The team’s games, along with all games from this week’s county tournament come complete with commentary and score graphics. Teacher Carol Sprayberry began the project with help from people at PlayON! Sports.
“We jumped into it in about three days for the Marble City Classic, which was Dec. 17-18,” Sprayberry said.
Students and staff ran a live stream of the four-team “Classic” in the old gym to accommodate fans who could not fit into where the games were played. For the county tournament, they elected to record games and make them available the next day.
“We are thinking parents who can’t make it because of work, or travel and grandparents who aren’t able to come, can still tune in and see their kids or their grandchildren,” Sprayberry said.
The entire production process is also been ran by students from the class. Students run camera from the stands and adjust scores and graphics to the feed at the scorer’s table. Also, students provided play-by-play and commentary to some of the games with help from WFEB commentators.
Brantley Carr, Matt Collier, Colton Richardson and Aaron Wykoff have become the newest voices of Aggie Basketball. Each got the opportunity to train with WFEB staff during a game, but now the four are calling their own match-ups.
“My dad did radio for a while,” Carr said. “As a little kid, I would always go to games and listen to him. I guess you could say it’s in my blood.”
Collier said the first time the four worked together was the boys’ basketball Woodlawn game.
“It was a little rough at first,” he said. “We didn’t know what to say or when to say it. But then we got the hang of it, and it’s been smooth sailing from there.”
Wykoff said he enjoyed acting as scorekeeper during the game, providing statistical information to the broadcast.
“I like to keep the stats and keep up with the players’ points,” he said. “To see who can light up the scoreboard.”
Richardson said he preferred to provide commentary to the game.
“I like putting my two cents in,” he said. “Collier and I like to talk back and forth while Brantley does the play-by-play.”
Bryan Chunn has run camera at many of the basketball games and worked on the football games in the fall. He said he was interested in several aspects of the field, but would like to continue his work as a videographer.
All of the students from the class had the chance to work on some aspect of the project. Queena Bledsoe said reaction to the combination of sports and technology has been positive from their classmates.
“It is like we introduced it to people here,” Bledsoe said. “And I like seeing people’s reactions when we are doing it. They think it is really cool; they didn’t know we could do that.”
Ashlyn Lane said she believed it gave students another opportunity to get involved in something they liked.
“Also, it gives people chances who aren’t interested in (basketball), to become interested,” Lane said. “You can’t always make it to the game, but now you can always watch it.”
Students in the class were divided among which medium, be it print/online, radio or TV, they would rather pursue a career in. But all seemed to appreciate the multimedia skill sets they learned in the class through this project and other assignments.
“I have always liked to write, and I love taking pictures,” Alicia Gauker said. “I am really satisfied with what the class experience has been. And the stuff we are doing with basketball has been neat because I didn’t know that was possible for us, to take a game and put a scoreboard on there and put it online for people to see.”
Brooke Bolton said she had learned about being responsible through the class work.
“It is a lot more than it looks,” Bolton said. “It looks like we are just sitting on computers, but there is a lot to be done out of class. You have to be dedicated, diligent and meet your deadlines.”
Teachers and administrators are also excited about other avenues for the technology.
“Think of the possibility of (one of the students) getting mono and missing two or three weeks,” Sprayberry said. “We can literally take the camera, set it up in the classroom and livestream it onto the website. They can sit at their home and be in class.”
Principal Matt Hubbard credited Sprayberry with the “first-class” job she has done with the program. He said while it is still in the early stages, it gives them a glimpse of all of the things they can do through multimedia.
He also said he hoped it could be the first step to the school’s own in-house TV station.
“And the kids that are doing these games and these broadcasts are loving it,” Hubbard said. “The kids are taking it by the reigns.”
To watch the games, go to http://sylacauga.al.sch.schoolinsites.com/ and click on “WSHS Aggie Network.”