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Student-led sports broadcasts gaining attention at Whiteland


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In one show, you might learn how the middle school girls basketball team is doing.

Another show might cover records that a high school track player has broken or how the football team is preparing for the upcoming season.

Five students at Whiteland Community High School have started a biweekly radio show. Their first broadcast was in January.

The athletics-based show is the project of a history teacher who wants to see the show grow into a full-scale radio broadcast program staffed by students.

“It lets them take ownership of something,” history teacher Chris Wood said. “These are real-world skills they will have to have in any occupation.”

Students want their peers to get recognition for their athletics feats, students said.

Currently, students, teachers and staff members can read about high school athletics in the newspaper; and students read the public-address announcements.

The radio show can reach even more people, students said.

“Athletics is a major part of the school,” said sophomore Zach Whitaker, a host. “We know there will be people listening.”

Every two weeks, three students host and two students produce the show from Kacey’s Restaurant in Whiteland. The eatery is a community landmark and one of the show’s sponsors.

Students are responsible for every aspect of the show.

They approach coaches and athletes to come on the show and scour the IHSAA website for records that a Whiteland athlete might have broken. And they are responsible for filling the hourlong radio show by coming up with questions for athletes and coaches, and planning the content.

Wood wanted to be able to put more detailed information out to the community about sports. He wanted to be able to give more attention to middle school sports and do more than the commentary at football and basketball games, he said.

So, he asked students who were involved in Warrior Beat Radio, a station that has live coverage of Whiteland sports, to pull together the radio show. Warrior Nation Sports was started.

The school partially funded the radio show’s start-up costs, but money also came from donors and sponsors. Students produce commercials for the sponsors, Wood said. Their next step was getting people to listen, the students said.

They use Facebook and Twitter posts to try to get more people following the show, and the details of the show have been covered in the school announcements, said sophomore Landry Long, another host.

“We’re just really trying to see how it goes,” he said.

Fans of the show can go to Kacey’s during taping, and more of the school’s coaches and athletes are learning about the show, students said.

Wood said he hopes the show can grow to include announcements about academic achievement at all levels and to be a part of a larger broadcast department at the school.

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