For dad of former player, current Lancer baseball team’s success sparks creative endeavor

Don Austin has been mocking up front pages for the Lancers baseball team all year.
Don Austin has been mocking up front pages for the Lancers baseball team all year.

What started with a spur-of-the-moment idea after an SM East baseball game earlier this season has turned into a tradition that Lancer fans look forward to after each game.

Don Austin grew attached to SM East’s baseball program when his son Trey, who graduated in 2014, pitched and played first base for a team that made it to the state tournament. Austin, a photographer and graphic designer, thought it would be fun to turn the results of a game into a faux front page. The response he got was encouraging, and he’s made a habit of whipping up a new graphic after each Lancer outing.

We asked Austin how he comes up with the ideas for the graphics.

How did you come up with the idea to do the front pages this year?
Ever since our oldest son’s decision to hang up his cleats at the college level this last offseason, I knew I would have to fill that Spring void, so refocusing on the SME Baseball program was an easy choice. Coach Ryherd has been so good my son over the years as a coach and mentor and the amount of memories we’ve shared as a family through Lancer baseball is priceless. Not to mention the level of talent and expectations Coach Ryherd is carrying with this year’s team, I definitely wanted to do something for him on the media side to match that same level of excellence. And with that the Gameday frontpage idea was born.

Where do you get the inspiration for the headlines?
The headline for each Gameday recap usually is a creative idea combining the name of the Lancer stand-outs for that particular game and the circumstances surrounding their effort and the team’s result. It’s definitely my favorite part of the Lancer Gameday series that I do.

How long does it take you to knock one of them out?
Not only do I create the graphic art and creative writing for each postgame but all the included photography in each design is mine as well, so it usually takes me a while to sort through all the images to find the perfect shot to complement whatever headline I’ve finally come up with. So I’d say I probably spend a good hour on each finished graphic. But regardless of the time I commit, for me it’s simply about giving back to Coach Ryherd and a program full of talented athletes that deserves every bit of it.


Check out more of Austin’s work after the jump.