The fall sports season is upon us, as athletes and coaches submerged themselves into the so-called grind of camp this week.

Soon, the double sessions will conclude and teams will settle into more familiar routines with afternoon practices and, of course, games.

Here at the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel, our writers and photographers are busy compiling information and photos for our annual special sports preview section — a labor of love (or maybe it’s just a labor of like, depending on the day) — that provides readers and viewers a sound synopsis of what to expect on gridirons, fields, courses and even courts this fall.

Planning the section is no small feat — particularly when it comes to the cover.

Truth be told, we start thinking of the fall cover not long after the final spring state champions are decided.

A lot goes into deciding who will grace the cover.

We strive to spread it around evenly, giving each sport an opportunity to lead the special pullout. Furthermore, we look for a compelling story that can be told through a strong photo and few words. Maybe it’s a standout athlete, or a standout team.

This year, we are going with field hockey for two reasons: 1) Some of the best teams in the state play right here in central Maine and 2) it’s been a few years since the sport was represented on the cover.

The special section — which will feature Brooke Michonski (Skowhegan), Ciera Poulin (Winslow), Nickyia Lovely (Gardiner) and Nathalie St. Pierre (Messalonskee) on the cover — is scheduled to come out Sept. 4.

Mark your calendars.

Here’s a look at our last five fall sports covers …

2014: The Maranacook boys soccer team and its quest for a state championship. The headline — “The hunted, and loving it” — played off charismatic coach Don Beckwith, whose players adopted his “bring it on” attitude.

The Black Bears went 17-0-0 and won the Class C state title.

2013: High school football moves to four-class system. Former Cony quarterback Ben Lucas and members of Winslow made their way on the cover. Lucas, of course, enjoyed a record-setting season, throwing for 41 touchdowns and more than 3,500 yards. Cony went on to win the Class B state title game. Winslow, meanwhile, also reached a state final, but fell to Leavitt in the Class C game.

2012: Skowhegan and Messalonskee field hockey. Sarah Finnemore, of Skowhegan, and Kristy Bernatchez, of Messalonskee, were on the cover, which featured a “Battle for supremacy headline.” The teams lived up to the billing that fall as they collided in the Eastern A championship game. Skowhegan won 2-1 and would go on to win the Class A state title.

2011: Alonzo Connor, Gardiner football running back. Connor, you may recall, dazzled spectators and frustrated defenses with his moves on the field. Connor missed the first two games that season with an injury but returned to help carry the Tigers to the Pine Tree Conference Class B playoffs.

2010: Five athletes representing golf (Kyle Bonenfant, Cony), field hockey (Hayleigh Kein, Mount View), soccer (Jordan Pellerin, Waterville), football (Luke Duncklee, Cony), and cross country (Abby Mace, Maranacook). Pellerin led the Panthers to the Eastern A semifinals, where they lost a tough 2-1 decision to Bangor. The Cony football team reached the PTC B quarterfinals and the Mount View field hockey team advanced to the Eastern B title game. Bonenfant shot an 84 at the individual golf state championships at Natanis Golf Course, finishing just outside the top 10. Mace, meanwhile, finished second in Class B after being slowed a bit by a knee injury throughout the fall.

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