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DEAN'S COLUMN

Take me out to the ballgame

As the runner rounded third, Elon Student TV cameras zoomed in for the close play at home while our broadcast students set the scene in staccato fashion.

Under a canopy of spring sunshine, our students made history by completing their first-ever baseball broadcast. Six students manned four camera locations, and another four students - led by producer Mike Livigne - worked out of our Elon Television production truck. ESTV Sports Director Ian Smith and Jeff Procter stood at a broadcast table on the first-base side providing play-by-play and color commentary.

Our broadcast students did well. So did the baseball team. Elon defeated Duke in a doubleheader, 6-4 and 3-1.

Upstairs in the press box, WSOE-FM student announcers Phil Elkins and Mike Jensen brought the game to a radio audience. On campus, the Pendulum student newspaper would report the baseball triumphs in word and image.

Just like the teamwork needed on the field to turn a double play, it takes a lot of teamwork to pull together a sports broadcast.

Jay McMerty, coordinator of Elon Student TV, believes in hands-on experience.

"There's nothing quite like producing a three-hour sports broadcast from creation to completion," McMerty said. "Everything is done by students - from rolling out cable to directing the broadcast. We are proud that Elon Student TV has expanded to include baseball."

A week later, under another brilliant sky, I felt the pull back to the ballpark and enjoyed watching Elon pound Princeton, 12-4. Then, when the next weekend came, my son and I cheered the Phoenix to 6-3 and 1-0 doubleheader wins over last season's regular-season conference champion Winthrop. A few days later, the Phoenix (20-5 at the time of this writing) won two home games from another Ivy League team, Brown.

During one of the games, the public-address announcer posed a "Jeopardy"-like answer for which anyone in the crowd could supply the correct question. I won a large single-topping pizza from Domino's for knowing that Bobby and Barry Bonds were the father-son duo who hit the most home runs in the major leagues.

So my teenage son and I got a pizza by spending a beautiful Saturday at the ballpark. Meanwhile, our Communications students at the ballpark are getting valuable experience in television, radio, photography and sports writing.

Paul Parsons, Dean



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