Students learn from experience of state football finals broadcast

HILLMAN – Hillman High School broadcasting students recently returned from a trip to Ford Field after a tour behind the scenes, while four student commentators – Mike Klein, Kyle McLaren, Noah Allen and Bubba Banks – were given the opportunity to announce the Division 4 football final game between Grand Rapids South Christian and Marine City.

“We were the only school in Northeast Michigan to be selected and participate in the 2013 football finals broadcast,” teacher Erin Brege said. “The students looked very professional and really exemplified high caliber commentating during this experience.”

Thom Lengyel of the Student Broadcast Foundation sent Brege and her class congratulations for a “job well done,” and thanked the students for coming to Ford Field in an email to Brege.

“Of all the years I have been involved with TV and radio covering MHSAA finals in many sports, your students’ involvement in the football finals this year has made it the most fun, exciting, fulfilling and satisfying of any finals we have been involved,” Lengyel said.

The class toured Ford Field from a broadcast perspective, and each student received a press pass to enter into the restricted areas behind the scenes of all the action on the field.

Students Dakota Thompson and Shane Holford said they enjoyed the trip, and it made them think about the different career opportunities in broadcasting.

“They have a whole room dedicated to what you see on TV,” Thomson said. “They have at least 20 TVs and a director telling each of them where to go. It was a lot of fun.”

The trip was the first visit to Ford Field for Holford, and he was impressed with the different techniques and technology used during the broadcast.

“I had never been to Ford Field and I really enjoyed it,” Holford said. “We learned so much and had a really good time.”

Brege said the class walked the tunnel to the field, went into the press box to see the different technical aspects of the broadcast and were able to sit in during press opportunities.

“We greatly appreciate the Hillman High School administration, Hillman school board, Hillman staff Joshua Brege, chaperones Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Funk, student parents and the Student Broadcast Foundation leader Thom Lengyel for their support to make this opportunity such an outstanding experience,” Brege said. “The students really enjoyed it and learned a lot from the trip.”

To listen to the original “live streamed” broadcast of the finals game with Hillman students announcing, go to and search for the Division 4 finals.

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.