Go to the school website, then click on “Activities and Athletics,” which leads to a link to watch girls and boys home basketball games live or select a game or event that was previously recorded, such as the Snow Days coronation and pep fest. Directions on how to connect to live events are included on the website.
Athletic Director Bryan Wormley set up this feature so that those not able to attend games in person could watch from their phone, computer or tablet. Currently the district is allowing two fans per student for games in person.
“Bryan Wormley is the brains behind our streaming,” Superintendent Gregg Parks said. “He is literally learning on the fly and doing a great job of it.”
Wormley explained that looking for a way to broadcast games began last fall.
“We were forced into finding a streaming source to allow our fans and families to see our games both home and away,” he said. “Both our volleyball and football (teams) used Facebook Live, but streaming full games is frowned upon on that platform.”
Two companies offered a service. One was free with a long term commitment but involved a cost to viewers. Another offer was from a company that most of the athletic programs were already using for video, film review and stats.
“But unless you bought the top package and paid a big price yearly it wasn’t possible, so most schools gravitated to YouTube,” Wormley said. “Once again, there are rules and requirements, like 1,000 followers to allow for free mobile streaming. That can’t be done overnight or in a month, so next came the streaming packages. I began checking with neighboring athletic directors and following their lead. I then had to convince our technology tech, Bud Kading, and Superintendent Parks that this is what we needed.”
Once the ball was set in motion, things happened quickly.
“It all seems crazy now how fast this has all happened and how much we and I have had to learn overnight,” Wormley said.
He said the payoff has been all of the great moments friends, family and fans have gotten to be a part of.
“It’s been nice to get the positive text messages, emails and technical assistance,” he said.
There have also been stressful moments along the way.
“I added some gray hair this past Monday as we successfully streamed the JV girls game and then tried to change streams and begin the Varsity stream,” he said. “There was no picture and the text messages began to come in. Several fans came up to the camera as I struggled to get the picture back up. After three complete shutdowns and restarts and rechecking all connections the picture returned. Many lessons were learned that night.
“We hope to involve our students more in all facets of our streaming as we progress in our new normal. It has been a huge help, as every school has jumped into the streaming world in some form, so our new normal is sharing the link with visiting teams to allow all fans to join in on the games and events both home and away.
“We have had very supportive students and parents who have helped with all phases of our streaming from last fall into this winter, and I just want to thank them all on behalf of our kids, coaches, families and fans, as the teamwork has kept us all in the games in some form.”