XENIA — Before making his sports broadcasting debut last week, Dylan Hoosier had one concern.
“The most difficult part was starting,” the Xenia High School senior said of providing color commentary for Xenia’s football game streamed live on YouTube. “With it being my first experience, I was just honestly trying to get my feet wet. Knowing what I wanted to say to open up.”
Tawfiq Jabbar took care of that for Hoosier.
Jabbar ran back the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown in Xenia’s 26-23 loss to Stebbins in a broadcast produced entirely by members of the Greene County Career Center’s interactive media class at Xenia. The quick start ensured Hoosier didn’t have to ad-lib anything. And from there, the team of Hoosier and Josh Newport — Warner Middle School assistant principal/athletic director — made a solid debut informing viewers what was going on inside Doug Adams stadium, which had limited attendance due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“It was a ton of fun,” Newport said. “(Hoosier) is a super smart kid and he’s very mature. He just knocked it out of the park.”
Hoosier admitted he was hesitant at first but is happy he gave it a shot.
“The whole experience was really fun,” he said. “I look up to (broadcasters) like Chris Webber, Mark Jackson, and Jeff Van Gundy. I told my teacher Mr. Frank I had a lot of fun doing it. Knowing Mr. Newport made it a little easier.”
Previous Xenia games had been shown on the internet but only with video.
“Livestreaming is just a real necessity,” said interactive media teacher P.R. Frank. “We did that for a few different games, like for volleyball and soccer.”
They added football to the playlist, with a camera on the field and one on the scoreboard. After a few comments from viewers, Frank and Athletic Director Nathan Kopp huddled and decided to add a broadcast team in the press box. Frank suggested Hoosier, whom he said had previously expressed interest in broadcasting.
“The two of them just had a really fantastic conversation where Josh knows how to call the game,” Frank said. “Dylan knows all those boys. He grew up with them, he knows their personal lives, he knows their workout regimen. He was able to chime in and say things like, ‘Yeah, everyday during practice that kid runs twice as far as hard as the coach said.’ It was really nice to hear the perspective that maybe Josh Newport wouldn’t know about the players.”
Newport said the plan was to keep it simple.
“You’ve got a lot of individuals who want to see the game and have a great experience watching the game,” he said. “(We wanted to) enrich the experience as much as possible.”
Newport added that he wanted to help viewers know who the players were and what was happening.
“That was really the main objective and I just sort of stuck to that,” he said. “As we get more comfortable we’ll probably add some flare to it.”
Junior Gracie Norris ran the camera, while senior Aidan Cowell ran the graphics, which included showing “touchdown” on the screen when Xenia scored.
Norris has made videos for Bucs TV and is an “energetic, creative kid who wants to know everything,” Frank said.
Cowell is new to Xenia, but “he jumped right in and he has the technology knowledge and ability,” Frank added.
The plan is to broadcast the remaining home games, including Friday’s game against Sidney. Hoosier is all for it.
“It was something I would like to do again,” he said. “I like talking about my friends and cheering them up anyway. It was easy to commentate the game. It was nice to cheer them on.”
Hoosier, who is undecided on a college major right now, may have a career path in mind as well.
“Now that I have a little bit of experience and I see what it’s like, it’s something I wouldn’t mind doing in college,” he said. “I want to thank everybody that allowed me to do it.”
According to Kopp, there were around 2,300 views as of Monday. YouTube showed the broadcast had more than 2,460 hits as of Tuesday night.
Not a bad start.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.