“So-and-so from another zip code,” sports broadcasting commentator Brian Clemmenson said as a Keene State Owl sunk a three-point shot.
Keene State College has given students the opportunity to call games like Jerry Remy or Jim Nantz from the sidelines, sporting a headset, relying every moment of KSC Owls action to viewers and listeners.
The program started in the mid-2000s by Eugene “Gino” Vallante as a way for students to gain experience in sports broadcasting.
Upon his departure in March 2014, Sports Information Director Abe Osheyack took over responsibility of the program.
Since the beginning of his tenure as head of the broadcasting department, Osheyack has made some upgrades to improve the quality of KSC broadcasts, such as providing HD video and improving online streaming through a newfound partnership with Stream Internet, online streaming provider that has been working with KSC over the past year.
Osheyack said he’s happy with the changes they’ve made.
“I think the program is really starting to take off. I looked at this year as kind of a bit of an experiment so to speak. I’d say it’s been a largely successful one,” Osheyack said.
The new upgrades in technology aren’t the only things that makes a broadcast go smoothly. On-air talent such as Brian Clemmenson, Billy Hartmann and Mike Miezejeski all contribute to the quality of the broadcasts.
“I think they’ve done a great job,” Osheyack said.
Broadcasters are not only in charge of calling the games which they cover, but also preparation, a process which Clemmenson and Miezejeski said can take hours of work for a single game.
The broadcasters must look up stats for each team, each player, find interesting stories and facts about each team and do everything they can to avoid silence while on air. Clemmenson said that a loss of words has never been a problem for him.
“I’m sure he [Miezejeski] will tell you I never shut up,” Clemmenson joked.
The work is well worth it according to the two, who said their favorite part of the job is being able to enjoy the games.
“Just being there at the games. . . Sitting court-side, kind of getting wrapped up in the moment and being able to bring it to people watching is kind of a cool experience,” Miezejeski said.
Broadcasting is something that both commentators said they wanted to go into almost right from the start.
“I knew from a young age that I wanted to do it,” Miezjeski said.
Hartmann, who is also a player on the KSC baseball team, got involved with the broadcast crew after a season-ending injury, and called multiple baseball games with Clemmenson.
“I just went up there to have some fun because I know about the game. . . Being a baseball player, I had a lot of knowledge about the game,” Hartmann said.
Hartmann now covers fall sports, when he’s not lacing up his cleats for the Owls, and said his favorite part of his job is the conversational piece that goes along with calling the games.
“Sometimes me and [Clemmenson] just kind of shoot the [expletive] on the air when there’s downtime in a game,” Hartmann said,
Another aspect of their job description is to travel with teams for away games. Clemmenson went to Florida with the men’s baseball team over spring break and called 11 games, as well as spent quality time with players — something that he said has enhanced his ability to call baseball games for the Owls.
“You really get to know them that way and that way you can get some good stories,” Clemmenson said.
The broadcast team puts in numerous house and travels thousands of miles to call strikes, balls, home runs, three pointers, every play of almost every sport available on campus. To them, watching the game is more than just something they do with their buddies, it’s their job.
Jacob Barrett can be contacted at email@example.com