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The West Press

The West Press

Introducing the Lakota West Broadcasting Club

The story of how Lakota West Broadcasting came to be, and the future of the program for years to come.
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Lakota West prides itself in featuring the work of students from around the school, from sharing their creations online to talking about the students’ successes during the morning announcements. Over the past 2 years, West has been witness to one of the most crucial and impactful student organizations that have gained recognition from around the state of Ohio and have become a trademark of Lakota West’s athletics. The West Broadcasting Club provides students, staff, and community members with a free, easily accessible way to keep up with live West sports wherever they are, through YouTube live streams every time there is an event for many of the sports the district offers. Not only does the club cover Football games, Basketball games, and Volleyball games, but has also expanded its reach to Softball, Baseball, and so much more. The West Press sat down with Nick Johnson, one of the founding members and current leader of the West Broadcasting Club, to go through the history of the group and how it has flourished into one of the most successful student-led programs the school has ever facilitated.

During the early months of 2022, club founder Graduate Dimitrije Fissic (Class of ‘23)  teamed up with Grant Hagaman (Class of ‘23) and Nick Johnson (Class of ‘24) to search for ways to share their sports expertise with those unable to see the game in person. Just a short time later, the group of three presented their idea for a West Broadcasting Club to the school, which was approved with a flood of positive affirmations from building administration, eager to see where this new project would go. 

“(Dimitrije) got a small budget from the school, I want to say around $500; We still use some of that original equipment. He test ran 3 streams (basketball), and it did not go well at all. When I started on mic, it was the 4th stream… at the time, it received popular feedback. By today’s standards, it’s nowhere near our best, but was promising for what we had at the time.”

The group continued to work out issues during the spring by streaming baseball to gain experience. With a low budget, the club’s capabilities were extremely limited. This, however, did not last long, as the 2022 Football season would bring in a new wave of community interest and opportunities. During the beginning of the season, the team used basic equipment but was met with a huge turnaround in a very short amount of time. 

“As views started to go up, we got our first (good) camera which was in partnership with West Chester Township…At that point, Butler Tech stepped in and began providing us with our own stuff. As part of their new content creation class, a portion of the budget went into the Broadcasting Club, which has been used to purchase more cameras and tools for this school year and beyond.”

Now that West Broadcasting had gained more room for content creation, many new streaming possibilities came to light, such as covering more away games, whether or not the team members had a booth or not. Nick went on to describe this year as being the first to, “have a plan.” Not only were they able to look into covering more sports previously left untouched, but have been able to raise awareness for their work in younger grades, securing a more stable future.

“During our first football game, it was just three of us trying to manage everything at once; Now it’s to the point where we have 7 or 8 members, with some guys down on the field. We’ll have field cameras, multiple cameras on the roof, and have someone queuing graphics and deciding the cameras to feature. The club as a whole grew from 3 of us to now 20 members. We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores who caught on pretty early… It’s nice to know there’s a future with it, and they’re helping to build longevity for us”.

Future leaders of the club have already been in the works to provide a smooth transition once Nick leaves, many of whom are current Sophomores and have already participated for over a full year. Many members, who have displayed leadership values and shown their expertise in crucial areas to the group, have been asked to prepare for a time to step up and lead the way for future seasons of Broadcasting.

“Next year will be the dream scenario… They will have their own organization without the worry of 50-hour work weeks on top of managing school work.”

The school has been immensely supportive from the start of the club to now, helping to not only fund the program but also assist them in communicating with other sports locations and broadcasting groups to work with them in a joint stream. One example would be the East + West Broadcasting team-up that was held at the annual East vs West rivalry football games in late 2023. The two clubs came together, meshing the stream into one, with hosts from both ends acting as commentators on the night’s entertainment.

The Lakota West Broadcasting Club has previously covered Football, both Basketball teams, Girls Volleyball, and Girls/Boys Soccer. This year, the club is also pursuing Softball, Baseball, Boys Volleyball, Lacrosse, and Wrestling as new streaming options. With such a large range of events to cover, Nick reminds viewers that many of these schedules overlap, and won’t always allow for all competitions/games to be viewed online.

One benefit that Nick found helpful was the boost of recognition groups around Greater Cincinnati had of both the Broadcasting Club and Nick’s commentator experience. Thanks to the publicity of the club’s work, Nick was able reach to  Q102 and work with him on local radio.

“I was able to reach out to them and they put me on the mic for a sports segment. Most people don’t get to do that, but they know I’ve done this before and I’m trustworthy with it. I’ve also had the opportunity to contact Mo Egger, and had the chance to be on the Mo Egger show on ESPN 1530… the name definitely gets out there, even the board of education knew who we were when we went up to a convention in Columbus. They know who we are and (the board of edu.) love it.”

The West Broadcasting Club continues to push the boundaries of student-led sports broadcasting, allowing tens of thousands of viewers at home to see their friends and family participate wherever they are. All of their live streams, game recaps, and much more can be found by searching “Lakota West Student Broadcasting” or clicking the link here.

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About the Writer
Thomas Price, Website Manager
Thomas Price is a second-year student in Journalism who has been heavily involved in The West Press over the last school year. He participates in many of Lakota’s extra-curricular and in-school programs, such as being a member of the Hope Squad, Junior Board, Lakota West Drumline, performer in the Marching Band, and a Percussionist in Symphonic Winds. As a creatively driven student, Thomas is also skilled in many technical areas, whether through the use of photography, video design, or media creation. Through The West Press, he focuses on writing local news and opinion articles, giving daily insight into the good and bad West has to offer to its students and staff.

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