Due to high school graduation ceremonies being held in their home stadium, Sun National Bank Stadium, quarterback E.J. Nemeth, pictured, and Trenton Steel players practice at Mercer County Park in Mercer County N.J., June 8, 2011. (Mylan Cannon/The New York Times)
With the whole NFL lockout going on I was assigned to photograph a semi-pro football team called the Trenton Steel and to illustrate the scene of the semi-pro realm. Most of these guys play in the minor league to try to be drafted into the pro circuit, and a lot of them seem to just play because they love the game and don’t mind the $150 pay per game on top of working full time off the field.
Frank Susino, Director of Business Operations for Trenton Steel works under a disco ball in the Trenton Steel team headquarters which was used has a nightclub before being purchased by Trenton Steel, Trenton, N.J., June 8, 2011. (Mylan Cannon/The New York Times)
Despite the somewhat low budget operations, the owner and managers of the team really try hard to run and treat the team like a first class operation. I spent a day shooting the Steel during their practice and another day as they traveled to Harrisburg, Pa. for a game that they won 52-22.
Despite the fact that sports is not really my thing, photography or interest wise, this was a fantastic shoot mostly because the photographic direction that my editor wanted me to pursue was very different than typical sport coverage. So I photographed it like any other story with interesting characters, scenes, and narratives.
Trenton Steel fan Joey J. Edredge, 8, leans over the player pit and talks with Charles Graves II, during their game at the Pennsylvania Farm Equine Arena which is frequently used for horse and cow shows, June 11, 2011. (Mylan Cannon/The New York Times)
Carl Spellman, left, and Antoine Rivera laugh while watching the movie Talladega Nights during the bus ride to Harrisburg, Pa to play against the Harrisburg Stampede at the Pennsylvania Farm Equine Areana, June 11, 2011. (Mylan Cannon/The New York Times)
Here’s the article by Mike Tanier.
And here’s the slide show.