Newport News Public Schools TV and the Telecommunications Center

TV students working in press box
Edric "E.J." Jones, Bishop Dunn, and Joshua Ray work in the booth at Todd Stadium. Photos: Ray Price

Three Telecom students, who are also Heritage High School football players, took the initiative to do something that hasn't been done before: record and serve as announcers for a high school football game at Todd Stadium.

Because of their love of football and sportscasting, the students had the idea to record a high school game and do the play-by-play and commentary.

NNPS-TV airs select football games live and for replay on the channel, but the announcers are always adult staff members, not students.

But Bishop Dunn, Edric "E.J." Jones, and Joshua Ray wanted to give it a try, and they were given the opportunity in October, when their own game was scheduled for a Saturday, freeing them up for the Woodside vs Menchville game on Friday.

They asked Telecom Supervisor Ray PriceĀ if they could do it, and he got them the equipment and everything they would need. He took them to the press box at the stadium to show them around and get the equipment set up.

TV students pose in press box
Bishop Dunn, Edric "E.J." Jones, and Joshua Ray pose in the press box before the game. Photo: Ray Price

Jones mostly did play-by-play, Dunn did the commentary, and Ray was camera operator. All three are juniors in the TV Production I class at Telecom.

Dunn said he prepared for the game by practicing staying calm and speaking clearly. Jones watched previous NNPS-TV live broadcasts and tried to learn the players' names and jersey numbers.

Both said they were a little bit nervous about announcing, but felt more confident as the game progressed.

Dunn loved watching the game from up in the press box, and Jones enjoyed talking about the game in his own way.

"I liked being in the booth and experiencing what it's like to help work the game," Ray, the camera operator, said.

All three student-athletes are interested in sportscasting as a career. They mostly are unable to be on the Telecom TV crew covering the games because they are football players and have games themselves.

Supervisor Price was impressed with their initiative and desire to do the production.

"They were very professional," he said. "I didn't have to do anything. They came in and went to work."

The game is available on demand on the student YouTube channel.