In these pages, it is our goal to highlight team and individual accomplishments for a wide variety of Clark County and Floyd County athletic endeavors. We certainly focus on high school athletics, in addition to college sports — from IU Southeast locally to Indiana University, University of Louisville and beyond — and professional sports of interest to our readers.

We’re also committed to telling the stories of youth athletes and adults who excel in their discipline. One area in particular that will have a renewed place in the spotlight will be outdoors-related stories. I’m excited to announce that we have two voices to find and bring those stories to you, beginning with Tuesday’s sports section.

Mac Spainhour and Toby Cheatham will serve as SoINto the Outdoors columnists on a biweekly basis moving forward.

Topics they will pursue might be hunting and fishing, depending on the season. Earlier this year, we reported about a Floyd County Fishing Club, for example. But the outdoors in Southern Indiana goes beyond that and we look forward to hearing from outdoors enthusiasts with your tips. In Clark and Floyd counties and beyond there are great opportunities for activities like hiking, as well.

The area is blessed with some outstanding parks and state forests that offer recreational opportunities and special events that will be included. There are conservation clubs we hope to highlight.

Spainhour and Cheatham are knowledgeable in a wide variety of issues and these columns will also serve to inform or offer safety instruction. Spainhour served 27 years as a conservation officer covering 10 counties in south-central Indiana and currently works as a criminal justice teacher — a program he started — at Prosser Career Education Center in New Albany.

“I’m excited about it,” Spainhour said. “It puts me back in the realm of the outdoorsmen who I dealt with my whole career, being an outdoorsman and being a conversation officer. That’s the joy of being a conservation officer, dealing with people who I have something in common with. It’s a pleasant experience a majority of the time. Those people are what I like. Those same like-minded people, I get to interview them.”

Cheatham, currently the athletic director at Borden High School, has helped start programs such as the trapshooting team at Borden.

While plenty of stories are already in the works, please send your story ideas to Spainhour at mspainhour@twc.com, to Cheatham at tcheatham@wclark.k12.in.us or to me at craig.pearson@newsandtribune.com.

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