There was I, camera and notebook in hand, close to the action and overhearing the coaches bitch.
I would always try and get a safe shot in the bag in case I screwed everything up. Or my camera froze.
Back then it was film. Then being 1996-1999. Not only was it film but I was developing the strip and manipulating the enlarger to make the prints. I think I was part of the last class year in college (Class of 1996) to learn to develop and process film. I'd push Kodak T-max 1600 black and white to 3200 film speed and hope the graininess gaps weren't as big as the players heads. The small weekly was a little behind the technological times. We even still did some paste up - a tradition that lasted at smaller weekly newspapers longer than most.
The film processing was the easy part. That only resulted in fingers which smelled of chemicals; there was no threat of losing them to frostbite.
In upper eastern Washington, often it was too dang cold to think clearly, much less write. I had learned to bring a pencil because the ink in a pencil - of which there is none - can't freeze.
I couldn't wear gloves because I needed to hold that pencil, press the camera buttons and be able to wind onto the next shot. And I didn't think fingerless gloves were useful because it was always my fingertips that were the coldest, anyhow.
That safe photo would be a close-up of the coach talking - hopefully animatedly - to a player or players. It would be the players faces, grim usually; young faces hunkered down between bulked out shoulders. They wanted to play. If only because it was warmer that way. I often wondered if they ever wondered what they were doing out there. I asked a few times in post-game interviews and always heard no. At least when I had the notepad out.
Almost always, unless I was truly miserable and afraid cracking a smile in the wind-freeze would actually crack my face, I stepped over to the stands. Look for the family shots, the old guy, the reliable, enduring fan shot. I'd see if the cheerleaders were doing anything but being braver then the rest of us in their short skirts.