Smoky Hill’s Birth of Broadcasting

Smoky Hill making history with starting a brand new project!!

Dylan McKee, Staffer

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If you regularly go to Smoky Hill basketball games, you might have noticed something new. In the back left corner of the west gym, there are student behind a table broadcasting the game. During the Smoky Hill Overland basketball game on February 3rd, Seniors Jair Thompson and Loren Perry were doing play by play and color analysis. Senior Ryan Vanetten was producing and keeping stats. Junior Alyssa Mccoumb was reporting via social media. Together they make up the first ever Smoky Hill Broadcasting crew!! But it didn’t just start with the students.


In the spring of 2017, Darren McKee (“DMac” afternoon sports talk co-host at 104.3 The Fan) contacted the school looking to volunteer to teach broadcast media. “I had seen that a student from Cherry Creek High School was working as a reporter. I thought there’s no reason the high school I love best couldnt be doing the same thing and be doing it better.” With one current student and one Smoky Hill alum as Mr. McKee’s kids, he has a deep passion for the hillside.


Principal Mr. Puga was intrigued by the idea and set up a meeting in the fall with Yearbook and Newspaper teacher Carrie Faust. With a positive meeting Faust knew she had interest within the students. What McKee didn’t know was the school was already set up to broadcast games. In the west gym there is a permanent camera attached to the wall that can be programed to stream/record any event in the gym via the NFHS Network. Athletic Director John Thompson explained how the technology came to be.


“The Cherry Creek School District Athletic Director, Larry Bull, arranged for the installation of Pixellot cameras at all six of our traditional high schools as well as at each of the district stadiums,” said Thompson.


With the existing technology, willingness of McKee, and cooperation of the school administration, the one thing that remained was student broadcasters. Jair Thompson and Mccoumb knew they wanted to be apart of this and after contacting McKee they were able to setup the first meeting in early November of 2017. From that point McKee worked with the kids on how to cover a team and broadcast a game. Thompson talked about his motives for starting something new.


”I was interested in doing the broadcasting thing because it’s a way for me to do something different in journalism and grow and evolve in the future,” said Thompson.


In a sports broadcast there’s never just one man doing it all so Thompson, convinced Perry and Vanetten to help out. On January 17th 2018, history was made when an all student crew broadcast Smoky Hills varsity basketball game with a 66-48 W over Arapahoe.


“Broadcasting the games,” said Thompson, “opens up a new avenue for people to participate in high school athletics.”