Dayna Wichhart—Staff writer
The new American State Bank Sports Complex is fully inflated and in working order for athletic teams, student intramurals, and community members. The dome can hold two regulation sized softball fields. As a result, the dome will be home to several games in the upcoming weeks.
With each hosted sporting event comes many different challenges. Score keepers, statistic recorders, gate workers, and the Dordt Media Network team all work to run these sports.
The Dordt Media Network celebrated its four-year anniversary this past January. It oversees every single Defender athletic event. These games take place across six different venues and use three different broadcasting systems.
These events are dependent on students working the hours and covering the responsibilities needed.
“The thing about the Dordt Media Network is that there is no set schedule,” Rich Lodewyk, Director of the Dordt Media Network, said.
The upcoming weeks are some of those busy weeks. In the month of February, there will be three straight weekends with 16 softball games per weekend. This does not include the athletic games that happen throughout the week and the other sports that have games.
“It’s difficult on the busy weeks but we get the job done,” Lodewyk said, “and we can’t do it without students.”
Students employed by the Dordt Media Network sign up for the events that they can work. They choose games based upon their availability and take the hours that they want or can take. Some students work more hours than others.
“The dome is a wonderful space, [but] it is going to be tricky to learn how to broadcast from the new space,” senior Johnathon Carlo said.
Carlo works 12-15 hours per week and will be working most Friday afternoons and Saturdays in February.
The Dordt Media Network is run in a way that reflects a professional broadcast. Athletic events are streamed from multiple angles that provide close-up shots that allow the online audience to feel as if they were a part of the action.
“It’s challenging and there are a lot of moving parts,” Lodewyk said.
Students are called to live up to the challenge and prepare for these upcoming full weeks.
“Weekends will be busy but that’s what is fun about it,” junior Quintin Olson said. “The extra games provide a multitude of practice opportunities including directing, instant replay, camera operation and even play-by-play announcing.”
As Dordt University expands the scope of athletics it has created a great opportunity for the Dordt Media Network and those working for the Dordt Media Network.
“I absolutely love the Dordt Media Network and all it does,” Olson said. “It’s a great thing to have on a resume for someone who wants to do this kind of thing at a professional level.”
Photo credit: Dordt University