September 07, 2012 12:00AM
The Pittsburg State football team may be getting the media attention this week, but there is another team of students who’ll make their debut at this weekend’s home-opener at Carnie Smith Stadium.
The university’s student broadcasters will also be performing in front of their home crowd for the first time this year, and they working to put on a great show.
“This will be the first time many of these students have experienced a game day at Carnie Smith Stadium,” said Troy Comeau, director of broadcasting. “We had a good test run last week on the road at Tahlequah, Okla., but there’s definitely something different about being at home.”
Nearly 25 students are involved in producing the broadcast, which is replayed on the local cable network throughout the week.
Because each student is responsible for a specific duty, it takes an incredible amount of teamwork and precision to produce a quality broadcast.
“We really have to work together as a team,” said play-by-play announcer Trent Johnson, a junior from Frontenac. “It’s an intense experience. Once the game starts, those hours seem to fly by and it’s almost over before you know it.”
The pressure of putting together a great broadcast is ratcheted up even higher for home games, thanks to the largest big-screen television in the conference.
“Our students are responsible for nearly everything you see on the Jungletron,” said Comeau. “The instant replays really add pressure because the fans expect it to be up on the screen seconds after the play is over.”
Although the football games are exciting, Comeau is quick to point out that the entire broadcasting production is grounded in academics.
“These broadcasts are produced entirely by students,” he said. “An incredible amount of learning occurs during each broadcast. Critical thinking, problem solving, time management, teamwork -- these are the types of skills our students are learning during each broadcast and why companies seek out our graduates.”
It’s these types of experiences that also attract the very best students to Pittsburg State.
“It is amazing,” said Johnson. “Last year we got to travel with the team every week and be the broadcast team for a national champion. There aren’t many places you can go and get that type of experience.“