Whenever fans watch college sports, it’s obvious that their entire focus is on the athletes on the field. Each player is looking to hone his or her craft to improve throughout their university careers, and folks cheer them on to help them stay motivated towards reaching that goal. However, while game action is taking place, there are other students using the contest to enhance their skills in a different, albeit sports-adjacent discipline.
Young broadcasters at the microphone of television or radio productions are also developing ways to bring sports to life. Their names aren’t usually chanted in the stands, and they don’t have jerseys that fans can buy. But the effort logged during their college years can set them up for a bunch of future success.
The University of Maryland has had a widely respected athletic program for several decades, but they are also cranking out promising announcers at a notable clip as well. There are six recent Terrapin graduates calling play by play for minor league baseball games, and that head start was credited to the opportunities they received in school.
John Vittas, who now calls games for the Fort Meyers Mighty Mussels(an affiliate of the Minnesota Twins), recalls how much support the Maryland community gave him and his fellow aspiring media classmates.
“Some of our biggest supporters and donors have been Maryland baseball parents. Say we have a game in Iowa and they couldn’t go, they’d be listening to us,” Vittas remembered. “The entire program from the athletic department to the coaches to the players, their parents and the fans.” Via UMTerps.com
With certain collegiate sports taking a backseat during the pandemic, universities have had to get creative with how they could allow their students to practice play by play. Rowan University had an intriguing idea; a method that is still being used by professional broadcasters today. They had broadcasters Kayla Santiago and Lloyd Wilson call the NBA G League title game by watching the action unfold on TV. While it wasn’t ideal, Santiago believes the experience went well, all things considered.
“I’ve done many games since my freshman year and there are always nerves,” she said. “But I never broadcasted from a TV screen before. I always get a little nervous but once the mic opens up, I’m at home.” Via Today.Rowan.Edu
The students calling the action at campus booths or scorer’s tables have the potential to be stars whose voices we’ll hear for decades to come.