Bringing Perkins Stadium to life

Game coverage comes to radio

Carter Secor, Staff Reporter

“The Minnesota Miracle.” “The Miracle on Ice.” “The Play.” All of these moments in sports have something in common besides the unbelievable performances on the field: the announcer’s call. And for UW-Whitewater sports fans in the community, that announcer’s call comes from the students.

“A commentator can make or break a game,” said Kyle Olson, a senior at Whitewater and a staff member at the campus radio station 91.7 WSUW.

Olson is a part of the commentary team who 91.7 features to call the home football games at UW-Whitewater. This team includes Olson himself and senior Calahan Steed who make up the regular team, with senior Tom Fuerst and freshman Sam Matheny, who fill in when needed.

When the Warhawks are playing football at Perkins Stadium, it is this commentary team that brings games to life for the community that isn’t watching on UWW TV or streaming games online. And with radio being an auditory medium, the onus is on the commentator to describe the action.

“It’s something I’ve always had a knack for, talking about football,” said Olson. “I’ve always been told I have a really good way of simplifying it for those who aren’t a hardcore fan. If I’m able to convey that, especially on radio and paint a picture, that’s the ultimate goal.”

Broadcasting sports to Whitewater are also allows for fans to listen to the game and be a part of the game themselves.

“You’re a part of something, more than you would be as a fan,” Fuerst said. “You’re a fan of the game and you’re also knowledgeable enough to speak on it and let everyone else that’s also a fan and can’t attend the game be able to hear you.”

These regular broadcasts for home games are a relatively new thing for the radio station, which is different than it was in the past as while the station did some live broadcasts of the games they did not do them regularly.

“We’re going to be doing these football games and volleyball games and hopefully coming up basketball games,” said Annmarie Lavarota, the sports director for 91.7 WSUW and also a sportscaster on UWW TV. “Whitewater has such great sports. They’ve done well in every single sport. It’s about having the public knowledge about all these games.”

On top of broadcasting games and serving the public, the radio station is also serving its staff members by giving them hands-on experience and an opportunity to build skills that they might not get to have.

“We’re doing a great job in getting more students involved and announcers involved,” Lavarota said. “A lot of these kids that try out for UWW TV, they don’t get the option to do those games [for UWW TV]. And for radio, giving people options and letting people do that makes me so happy.”

“It’s an experience, and I’m really glad I got it,” said Fuerst. “It’s definitely cool. You get presented that opportunity and it’s like, this is amazing, and I’m really glad I got that experience and I hope I can apply it in the future for future jobs.”

With Whitewater sports moving later into the school year, the sports department at 91.7 WSUW will be moving right along with them, and growing their coverage of the unbelievable moments that can happen on the field.