Belton High School from Belton, Texas has impressed us all by consistently holding one of VNN’s top spots for most athletic website traffic each month. Coach Sam Skidmore might have some tricks up his sleeve to be able to produce such outstanding results. The Belton Tigers have overtaken high school athletics all over the country. This Tigers’ Coach has his hands full, but balances his priorities well to achieve a very successful VNN school website.
As told to Erika Arora
I played sports all my life, starting in high school where I played football and baseball, all the way through college when I was on the football team at Tarleton State University, playing for the Texans. From there I realized I couldn’t see myself doing anything else but sports, so I became a coach. I’ve been at Belton High School for two years now, and the kids and faculty here are great.
My favorite moment in Belton sports history was during my first year here. The football team had made the playoffs for the first time since 2011, but were 18 point underdogs for their first round game. By the end of the game, the score was 51-24 Belton, and the Tigers won a playoff game for the first time since 2009!
As a coach, I’m highly motivated by the students. I try to provide a connection with the kids, as my coaches did with me. I aim to be a role model for them because there are a lot of kids with single-parent households and other situations, and just being there for the kids is really something valuable.
When we partnered with VNN, I delegated who was in charge of what teams, but I finalize all posts because I’m in charge of our athletic website.
Each head coach is responsible for publishing articles about their sports. They are required to provide an itinerary for any out-of-town trips, and articles are mandatory for any contests we run.
Our media department covers Varsity sports pictures and photo albums. We have about 20 photographers per football game to ensure a cohesive photo gallery. Each coach must post a roster, or they can appoint someone to do it for them. I add articles here and there, such as college signings with pictures, and I’ll post individual articles about those. I also post all Varsity football and Boys powerlifting articles. Our football team is required to post about 5 articles a week. For Junior Varsity we appointed a team mom to take photos and upload them to our website.
All of our teams have individual Twitter accounts, so VNN linked them so that whatever content we post, it automatically goes out to all the Twitter pages, which also have the link to our website.
The majority of our website views come from parents, students, and community members. Parents love to go to our website and look through the photo galleries and save pictures of their kids. A lot of people will send someone a link to our website to show them game results or pictures, and that is one way we generate pageviews. Our goal is to kill it with content.
My team of coaches who crank out content aren’t just doing it for the fun. We make it a requirement for them to update their team online timely and accurately. It’s simply part of their job description. It’s easiest to make each coach of every sport responsible for their page, then oversee them. After, have someone ensure that it’s the way you want it.
There is one quote that I believe shares my views as a coach:
“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those timid spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”
– Teddy Roosevelt.
The one thing I believe all athletes should remember is to just compete. Whether you win or lose, it’s all about the competition. Varsity News Network has created a place for Belton to bring the community together, and spread the excitement through sports.
Check out Belton’s website and see their teamwork for yourself!