Sports Broadcasting: Pursuing A Dream

BY JARIN MATHENY | Ball State Sports Link

All my life, I’ve wanted to be a sports broadcaster.

From the age of two, sports has been a focal point in my life. I used to follow my older brother to all of his travel baseball games and comment on the action. All the knowledge I’ve gained, as well as my love for sports, started at this young age.

I didn’t know how to achieve this goal – or what school would push me in the right direction – until I made a connection with my high school teacher, Nick Altman. Then my journey towards Ball State Sports Link began.

Jarin and his radio teacher, Nick Altman.

In my sophomore year at Huntington North High School, I started broadcasting football as a color commentator. I immediately fell in love.

Broadcasting football led to becoming the play-by-play announcer for girls basketball, and later, for the baseball team.  By the end of the year, I found myself completely immersed in the Viking radio program.

As Spring turned to Fall, and my final year as a high school student began, Mr. Altman gave me the opportunity to be the play-by-play broadcaster for all sports covered on the Huntington North airwaves.

When he did this, he ultimately gave me the keys to the vehicle and put me on the open road to see what I could do. During my senior year, I probably spent an unhealthy amount of time working on broadcasts — sometimes going to three or four games a week, pushing myself to become better and better with every broadcast.

As the year progressed, I quickly realized this non-stop, sports-filled lifestyle was one I did not want to end.

With that knowledge, along with seeing the success former Viking Noah Reed was having at Ball State, I applied to Ball State and to the Sports Link program.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

After getting into Ball State, I sat on the edge of my seat for the next five months waiting to see if Sports Link would accept me into their program.

Sports Link was always in the back of my mind, even as my life was filled to the brim with broadcasting.

Finally, in May, I received a call from the program’s director Chris Taylor saying I had been accepted into the program.  I couldn’t have been any happier.

Now, just a little over two months into college, I can see why this program is nationally respected.

This past weekend, I was able to participate in my first live broadcast for ESPN3 as a camera operator.  It was part of a 48-hour span where Sports Link produced three broadcasts for the mothership — two women’s volleyball matches and a postseason soccer match.

While it was not in a talent role, I finally got to experience that non-stop, on the go, sports filled sensation once again. This weekend’s broadcasts was a learning moment to be sure, especially seeing what goes into a production from those who aren’t on the mic.  It will also be a weekend that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

As I open a new chapter, I would like to thank Mr. Altman for putting his trust in me and letting me drive the radio my senior year. More importantly, I’d like to thank him for pushing me to be a better broadcaster and leading me to pursue my dreams.

Two months into college, I know I made the right decision.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *