AHS students livestreaming sports events

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 3, 2018

Students at Andalusia High School have been a part of a multi-media broadcasting team that some students think has helped them choose a career field.

Sarah Mixson, the director of the program, said the program began last year when the Alabama High School Athletic Association started live streaming games for free.

Collin Ward, a freshman who was a part of the football streaming, said, “I enjoy the sense of responsibility and the association with AHS. I’ve always been interested in videoing as a hobby, but now I could see myself going into it as a career in the right situation.”

One attractive thing about this network is the ability to stream to fans wherever they are.

“The thing I enjoy the most about live streaming is the feasibility it brings for viewers,” senior Will Black said. “To know that I’m making it easy for someone that can’t leave the house or give the ability to someone that is in the hospital a chance to watch their loved one, is all the satisfaction I need.”

Black said that he has always been immersed in technology, having worked for the school system and volunteering at First Baptist Church. He said he is eager to explore furthering his education in the technology field.

This is the first year that the high school has done anything like this.

“During the fall was the first time that we started doing it,” Mixson said. “We could cover football and basketball, so once we spoke with one of the service representatives and signed the contract, we took some of the career tech’s equipment and started broadcasting.”

The broadcast team will start covering baseball today when the Bulldogs take on T.R. Miller at 11 a.m. and Marbury at 7 p.m.

“We wanted to start baseball because a lot of the kids are interested in the sport,” Mixson said. “We also have plans on expanding this to other sports, we just need a couple more kids to be devoted to each individual sport.”

The team has plans to make its way into girl’s sports, but since there is still construction going on at the softball field, it makes it hard to cover, Mixson said.

It takes about three people to man a sports broadcast, one on the camera, one doing the play-by-play and one working the scoreboard and producer, Mixson said.

Since this is the first year that it is being done, AHS has not been able to make a class that would be capable of facilitating the group, but Mixson says that next year there will hopefully be a multi-media class that will count as a credit.

“We hope to have a full on class next year that counts as a credit, but right now I am offering community service hours to give the students something to work towards,” Mixson said.

The broadcast is streamed through NFHSnetwork.com. The National Federation of State High School Associations is the body that writes the rules of competition for most high school sports and activities. The NFHS Network delivers live high school sports and events to family members and fans whenever they want, wherever they are.

“During football last year we were able to use WAAO’s stream and broadcast it through our stream so everyone watching the NFHS network could hear WAAO’s stream of the game,” Mixson said. “Although it was a great opportunity, we are hoping to use our own stream and have students broadcast the game.”

For baseball, Mixson will be using a mix of Casey Jones announcing the game and students doing interviews with some of the baseball players.

To subscribe to the NFHS network it is $9.95 a month. Half of that subscription will go back to the broadcast team and will go into funds that will go towards buying new equipment.

Anyone looking to subscribe to the network can go to NFHSnetwork.com and choose between three different options, a $9.95 monthly pass, a $30 seasonal pass or a $60 annual pass.