Tuscola TOTM

A group of Tuscola athletes films a GIF.

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When we invited scores of area high school fall sports athletes to our studios on Aug. 18, I’m not sure they were ready for what we had planned.

For the first time in our nearly 10 years of our Faces of the Fall, we asked the stars to get in front of the video camera.

The purpose?

Preps coordinator Colin Likas took the videos and turned them into GIFs — 146 of them in all — of the kids expressing their school pride.

The GIFs will be used on the News-Gazette Preps’ Facebook and Twitter pages to supplement our award-winning sports coverage.

No surprise, most of the good-natured, energetic athletes were game to try something out of the box.

“I was impressed by how many kids wanted to do it,” he said. “I thought people might be too nervous, too self-conscious, to do it, but most of the kids stepped in front of the camera and hammed it up for us.”

And even before the GIFs have made their debut — look for them starting today — coaches have already provided Likas with positive reviews.

“When I was in St. Joseph last week, Oakwood volleyball coach Lynn Anderson told me the kids loved everything we did for Faces of the Fall,” Likas said. “It was really rewarding to hear that type of feedback.”

We can’t wait to replicate this project for our Faces of Winter and Faces of Spring photo shoots — dates to be determined.

For kids who are invited, check out the GIFs online and be ready to outdo your classmates.