October 17, 2019

Professor creates new sports broadcasting class

Students pursuing a career in sports broadcasting can now be heard on The Galaxy Radio.

Sports broadcasting students interview Athletic Director Scott Kilgallon at The Galaxy Radio. Photo contributed by Censere Brown.

Webster University added a new sportscasting class to its Sports Communication major this fall. According to Sports Communication advisor, Scott Jensen, sports communications is on a rise across the nation. Jenson figured it would be a good idea to “join the bandwagon” by adding this class.

The program began this fall with a new class, Sports Announcing. This course is an introduction to the world of sports broadcasting. The class will cover play-by-play, commentary, podcasting and interviewing according to Jensen. Any student wishing to take the course may do so. A particular major is not required.

Jensen said the department will offer Practicum Sports Announcing, a laboratory course where students will get the chance to broadcast for various Gorlok teams next spring.

Jensen added the announcing classes after realizing they were a missing part of the degree program. He said the department needed a course in announcing so students can have training and experience in the field.

“I wanted to start this because we have a strong athletic program and a number of our students have a strong interest in going into sports-related communication fields,” Jensen said. “It’s  also one of the fastest-growing academic areas in the country.”

Jensen said Sports Communications is a strong degree program and adding an announcing piece would make it all the more stronger. While looking for an instructor for the course, KMOX sports broadcaster Chris Hrabe was recommended to Jensen.

“I listen to Hrabe on KMOX and I think he does a great job,” Jensen said. “When I reached out to him, he demonstrated immediately a real interest in being able to take what he loves and bringing it into a classroom.”

Hrabe told Jensen he wished he had an opportunity like this when he was in college. He wants to do whatever he can to help the students in this program.

Junior Michael Langston is a public law major who is taking the sportscasting course. Langston minors in sports communications and said he was really excited about the addition of this class.

“I knew Hrabe before so I knew what I was getting myself into when I joined the class,” Langston said. “He is a great teacher and he is super friendly. In class, he is always prepared with examples.”

One thing Langston appreciates about the class is the number of guest speakers that Hrabe brings in. One of the speakers included Chris Kerber, the play-by-play voice of the St. Louis Blues radio broadcasts.

Langston said he is excited about this class because it will help him add to the skills he already has in sports broadcasting. He currently works for the St. Louis Cardinals as a radio booth assistant. This job gives him the opportunity to assist Cardinals radio broadcasters Mike Shannon and John Rooney on game days.

“This class will help me get more experience in this field,” Langston said. “I believe it will help me fine-tune the things I already know and learn some new skills.”

Hrabe said he is excited to provide to students something he did not get a chance to do when he was in school. Hrabe is also excited that the students will get hands-on experience in this course.

“This is my first teaching experience,” Hrabe said. “I didn’t really know what to go off of. My inspiration in teaching this course is ‘If I could have had this opportunity in college, what would I want to do?”

The class will be doing a lot of things around the Webster community and campus according to Hrabe. They plan to start a podcast on the Webster internet radio station, The Galaxy.

Jensen believes students will understand what it means to be a sports broadcaster by the end of the course. He said the students will learn so much with Hrabe bringing in some many accomplished and nationally recognized broadcasters.

“It’s not just sitting in a booth behind a microphone and calling balls and strikes,” Jensen said. “There is so much more and the course does a good job of showing the full breadth of that.”

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