Final Point: To err is human, but let’s still make this right
     2012-11-08      By Terry Gaston   
Scottsbluff senior Taylor Winkler finished the Bearcats’ just-completed 9-1, third-straight district-championship football season with 23 receptions for 554 yards and five touchdowns.

When reviewing the Bearcats’ season leaders in putting a wrap on Scottsbluff’s undefeated regular season and then sudden season-ending first-round playoff last week, I inadvertently missed including Winkler’s set of impressive statistics when going through the coaches’ final stat package – a factor revealed to me late last week.

So here I am to correct that error, along with another one brought to my attention on Sunday.

One of the earliest lessons I was taught early in my professional journalism career was to check your facts before you put them in print.

Because assuming makes a (donkey) out of you and me – if you don’t understand that one kids, leave explanation to your parents – I have always made it my goal to ensure that any information I have for a story is correct, and that present it correctly.

Thankfully, those occasions have been rare over the years, largely because of that assumption thing from which I learned dearly when I was 18.

Also in last week’s column, I stated names without including the same information I had used in Scottsbluff’s season preview in August. Thus, what I tried to convey did not come out right.

So let’s take care of that issue as well. As I stated last week, early in the column, I listed Ty Dunkel and Bo Lofink as teammates of Matt T. Klein’s who also played on the Bearcats’ Class B state championship basketball team last winter.

Indeed they were, and my intended point was to say that they were returning all-conference football selections who also later played on the state championship basketball team.

Because I left out the “all-conference” portion of the intended point, means I left out more Bearcats than just Winkler, who came off the bench early in most games for Scottsbluff during basketball season. Eric Moreno, on the other hand, was a starter most of the basketball season.

So now, for the record, the Bearcat football players who also played on Scottsbluff’s state championship team last winter are Ty Dunkel, Matt T. Klein, Eric Moreno, Taylor Winkler, Ty Benson, Ty Dunkel, Jackson Hinze and Bo Lofink.

The sources on that? Comparing this season’s Scottsbluff football roster with the back of the Bearcats’ state championship shirts, of which we purchased four since two of my sons were at SHS at the time.

Although I do have a question after looking at the shirt again, because Lofink’s first name on the shirt was spelled Beau, as it was on football and basketball programs throughout last season after checking those documents. This football season, Lofink’s first name became Bo.

Before it is mentioned again, likely either in postseason football honors stories or basketball recaps, a call to the SHS attendance office is in order.

I just want to get the record straight.

Let’s go back to Winkler’s receiving stats for a minute. He had more than one-third of the Bearcats’ 67 catches, his yardage was more than half the receiving yardage the Scottsbluff coaches credited to pass-catchers, and his five TDs were among nine caught by Bearcat receivers.

That’s a pretty good year, and Winkler’s athleticism in obtaining many of those receptions isn’t even reflected and I highly regret the errors that excluded his deserving mentions because to err is human, such measures of making amends are not always taken.

I have worked with people in the journalistic profession who have made errors and have the error revealed to them, but they treat it with an “Oh, well, we all make mistakes” attitude and not take atonement for it with a correction and that brings me to a journalistic proverb that I saw, once again, early in my career.

“To err is human. To not correct the error is a mistake.”

I was hired in my part-time role with the Citizen in December 2010 to initially cover Scottsbluff basketball. That quickly evolved into both Gering and Scottsbluff basketball, and in gathering information on our other area schools’ athletic results.

It is a joy to do so, and the ultimate reward is to see the youth of our valley area succeed and bring their achievements to our readers’ attention.

Hopefully, in error-free fashion, my third winter sports season with the Citizen will be filled with many successes of your high school student-athletes of which we can fill our pages.

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