New sports broadcasting class a labor of love

Philip Shippy — Staff writer

Dordt University is offering the Sports Broadcasting class for the first time this year, taught by communication professor Rich Lodewyk. Designated COMM 236, it’s designed to teach the skills needed to work in television or radio sports.

Lodewyk has wanted to teach this class since he started working at Dordt in January 2018; his career in sports is over 20 years long, involving everything from radio play-by-play to reporting, directing, and anchoring sports for different TV channels. On top of teaching at Dordt, he also manages the Dordt Media Network (DMN), which livestreams Dordt Defender and Sioux Center Warriors games. In this class, he’s eager to pass the ball of his experience to his students.

“What excites me the most,” Lodewyk said, “is to be able to work with the students and see where they can go with what they’re learning, both here while they’re students and after they graduate.”

The class follows several disciplines within sports broadcasting. It covers the behind-the-scenes work of reporting on and writing sports news stories, the on-camera work of anchoring and play-by-play, and the cinematography work necessary for either livestreaming a game or gathering footage for a news broadcast.

The class also works well with the Dordt Media Network, benefitting from DMN’s wealth of equipment, while the lessons from the class directly apply to the work the DMN does.

Dylan Stanley, a member of both COMM 236 and the DMN, finds the class “a good opportunity to grow,” both in the DMN and towards his dream career in the sports broadcasting industry.

The class is currently eight students, many just as excited as Lodewyk and Stanley. Senior digital media major Quintin Olson is already looking at summer internships.

“I’d like to go into the sports field after school,” Olson said, “so I figured this would literally be the perfect class to do that kind of thing.”

That’s the theme of this class. It’s a labor of love for those who enjoy sports and want to make a career in covering it.
It’s not all a honeymoon, though.

“Sports is entertainment,” Lodewyk said, “and it’s fun, but sports broadcasting in general is hard work, and you need to get good at it to make a career out of it.”

Still, Stanley and Olson seem to be up for the task and are excited about the projects coming later in the semester.

Meanwhile, Lodewyk has ambition for the future of the class and the new broadcasting minor.

“I would love to see us,” Lodewyk said, “moving forward, start producing a student television newscast which would include an in-depth sportscast as part of it, and COMM 236 could be a key part in helping get that going.”

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