Last year about this time, the Guadalupe County Communicator newspaper, based in Santa Rosa, N.M., printed a special edition in case its local high-school football won the state championship.
To top it off, the newspaper timed it so the congratulatory edition would actually be distributed at the game the minute the state title was won. The publisher took a gamble, risking $700 in printing expenses that Santa Rosa would win. If the team lost, the special edition would be quietly tossed into a Dumpster.
On Saturday, Santa Rosa — and the Communicator — did it again. The Lions defeated previously unbeaten Eunice 21-14, with the winning touchdown scored with less than a minute remaining. And a congratulatory edition was distributed immediately after the game.
You can see the front page of the special edition in this Facebook post.
And, at 3:35 in this video recap of the game, you can see a Santa Rosa player showing off that special edition:
The Communicator, as you may recall, is owned by M.E. Sprengelmeyer, who lost his job as a reporter for the Rocky Mountain News when the newspaper went belly-up in early 2009. He argued that newspapers could still be financially viable and took a gamble on a struggling weekly newspaper in Santa Rosa.
More than two years later, it appears he’s succeeding. The Communicator recently took home about two dozen awards at the state’s newspaper-excellence contest. His advertising percentages in the newspaper continue to hover at a healthy 50 percent level. And, with such stunts as Saturday’s, he’s adding excitement to the community.