By: Michael Campbell
The calendar has turned to March and the snow is slowly starting to melt. At long last, winter is ending and spring is on the way. At Husson University, that means the basketball, swimming and volleyball seasons wrap up and the baseball, softball, outdoor track and lacrosse seasons start. Spring sports are now in full swing.
Part of having sports on campus is being able to hear games called if you aren’t able to attend the home games. For several years, students at the New England School of Communications at Husson University have been calling games throughout the seasons as part of their class curriculum. Once the students are trained, they’re able to call games to get the experience they need to find jobs working at professional stations.
Joshua Mades-Alabiso and Alex Nivus are the current sports commentators for the Husson Eagles.The two sports journalism majors spend evenings and weekends calling the home games for Husson on WHSN 89.3, the school’s radio station. They receive their assignments on a periodic basis. The duo have been calling games for the past couple of years and have called football, basketball and baseball games.
In order to properly call a game, several steps need to be made ahead of time. The prep time can take several hours. Mades-Alabiso said that prep time differs from sport to sport. Football games can take about two hours; basketball games generally take about the same amount of time. However, baseball games can take up to four hours to prepare for. Nivus says the importance of preparing for a game cannot be understated.
“First of all and most importantly, we have to do our research,” said Nivus. “You got to find all the stats you can. You have to see who the teams are doing, how certain players are doing. You have to identify who the stars are. It can take hours to do. One thing I try to do is to find stats that I find interesting, like if the team is trending upwards or downwards in a certain way or anything that can bring life to the game.”
The most exciting games for Nivus to cover are basketball games, followed by football games. Nivus said that he grew up playing basketball which is why he is so familiar with it.
After preparing for games, Nivus and Mades-Alabiso go to their booths at least an hour before the game starts to get ready. It also gives them time to come up with a back-up plan if there are technical difficulties. Nivus and Mades-Alabiso alternate from commentating games as play-by-play announcers and color commentating. According to Mades-Alabiso, commentators keep track of the action during the game for fans while color commentators make points about different plays and players.
“Alex generally takes the play-by-play and I’ll do the color commentary. The color commentary means you describe the play. You’re the stats guy. If we’re doing a baseball game, if a player is up, I might talk about how he did in last game,” said Mades-Alabiso.
The Husson Eagles have started their seasons with a shaky start. The baseball team currently stands at two wins and seven losses after a week in Florida. Their next games will be this weekend, as the Eagles will start an eight game will be played at home. They will play Bates College at 1:00. The next seven games include a four game series against Colby-Sawyer. The softball team has five wins against seven losses, but is on a two game win streak. Their next game is March 29th, when they will take on Rhode Island College in Providence. Both lacrosse teams currently have one win and two losses and will play Johnson State this weekend.