Crowds of BCHS fans fill the stands to support the Eagles. However, not everyone can show their school spirit by attending games and other campus events. With this in mind, BCHS began livestreaming select games last year through its broadcasting class.
The class has traditionally centered around producing a news program for school announcements. For nearly a decade, this has afforded students interested in a broadcasting or journalism career some hands-on experience. With the addition of the opportunity to broadcast live from athletic events, new opportunities opened for students to enhance their learning outside of class. One of the first students to seize the opportunity was Knight Jarecki.
Jarecki’s father, Stosh Jarecki, worked in the news and television industry as a video editor, including doing camera work for the Los Angeles Rams in the 1980s. Stosh Jarecki advised BCHS with the technology needed to enable the livestream. He has also advised his son on how to improve his play-by-play announcing.
Knight Jarecki says he spends roughly three to four hours each week in preparation outside of class for his live broadcast opportunities.
Since the first livestreamed football game in September 2018, the BCHS YouTube channel, which hosts the live videos, nearly tripled its subscribers. While fans can follow the action live, each game is also archived for viewing later. The 42 games broadcased last school year, tallied up 9,102 views by June 2018.
“Not a lot of high school students get to do this. I’m very fortunate,” Knight Jarecki says.
He says that his live broadcasting experience really piqued the interest of some of his prospective colleges. He also broadened his knowledge base by attending two summer programs – Gen Storytellers at the University of Oregon, where he took sports journalism and public speaking, and a Penn State program where he took a broadcast journalism class.
Due to scheduling, the actual livestream must take place outside of class time. However, Broadcasting teacher Bob Hudson is expanding the course curriculum to focus on sports broadcasting in addition to news broadcasting. BCHS also plans to expand the livestreamed content.
The skills needed to be a successful broadcaster require students to have strong public speaking and improvisation skills. They also need to know how to set up the equipment and work the camera. With sports, being able to track stats is also an important step for creating meaningful viewing experiences. BCHS offers courses to further develop student growth in each of these areas.
“I’m taking journalism this year, and I’m excited to become a better writer, which will help with telling stories better. That, in turn, will help me become a better broadcaster,” Knight Jarecki says. “Journalism stretches so far in all the ways the field is expanding. Pairing journalism with my broadcasting will be a great opportunity.”