Sports broadcast class launches at WHS


Credit: Sasha Libenzon

Sophomores Owen Finnegan and Luke DiPietro-Froio commentate a girls varsity basketball game. The class uses state of the art equipment to make the sports broadcasts as clear as possible.

Jane Tardif and Emily Roberge

Lights, camera, action. With the second half of the school year starting, so has a new pilot elective, sports broadcast. Leading the class is wellness teacher and football coach Scott Parseghian, who will help students create highlight videos and broadcast sports games.

Inspired by his involvement in WHS sports, as well as a comment from his mother, Parseghian decided to begin the sports broadcasting class.

“What made me start the class was obviously my passion for sports,” Parseghian said. “Fast forward to being a coach, I was talking to my mother, who lives in Ohio, and watching the games on WayCAM, and my mother noticed that there were no interviews at half-time or live announcers in recent years and mentioned it to me.”

Even though WHS does not have a current sports broadcast show, it does have a history with sports broadcasting on the Wayland Student Press Network, which created sports highlight videos, held a sports talk show called Sports Chat and commentated WHS sports games.

“Way back when, there was a sports show at Wayland High School called Sports Update,” Parseghian said. “They had kids run it, and it was a fun live show, and then it kind of went away.”

Despite Sports Update ending, some students that originally ran it have achieved success today.

“We have had some students in the past from Sports Update all the way to the television production classes that are in the business now because of the work they did on the sports broadcast show,” WHS Television Production teacher and WayCAM studio director Jim Mullane said.

Parseghian also has ties to Sports Update that are rather unique, as he has a personal connection with the former Wayland sports broadcasting show.

“Not only was his son involved in Sports Update, but Coach Parseghian was involved in the longest running program at WayCAM as well,” Mullane said. “I am really excited that Coach Parseghian is going to be a part of this sports broadcasting because of his sports background, of course, but he also has a neat connection with Sports Update.”

After being involved in the construction of the WHS buildings, Parseghian also had initial hopes of creating a sports broadcasting program in earlier years.

“I was one of the general contractors for this school when we built it, and when we originally built it, on the second floor across from the lecture hall, we built a TV studio,” Parseghian said. “I wanted to do announcements projected in all the rooms, a sports show and obviously, that never happened.”

Even though the class has faced some setbacks, as students are not yet able to earn class credits and the class is only able to meet over Zoom or during after school hours, Parseghian has still found students that want to take sports broadcasting.

“Hopefully, we can get some class credits to go with it, but I don’t know how that is going to go,” Parseghian said. “However, the 17-18 students that I have right now are doing an awesome job. They are coming in and getting lots of videos.”

One of the 18 students involved in sports broadcasting is sophomore Cate Ellenbogen, who officially joined the class because of her interest in covering WHS sports.

“I joined the class because it seemed like a cool class similar to the broadcasting part of WSPN,” Ellenbogen said. “I also enjoy watching high school sports, and it seems like reporting would be fun.”

In order to make his vision into a reality, Parseghian reached out to English department head and WSPN adviser Brian Keaney and WHS technology specialist and WSPN adviser Mary Barber for advice.

“I talked to Mr. Keaney, and I asked if I could start sports broadcasting back up,” Parseghian said. “Mr. Keaney then said, ‘Absolutely,’ and that I should take it on because it is much more in my realm.”

Not only is Parseghian offering his expertise to sports broadcasting, but so is Mullane and his television production students.

“My television production students as well as the students interested in sports broadcasting have been working together to do a couple shows together,” Mullane said.

As the class grows, so do the expectations and goals for sports broadcast.

“Our short term goal is to put out a winter recap on all the winter sports and what is going on,” Parseghian said. “Our long term goal is to broadcast games, and I don’t think we will be able to do every game all the time, but we will try to pick up some of the really big games and work on our broadcasting. We also want to be in front of that camera live every Monday night at 7 p.m. either weekly or bi-weekly to create an ESPN show Wayland style. It all depends on how good we get at it.”

Similar to Parseghian’s ambitions, Ellenbogen also has hopes for what the class can achieve.

“I think it would be a very cool experience to film live,” Ellenbogen said. “It would also be a great experience if we could do sideline interviews during the game or during halftime.”

Like Parseghian, Mullane believes that the best is yet to come for students interested in sports broadcast.

“I think this is a very positive thing for the students, and it is a long-time coming,” Mullane said.