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CWC radio students test broadcasting skills with high school football games

Dec 2, 2012 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Fremont County's rural high school football teams got more radio coverage this year with help from students in John Gabrielsen's sports survey class at Central Wyoming College.

CWC's young radio broadcasters have covered college volleyball and basketball events for the past several years, but Gabrielsen said experience calling football games is important as well, especially for students looking to work in the field.

"Volleyball there's not a huge calling for," Gabrielsen said. "Traditionally your sports you do are football, basketball and baseball. So we decided let's get some football games done here."

Students covered football for Shoshoni, Wind River and Wyoming Indian high schools, including Shoshoni's game against Cokeville and an out-of-county event between Burlington and Upton-Sundance. Sophomore Jordan McKamey of Worland said he appreciated the opportunity to cover football, which he finds less fast-paced than the basketball and volleyball games he called last year.

"In those sports there's constantly action, so you're constantly calling something," McKamey said. "With football you have to have more filler and extra details."

He said Gabrielsen helped the students fill the empty air time by making sure they were equipped with statistics and background information for listeners.

"That's key to having a great broadcast -- being as prepared as you possibly can be," McKamey said.

He wanted to perform well for his audience, because McKamey said rural high school teams don't usually get radio coverage.

"Before they didn't have anybody to call those games, so they either had to be at (the games) or read about them in the paper," McKamey said. "People were grateful they got to hear their teams, especially people who couldn't make it to the games, age-wise or because of inconvenience. (It gave them) a chance to hear their kids play."

Though the audience was small, CWC freshman Josh Heninger said he was still nervous before his first Fremont County football broadcast. He covered the contests between Shoshoni and Cokeville, Wind River and Wyoming Indian, and Shoshoni and Saratoga.

"(For Shoshoni) almost the whole town that wasn't there was wanting to listen to the game," Heninger said. "I was pretty anxious."

He was glad to face his first-time fears so he could continue to perfect his live broadcasting skills.

"It's kind of intimidating coming into it (because) you don't really know exactly what you're doing," Heninger said. "But throwing you in there is kind of like saying, 'Get the pre-game jitters out quick and be able to go on from there.'"

Heninger said his first turn at the microphone was "really shaky," but he already had shown improvement by his second game.

"There are still some things I need to work on for sure, but overall the more broadcasts I do, the better I get at it," Heninger said. "I've come a long way."

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