For several years now, Horace Greeley High School has been putting out a school newspaper called Sports Roundup. The homespun magazine allows students to merge their passions for professional sports, its varsity teams and their writing acumen. Prior to last June, a staff of ten would collect and word process their stories before running a few hundred copies through the Xerox machine. As it turned out, advanced technology that belonged to the editor in chief's father. That procedure—even after adding the staples—just didn't sound right to Josh Rosen when he joined the publication as a freshman contributor.
"You do not depend on someone's dad and their office equipment to keep something important going," said the Greeley junior.
In this, Rosen shares something more significant than just the same first name on the masthead with his co-editor in chief. Both on the same page, Josh Rosen and senior Josh Lewis felt that by bringing up the level of the publication, Sports Roundup could appeal to a much broader consensus.
On the other hand, the duo's plans for a glossy sport's magazine almost suffered a sudden death with their proposal to the Greeley administration. This especially since the paper did not intend to dedicate itself solely to Horace Greeley sports. "They didn't exactly love it," said Josh Lewis.
On Their Own, Pounding the Pavement
Josh and Josh soon realized the project would have to fly without school funding and official backing.
But crashing to the ground to rise from the ashes never occurred to these two varsity tennis players. A business plan clearly envisioned, they entered in with a chip on their shoulders. "We almost wanted to prove that we could do it without them," said Josh Lewis.
However before rising above the decline, the Chappaqua, New York teenagers would first have to find their feet. "They took to the street and literally pounded the pavement," said Josh's mother Rhoda Lewis-Gennarelli. The asking price was to sell the $1800 in ads so 1000 copies could be produced and distributed.
And in order to lighten the load in their sale's shoes, they felt the prospective publication would appeal to local businesses if they also included Horace Greeley sports. In addition, the two figured that not all students are interested in pro sports and a well done magazine would be a good way to raise school spirit for their Quaker brethren, according to Rosen.
An offering that definitely appeals to the school's varsity wrestling coach. "I think a lot of the kids like that a (school) newspaper is focusing on sports. This opposed to have the the athletics relegated to the last page," said Mike Plotkin. The coach also gives Sports Roundup the nod because the discourse provides coverage to sports like wrestling that are often overlooked.
Overcoming the Obstacles
As a result, Coach Plotkin is lending his support toward hopefully turning Sports Roundup into an official school publication. On the other hand, it's obstacles, the Joshes have learned, that truly leads to knocking down walls and building them up.
"The endeavor has given me an example of how I could lead and oversee this huge process," said Josh Rosen. "And that not only involved raising money but delegating responsibilities among 40 staff members."
Ms. Lewis-Gennarelli also sees barriers falling more easily for her son in the future. "He's learned so much about himself, and what his abilities are," she said.
At the same time, Lewis-Gennarelli can offer the opinion of someone who’s had success of her own in business—even if it carries the bias of a Mom. "I'd love to have these two work for me someday," she concludes with pride.
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