CHICAGO - The Chicago Fire has announced that the club will conduct its first annual High School Night on Saturday, May 14 when it hosts the MetroStars at Soldier Field at 7:30 p.m. CT. Chicago area high school students will have the special opportunity to attend the Eastern Conference clash at a reduced group rate. In conjunction with High School Night, the Fire will host Student Media Night, allowing one hundred ambitious local high school students the chance to get an up close and personal view of how the Fire organization and members of Chicagoland media outlets function by making them credentialed media members for that night's contest.
As part of the Student Media Night, the Fire has teamed up with The Soccer Source magazine, America's favorite youth soccer publication, to conduct the Junior Journalist Contest. The contest offers aspiring sports writers a distinct opportunity to interview and write a feature about their favorite Fire player. Entries will judged by Sean Wheelock, columnist and broadcaster for Fox Soccer Channel; Jerome Rankine of Major League Soccer and a former writer at Newsweek; Sandra DeChant, Founder and Editor In Chief of The Soccer Source magazine; and Christine Johnson, Editor of Shooting Star Media and The Running Network. The winner of the Jr. Journalism contest will receive an MLS 10th Season T-Shirt, a free Soccer Source magazine subscription and two VIP tickets to a future Fire match at Soldier Field. In addition to the prize package, the winning entry will be published in an upcoming issue of The Soccer Source magazine and The Soccer Source on-line.
Interested high school students can participate in the Junior Journalism contest by sending their story to: Jrjournalist@thesoccersource.com. Be sure to include a short bio, a digital photo and contact information. Submissions can also be received via U.S. mail at: Jr. Journalist Contest - The Soccer Source magazine - P.O. Box 589 - Brookfield, WI 53008-0589.
"I am very pleased and excited to be able to participate with the Chicago Fire and MLS to introduce High School Night," said DeChant. "We support programs that inspire young people and promote soccer. As an organization, The Soccer Source magazine seeks to inspire the highest personal standards in the young soccer player, extending beyond athletic achievement to foster lifelong values such as teamwork, good sportsmanship, leadership and a healthy, active lifestyle. This program is a perfect example of our mission and are excited to work with these aspiring journalists."
The student media members chosen to participate in Student Media Night will not only get the chance to cover a professional sporting event, but will also be given the opportunity to learn more about the Fire, Soldier Field and the journalism profession through an exclusive tour of the Lakefront venue and a special pre-game presentation. Local members of the sports print, television and radio media and Fire front office personnel will be on hand to talk to the students about their positions and how they pertain to the field of sports journalism. Students who are selected to participate in the 2005 Student Media Night will be given a day-of-game credential that will allow them the opportunity to gain unique access at historic Soldier Field.
"We're delighted to host an event that will provide both entertainment and education for high school students throughout Chicagoland," said Fire Director of Media Relations Diana Lopez. "It will be a wonderful opportunity for aspiring journalists to get their first taste of professional life while also experiencing the great fan atmosphere that is so unique at Fire home games. We look forward to working with The Soccer Source magazine this year and beyond as we help identify the future sports writers of this country."
Chicagoland area high schools teachers and advisors will be encouraged to nominate no more than two students interested in sports media, preferably those with either experience in or the intention to enter a media-related field. Those student media members selected to participate in High School Night will also be welcomed to attend the Fire's training session on Thursday, May 5 at Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, IL, where they will have the opportunity to personally interview Fire players, coaches and beat writers, with the purpose of composing a story for their media outlets in anticipation of the upcoming High School Night.
If you are aware of a school that has not yet been contacted for participation in the 2005 Student Media Night or would like to request more information on High School Night at Soldier Field, please contact Michael Signoracci at 312-705-7280 for ticket information and Chris Bailey at 312-705-7200, ext. 270 for student media information. The deadline for Chicagoland high schools to declare taking part in the High School Night will be Friday, May 13. The High School Night ticket price is available through advanced sales only and the offered discount will not be available on the day of the game. Students who are interested in being a part of the Student Media Night portion of High School Night should have their application returned to the Fire Media Relations office either via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, fax at 312-705-7393 or U.S. mail at - Chicago Fire, c/o Student Media Night, 1998 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1998, Chicago, IL 60611 - by no later than Friday, May 6.