New opportunities are opening up for Walker Valley High School students through new technology and a partnership with a local cable channel.
Live broadcasting opportunities aired on WTNB Charter Cable Channel 5 were made possible this year by new equipment purchased by the department.
“We were able to, through Arlette Robinson (Career and Technical education director), purchase a point-to-point Internet system. It’s kind of like streaming,” broadcast teacher Scott Webb said.
“It’s a stream for one ... we are able to send a signal from here to the Internet to a device that we bought [located at the] tower. ... We are currently running two live shows from here.”
Webb has been a part of the Friday night football wrap-up for about six years. The show was always prerecorded and then given to the station.
Since he was involved in the TV show, Webb wanted to broadcast live from Walker Valley.
Now two shows are being broadcast live from the school — a Friday football recap and a NASCAR recap.
Since the football recap show airs at 11 p.m., students are working on the prerecorded sections of the show.
“I take care of highlights (from the games),” WVHS senior Tayler Sutton said.
She said she focuses on capturing the excitement of the game by using clips of the team running out before games, cheering fans and big plays.
Editing a full football game down to the highlights takes about 30 minutes for Sutton.
Sutton said the ability to broadcast live “is an incredible opportunity.”
“I have always wanted to be on TV with something involving sports,” she said.
Recent graduates are helping with the live aspects of the show.
“I think it’s pretty cool to be able to go back on a regular basis and do what I really enjoy doing at Walker Valley,” WVHS graduate and Lee University student Nathaniel Moe said.
Moe said he works on keeping the score updated and chooses graphics for the show.
WVHS graduate and Cleveland State Community College student Patrick Bachelor said it is “really a great feeling to be a part of the Walker Valley project.”
The NASCAR recap airs from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays. A WVHS graduate directs the show, and current students have developed graphics for the segment.
Students will get more experience with live broadcasting during basketball games to be aired live this year.
“We are going to do at least four live basketball broadcasts from here. I think we are ging to do an additional two at Ocoee Middle School,” Webb said.
“I’m going to have teachers do the play-by-play, but everything else will be produced by the students. That’s what we want to do ... make it totally student produced.
The technology to broadcast is portable and simply requires a strong enough Internet signal.
“I can go anywhere in the county system and broadcast from their system. It will give us the ability to do, not just sports broadcast, but if we wanted to do a school play (we could),” Webb said.
Students have already gotten a taste of live broadcasting through “The Spill,” the announcement show the students air schoolwide in the mornings.
He said the students are used to being on TV, but the cable channel opportunity gives them more exposure.
Sutton has gained experience working on live productions as a host for “The Spill.”
She said she is enjoying the new opportunity.
“I love being in the field with a camera,” Sutton said. “It’s cool to be out there in the action.”
Completing segments on time can be a challenge, students admit.
“There is an excitement level to have everyone in the community see what they are doing and give them that experience of real live production,” Webb said. “Ultimately, that is what we are trying to do — give them real-life experiences.”
Live broadcasts give the students a better feel for the time management aspects of broadcast.
“There is a whole different feel when it’s live,” Webb said.
Webb said it also teaches students to make adjustments when things are not going as planned.
“The plan is moving forward. We are going to do a student-produced show sometime after football season,” Webb said.
What the student-run show will look like has not been determined. Webb said he would like to expand beyond sports-based shows to highlight other programs at the school.
A broader Walker Valley show would likely be aired after school.