Students praised for dedication to broadcasting of BEK Sports
Hassler oversees the operational duties, scheduling, training and supervising of the BEK Sports staff. The focus of BEK Sports Network is to spread out games across the territory of 11 communication companies showcasing the area’s athletes as well as have students assisting in the broadcasts.
BEK Sports focuses on educating a team to broadcast an event. From the beginning, Hassler has been instrumental in providing the team step-by-step instruction in camera operations, audio, instant replay, graphics and commentary.
“Working with such a diverse group of people is great,” Hassler said. “The ones who really enjoy it just light up when they get a chance to play with the technology.”
In 2006, BEK implemented a program offering local high school sporting events on their network. They needed to look at what would be cost effective and, at the same time, focus on getting the community involved in the process.
BEK staff visited several schools about the possibility of having high school students assist in the broadcasting duties at the games.
Students involved in the BEK Sports broadcasting team get exposed to up-todate technology.
“This not only gives them the opportunity to learn technology but a time to be in the spotlight and feel successful,” Hassler said.
BEK lists the students’ names in the credits at the end of each broadcast event. Students have also been provided with bright lime green BEK Sports Crew T-shirts.
“We want them to stand out and not just be another face in the crowd,” he said.
“Those students can become detached outside the school program and not feel part of the community or their peer groups,” Hassler said.
This school season, BEK Sports has televised over 200 games in 206 days from 55 towns across North Dakota. That not only took a big commitment from BEK and the students, but support and dedication from the parents.
“Thank God for their parents who allow their kids to travel all over the state with us,” he said. “We need to give those parents a lot of credit.”
Hassler said parents have been supportive and have said they like the program and what it offers.
“Students have told me their parents actually brag about them being involved in the broadcasting of these events,” Hassler said.
There are nearly 250 students across the state who are part of the BEK Sports team.
“The Strasburg kids keep coming back,” he said. “They have their roles and responsibilities and they do a great job.”
Hassler attributes much of the Strasburg BEK team success to Senior Jesse Schwab.
“Jesse takes care of everything. He gets the crew together for each event and organizes it all,” Hassler said. “He does a phenomenal job, and I do not know what I will do without him when he graduates.”
Hassler said Jesse has a good knowledge of each task of broadcasting, and he understands the concepts.
“Jesse is one of those individuals who is successful at any role,” he said.
Hassler said he has enjoyed working with all of the students. He assists in training the students prior to each game.
“Some kids get it right away, and others have some trouble,” he said, “but that could be because I may have given them a role that was not their strong suit, so I find another spot for them.”
Hassler is proud of what the students have accomplished in the years they have been doing the broadcasting.
“Those kids do not even know how much they have done,” Hassler said. “They deliver the product constantly, consistently and they do it remarkably.”
Students are not BEK paid employees, but they do get reimbursed for their expenses. Some students have made over $1,000 in one year, and at $30 per event, that is a lot of games.
Schwab has been working for BEK Sports since 2009.
“It has been a lot of fun,” Jesse said. “It has been a great experience working with all kinds of people through BEK and the events we have done.”
Jesse is proud to be part of a team that is providing a need to the community, especially for those who are unable to attend the local high school events but enjoy watching them on the BEK network.
“It’s all about providing a good service to the communities,” he said.
Jesse said getting together students for each event has not always been easy, but he is thankful they have a team of up to 15 students.
“Sometimes, it is pretty tough to line up people, and some back out so we sometimes have to find someone at the last minute,” Jesse said. “We need six to seven people for each event.”
They need four on video, two on graphics and one on audio and instant replay.
Jesse, along with senior Kyle Roth, train newcomers on the equipment.
“We try to start each one with the easiest job first,” Kyle said. “We usually start them with audio just to see how it works.”
After the students gain basic knowledge, Jesse and Kyle assign them to cameras or replay.
“Then we try to find what task each student enjoys and does the best at, and we give them that duty for each event,” Kyle said.
Jesse said they do try to move the students around some, though, to keep it fresh and to give them a chance to learn all aspects of broadcasting.
The Strasburg students have covered nearly 30 events this school year. Events have included football, volleyball, wrestling, girls and boys basketball, Acalympics and a country cook-off. They also broadcast the state wrestling tournament from the Fargo- dome, the Class AAA semifinal football game from the Bismarck State College Bowl and the Badlands Bowl from Dickinson.
Kyle’s younger brother, Anthony, also is involved in the BEK program and said the state wrestling tournament was one of his favorites.
“The experience at the state wrestling tourney was great,” Anthony said. “We wore our green BEK shirts and were able to work in the VIP section and also could go into the hospitality room where there was lots of free food and beverages.”
Kyle agreed and said it was a unique opportunity to see on a large scale how broadcasting is done.
Students agree the experience and training on the technology are the most beneficial aspects of the opportunity to with BEK Sports.
Sophomore Robin Mosset said at first she was nervous and nearly backed out of working for BEK Sports.
“I thought ‘I am not doing this,’but I stuck with it as they told me it is not that hard after you get used to it,” she said. “And they were right, it isn’t, and it is actually fun!”
The Strasburg students said the BEK staff have been great people to work with and they appreciate that they have been given the opportunity to work with BEK Sports.
“They are easy-going, fun, comfortable to be around, and they have given us an awesome atmosphere to work in,” students said.
Jesse and Kyle recommend that students give it a try.
“Don’t be afraid to try it—it is a lot of fun and you learn a lot,” they said.
Strasburg students in this season’s program are Seniors Jesse Schwab, Kyle Roth, Cole Nieuwsma, Kellie Tougas, Emily Luebke, Suzanne Ternes and Laura Huber; Juniors Trent Mattern and Teddie Lawler; Sophomores Anthony Roth and Robin Mosset, and Freshmen Artie Voller, Shantel Lang and Alissa Leier.