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Telecom students take the lead, cover big game

Last month's Heritage vs Phoebus football game, which was being touted as Game of the Year in the Peninsula District by local news outlets, was a learning experience for Telecom seniors, who recorded the game for TV without adult assistance.


Isis Roldan directs the production from the press box at Todd Stadium.
Photos by: Ray Price

The Heritage Hurricanes were 8-0 going into the game, and the Phoebus High Phantoms were 7-1. The game would determine who held the No. 1 position in the 4A South ratings.

Telecom Supervisor Ray Price had been wanting the TV Production II class, made up of seniors with over a year of experience producing football games, to form a mini mobile production company that could cover events on their own, without the need for an engineer or adult director/producer.

The game was a good opportunity to try it out, since it was possible ESPN or another news station would want footage of the game. Two years ago, Telecom student Jazzmyn Reid's video was on the ESPN website when Phoebus' 52-game winning streak was broken by Woodside High.

The students were a little skeptical at first, but they rose to the challenge. The group sat down and put together a crew, deciding amongst themselves who would be best at which job.

Then they assembled a "portable studio" consisting of a monitor, a keyboard for graphics, a switcher board, tricaster, microphones, three cameras, wireless headsets, and a DVD recorder to record what they were shooting.

Seven Telecom students participated in the production, which was Saturday, October 26, at Todd Stadium. Isis Roldan, of Warwick High, was Director/Technical Director. LaRico Robinson, a Denbigh High football player, and Christopher Ralph, of Heritage High, were announcers. Alexia Sowell, Alexis Bell and Dwayne Peterson, all of Woodside High, and Corey White of Heritage were the camera operators. The camera operators rotated through the positions during the game: two in the box and one on the sidelines.

The announcers had a script, plus rosters and stats from both teams to aid them during the production. The Telecom team also had two practices before the actual game, setting up the equipment in the NNPS-TV studio, so they could be sure they were prepared.

Everything went smoothly that day, the students reported, including set up and strike (breaking down the equipment) -- "besides the steps," added Isis, noting how high the press box is at the stadium.

When the crew set up in the booth at Todd Stadium, "local media and coaches were astonished that high school students were at the helm of the production," said Price. "Many stood and watched as Isis directed and called the shots."

The TV-II students are now planning to cover more events this way and offer the TV-I students opportunities to work on the crew as well.

The group edited the game footage, taking turns adding scores, an intro, and graphics. The video will be aired on NNPS-TV (Cox 47/FiOS 17) Friday, November 8 at 7 p.m.

And the game? Well, Heritage fell to Phoebus, but the Telecom team scored big.

Telecom Student Production - Football 2013: