off the run from the photo above with a leaping dive towards the end-zone pylon from about the 3 yard-line, which he touched the football to before landing out of bounds. I was quick enough to switch from my long lens to my wide lens as Brown raced towards me, firing off a burst of frames. Now a play or two earlier I had set the focus to the area I knew would be the location of any possible shot I was going to take, so somewhere in the rush to take the photo, I either instinctively hit the auto-focus button, or accidentally moved the manual focus ring, because my images were out-of-focus. The referee who was standing as close as I was to the play and was most likely watching Brown’s feet, where I was watching his upper body, ruled that he had stepped out of bounds around the 2 yard line. I looked through my my camera files and saw the photos out of focus, and was slightly relieved that what looked like the play of the game, and a photo I clearly should have had, in a sense did not matter now. Clearly I was wrong, or I wouldn’t be writing this post.

 

The scoreboard during Simeon’s final timeout and right before what turned out to be the last play of the game. Nazareth vs Simeon, Saturday, November 10, 2018, in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson).

 

Simeon would run the ball on the very next play and be stopped with no gain, or a loss of a yard. They called their last timeout and there was a debate about where the time on the clock should be. In the end it roughly 5 seconds was removed to bring the time in the game to 20.5 seconds. Nazareth would end up swarming Simeon’s Deangelo Hudson behind the line of scrimmage and with roughly 15 seconds to go there seemed to be some confusion from just about everyone on the field.

Nazareth’s Alex Carrillo, (5), Riley Theobald, (28) and Jeramine Baker, stop Simeon’s Deangelo Hudson (22) on what turned out to be the last play of the game, Saturday, November 10, 2018, in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson).

 

From a ball flopping around in the air, to Simeon players standing on the other side of the line of scrimmage, or moving frantically to get the refs to place the ball; one side sprung up with joy an elation, while a large number of players on the other side collapsed in agony. For some of the press on the sidelines, we were talking amongst ourselves, wondering just what did we see. The ending felt weird, but I want to be clear I’m not saying that in a way to take away anything from the kids at Nazareth, or tell the kids at Simeon they shouldn’t be heart broken. Each week in November I see some of the states most masculine young men brought to tears.

Nazareth celebrates after a nail-biter vs Simeon, Saturday, November 10, 2018, in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson).

 

Simeon’s Alante Brown was probably the most dejected player I’ve seen this year after the Wolverines loss to Nazareth, Saturday, November 10, 2018, in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson).

 

In a tweet by Simeon fans you can see a video of the play and my shooting from the hip action. That’s when I added these out of focus shots of that would-be touch down and when Twitter kind of did it’s thing. Like I said, not really viral, but the number of retweets on a reply is most likely the tops for me.

 

Like I said in the reply. Three frames is hardly a mountain of evidence.  At the end of the day, this score doesn’t win the game, it doesn’t even ensure overtime, as both teams had missed extra points. The best way to ensure a possible bad call from a referee doesn’t cost you a game is to be up by at least 10 points by the last two minutes.

Nazareth vs Simeon, Saturday, November 10, 2018, in Chicgao. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

Nazareth vs Simeon, Saturday, November 10, 2018, in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson).

Highlights from Leo vs U-High basketball regional finals

#OnAssignment; Highlights from Leo vs. U-High Chicago basketball playoffs

 

IHSA 2A Regional Final Turns Into Upset.

It’s hard to score when all your shots are getting blocked. Brothers Jameel (left) and Mohammed Alausa (right) will probably set a blocked shot record for U-High and maybe the tournament. Friday, February 24, 2017 in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson-Chicago Tribune).

 

For the second game in a row I’ve been pleasantly surprised with an exciting game when the Chicago Tribune/Daily Southtown sent me on assignment to cover Leo Catholic High School against University High Chicago in a 2A regional Final. Leo, an always strong basketball school was the favorite as the number one seed on the 10 team regional and U-High was seeded fourth, but may have been overlooked being a school widely known for its academics.

Either way it’s hard to score when all your shots are getting blocked. Brothers Jameel and Mohammed Alausa (photos above) will probably set a blocked shot record for U-High and maybe the tournament if they make a run into the sectionals. I counted at least 3-4 blocks for Jameel in this game alone and the IHSA’s website lists the 2A career tournament record at 13 and 9 for a single tournament.

It’s not a surprise that as the season wears on for most high school sports that the games I see start to get better. As a former editor-in-chief I know picking the games to cover early in the season can be a crap shoot as you have little to go on past the result of the previous year and pre-season coach interviews end up being a mixed bag of not wanting to brag, or put a target on your back, to being a little unsure of your underclassmen’s talent level and possibly sandbagging it.

Read the Daily Southtown story here.

More images from the game can be seen here.

Leo’s Dachaun Anderson drives to the hoop against U-High, Friday, February 24, 2017 in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson-Daily Southtown).

Leo’s Khalid Manney (00) tries to take a shot while being defended by U-High’s Oliver Maciak (22) and Jameel Alausa, Friday, February 24, 2017 in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson-Daily Southtown).

Leo’s Kevin Drumgoole, (left) tries to console Mario Pittman after their region final loss to U-High, Friday, February 24, 2017 in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson-Daily Southtown).

Chicago Area High School Football 2016 – Week #2

South Side Catholic League and Me; St. Rita vs. Rich Central

So being a near south sider and catholic high school grad myself I’ve ended up by luck, or design of my photo editors, shooting quite a bit of sports involving one, or more Chicago Catholic League team. And this year was no different.

I can say this since I’m posting this 8 weeks into the season and I just got off the phone with my editor at the Chicago Tribune, but it almost looks like I’m the official photographer for St. Rita football this season as I will be photographing one of their games for the 4th time in 8 games. Here’s a look back at week 2 as Rich Central ended up at Doyle Stadium to take on the Mustangs. More game recaps to come.

 

Rich Central at St. Rita, Friday, Sep. 2, 2016 in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson-Daily Southtown).

Rich Central at St. Rita, Friday, Sep. 2, 2016 in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson-Daily Southtown).

Rich Central at St. Rita, Friday, Sep. 2, 2016 in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson-Daily Southtown).

Rich Central at St. Rita, Friday, Sep. 2, 2016 in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson-Daily Southtown).

Rich Central at St. Rita, Friday, Sep. 2, 2016 in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson-Daily Southtown).

Good light is good light. St. Rita’s quarterback Jake Zylman (2) in action against Rich Central, Friday, Sep. 2, 2016 in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson-Daily Southtown).

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Rich Central’s Glen Abram hauls in a pass while being heavily defended by a St. Rita player.

Rich Central at St. Rita, Friday, Sep. 2, 2016 in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson-Daily Southtown).

Rich Central at St. Rita, Friday, Sep. 2, 2016 in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson-Daily Southtown).

Rich Central at St. Rita, Friday, Sep. 2, 2016 in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson-Daily Southtown).

Rich Central at St. Rita, Friday, Sep. 2, 2016 in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson-Daily Southtown).

Rich Central's Glen Abram managed to pull in the pass as  St. Rita's Sean Macander (16) had it pinned to Abram's helmet, Friday, Sep. 2, 2016 in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson-Daily Southtown).

Rich Central’s Glen Abram managed to pull in the pass as St. Rita’s Sean Macander (16) had it pinned to Abram’s helmet, Friday, Sep. 2, 2016 in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson-Daily Southtown).

Rich Central at St. Rita, Friday, Sep. 2, 2016 in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson-Daily Southtown).

Rich Central at St. Rita, Friday, Sep. 2, 2016 in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson-Daily Southtown).

Rich Central at St. Rita, Friday, Sep. 2, 2016 in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson-Daily Southtown).

Rich Central at St. Rita, Friday, Sep. 2, 2016 in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson-Daily Southtown).

 

St. Rita's Jake Zylman (2) crosses the end zone for a touchdown against Rich Central in the first half, Friday, Sep. 2, 2016 in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson-Daily Southtown).

St. Rita’s Jake Zylman (2) crosses the end zone for a touchdown against Rich Central in the first half, Friday, Sep. 2, 2016 in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson-Daily Southtown).

It took three Rich Central defenders to take down St. Rita's Shaun Rule (4) on this run in the second half, Friday, Sep. 2, 2016 in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson-Daily Southtown).

It took three Rich Central defenders to take down St. Rita’s Shaun Rule (4) on this run in the second half, Friday, Sep. 2, 2016 in Chicago. (Vincent D. Johnson-Daily Southtown).

 

See more photos from the Rich Central vs St. Rita football game here.

High School Football Starts Again – 2016

Chicago area high school football 2016 – Week 1

Hinsdale Central vs. American Fork, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

American Fork fans in the visitors’ bleachers at Hinsdale Central, Friday, August 26, 2016.

 

It’s that time of the year again, high school football season. So of course 7 weeks into a 9 week regular season I’m going to play a little catch up this week with images I’ve made from across the Chicago area as I’ve been on assignment for the Chicago Tribune and its suburban papers the Daily Southtown, Pioneer Press and Elgin Courier.

My first assignment this year was a little unusual as it was primarily a feature story. The Cavemen of American Fork, a high school from Utah, made the trip all the way to Hinsdale to take on the Red Devils of Central. So the sports editors at Pioneer Press asked if I could focus quite a bit on the fans as part of the story would be about them traveling across country for the game.

While I still had to get some action from the game, the feature angle and the fact that Pioneer Press is a weekly gave me a 24 hour deadline in stead of the typical 10pm. Luckily the game had a 7pm start time and I was able to capitalize on the good light and spent almost the first half of the game just shooting the fans. Here’s what I got. Including  lot that didn’t run in print, or online.

Hinsdale Central quarterback Josh Bean (3) and linbacker Brian McCarty (11), run onto the field through a tunnel of local youth football players, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

Hinsdale Central quarterback Josh Bean (3) and linebacker Brian McCarty (11), run onto the field through a tunnel of local youth football players, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

Hinsdale youth football players look at the players from American Fork like they were from another planet, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

Hinsdale youth football players look at the players from American Fork like they were from another planet, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

Cheerleaders from American Fork High School in Utah, practice some moves and talk before their very far away game at Hinsdale Central, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

Cheerleaders from American Fork High School in Utah, practice some moves and talk before their very far away game at Hinsdale Central, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

Hinsdale Central vs. American Fork, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

An American Fork fans waits for the Cavemen to run onto the field, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

Hinsdale Central vs. American Fork, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

Hinsdale Central players during the National Anthem, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

Hinsdale Central vs. American Fork, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

Division 1 recruit Michael Richardson (70) and the rest of the American Fork players prepare to run onto the field, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

American Fork High School football players make their way onto the field infront of fans and parents who traveled from Utah to watch the game, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

American Fork High School football players make their way onto the field infront of fans and parents who traveled from Utah to watch the game, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

Hinsdale Central vs. American Fork, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

The late evening sun casts shadows on a fence behind the visitors’ stands at Hinsdale Central, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

American Fork fans react to a big play in the first quarter, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

American Fork fans react to a big play in the first quarter, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

The American Fork stands varied by relation to the team Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale.. Chad Coleman (standing) was cheering for his son, as were Joe & Charlie Richardson (directly in front of him). Callin Osborn (blue hat) was a American Fork alumni who just happened to live in Norridge. A large number of fans however were friends with head coach Aaron Behm, who was a Chicago area native before moving to Utah. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

The American Fork stands varied by relation to the team Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale.. Chad Coleman (standing) was cheering for his son, as were Joe & Charlie Richardson (directly in front of him). Callin Osborn (blue hat) was a American Fork alumni who just happened to live in Norridge. A large number of fans however were friends with head coach Aaron Behm, who was a Chicago area native before moving to Utah. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

Hinsdale Central vs. American Fork, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

A referee watches as a Hinsdale Central field goal approaches the uprights vs. American Fork, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

Hinsdale Central vs. American Fork, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

Hinsdale Central players get ready for a kickoff, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

Hinsdale Central vs. American Fork, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

American Fork punting against Hinsdale Central, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

Hinsdale Central vs. American Fork, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

An American Fork coach watches from the sidelines, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

Hinsdale Central vs. American Fork, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

The American Fork Cavemen carried a big stick all the way from Utah, Friday, August 26, 2016, in Hinsdale. (Vincent D. Johnson-Pioneer Press).

 

Here’s the story and some action shots that The Doings ran about the game.

 

 

Find more of my work at

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com

www.lostamericana.com

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