Hello everyone. I’m Ralph Amsden, the founder and editor of C-Town Rivals. I want to start off by thanking everyone who has ever clicked on one of our stories. Ctownrivals.com was started back in 2012 to train aspiring student journalists, and to help cover high school athletics in the community that I grew up in. I never thought it would be a very big deal.
I was wrong.
Students, parents and administrators embraced the site- while low-paid, but ambitious student reporters helped me turn this site into something seemed to add value to the local prep athletic scene. For the last three years we helped tell the stories of countless athletes and coaches in and around Chandler, and the demand for new content was such that this thing, meant to be a small, local, informational blog, was a full-time endeavor with a loyal and passionate staff, willing to work for peanuts to be part of something special.
It was a really good time, but all good things must come to an end.
You may have noticed that over the last six months, content on the site has been limited to posting the weekly Podcasts. There are some great reasons for the lull, as well as some not-so-great reasons. During the winter, I left my job as a high school English teacher to see if we might be able to grow the site into a full-time venture. The initial goal of the site was to help prepare aspiring writers for future opportunities, and it’s done exactly that. Many of us have had opportunities come out of this venture, myself included. Because of Ctownrivals, I’ve been able to write for Sports360AZ.com, AZPreps365.com, TopDrawerSoccer.com, take on an editing gig at ASUDevils.com, and even take over as publisher of the Rivals high school affiliate for the state of Arizona, ArizonaVarsity.com. Several of our other contributors have had opportunities to do work for Rivals, Cronkite Sports Network, ASU’s State Press and more. I’m extremely proud of what this site has helped us all achieve, but unfortunately, the well has dried up.
Now, I’m not saying the amazing city of Chandler has run out of things to write about. That’ll never happen. I am saying that the community investment that helped to make this a viable and worthwhile effort in the beginning isn’t as strong as I hoped it would be. Aspiring student reporters are fewer and fewer in number, and sponsors are tough to acquire without directly competing with the very schools I’m trying to cover, which is something I set out to avoid when this website started. Offers for sponsorship money have come in fairly often, but it often comes from a business that’s owned by the relative of a current athlete as an attempt to barter for coverage. It’s an ethical grey area that I’d just assume avoid altogether.
So with that being said, I think it’s best that we go ahead and announce that Ctownrivals.com will cease operations, effective immediately. But, I’m also excited to announce that it’s not the end of Ctownrivals altogether. We will be continuing the podcast, and making it bigger and better than ever. From now on, the CTR podcast will be housed on ArizonaVarsity.com, as will the work of some of your favorite CTR writers- Jordan Knight, Chilly, Brett Quintyne and Fabian Ardaya. The social media accounts, which have always been more popular than the actual website anyway, will remain active and be used to promote the podcast, as well as any and all positive stories related to C-Town athletics.
I hope you’ll join us over at ArizonaVarsity.com, and I’m excited to see what the future holds.
I’ll end this with with the one thing that pops into my head every time someone texts, calls, emails, Tweets, or stops me on the street to talk about the website and its content.
Thank you so much.
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