BY CHARLES MILLER & RICKY POLLITT
A sports team is only as good as the coverage it gets.
Without media, websites or sports networks, fans could not discover the success of certain sports programs without going to each and every game.
This is the case when it comes to Salisbury University athletics, and with the help from the Sea Gull Sports Network, SU fans have a chance to experience the action regardless of where they may be.
The Sea Gull Sports Network (SGSN), is Salisbury’s very own student run sports network which covers all of SU’s 21 varsity sports.
From football in the fall to lacrosse in the spring, SGSN brings fans live game day action including in-game commentary, video highlights, game graphics and much more.
A branch off of Salisbury’s sports information department, the network was founded in 2011 with its main objective to deliver sports updates on a more frequent basis to SU students and fans.
In 2014, Assistant Sports Information Director Josh LaVeck took charge of the network hoping to give students the opportunity to gain experience at a college level sports network.
“(The employees) do a great job for us. Some of the guys that want to do this for a career, you can tell they are really putting in the effort,” LaVeck said.
SGSN allows student workers a chance to cover some of the top teams in Division III. Compiled of 20-30 student workers, the network is dedicated to covering every SU home game they can get to.
“We have everything planned out beforehand, and we all know what we are doing,” camera operator Kolby Redden said.
The network’s first broadcast was a men’s and women’s basketball double header against York College in January 2011.
Throughout its first semester, SGSN covered 16 games, but increased to over 100 webcasts in the following year. The network also produced Squawk Talk, an in-studio show that gave fans the opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at teams, coaches and athletes.
“My main goal was to try and get a young base of workers to try and build a good group of kids and have them grow into their positions,” LaVeck said. “We’re trying to get the best webcast we can, and I think so far we’ve reached that so right now it’s just about getting better.”
Primarily run by student workers, SGSN relies on hard work, passion and determination from its employees in order to produce solid broadcasts on a weekly basis.
Freshman announcer Chris Mackowiak admits he decided to come to SU because of the things the network could give him. As a three-year broadcaster in high school, SGSN offered Mackowiak the perfect road to continue his announcing career.
“It’s a great way to increase my skills, and at the DIII level it’s about the passion of covering sports, and I think that’s why we do what we do,” Mackowiak said.
With hundreds of viewers tuning in on a weekly basis, and even thousands during certain sports games, the network is dedicated to putting out content similar to the caliber of national sports networks such as ESPN or ABC.
Each member has goals for themselves coming in, and whether it’s commentating a game, operating a camera or managing the scoreboard, if the dedication is there, the task ends up getting completed.
“What has allowed the Sea Gull Sports network to be so successful is that everyone works really hard,” LaVeck said. “We’ve hit the goals I wanted to accomplish when I took this job.”
With every sport receiving coverage, fans are able to learn more about the athletes and coaches they may have never known about. Scoring updates, game analysis and play-by-play commentary lets the fan experience the game without having to necessarily attend the match.
“I love the Sea Gull Sports Network,” SU junior Thomas Dunbar said. “I always log on to check out how baseball is doing.”
With the foundation LaVeck and his employees have set, SGSN has become a reliable source for fans when it comes to information about SU athletics.
Every year, more and more students join the team hoping to start their journey towards a possible career in their respected position.
Passion is what fuels the network, and with the continued growth, SGSN has the potential to become a major network in the collegiate sports world.
“I’ve enjoyed it so far, and it’s been a lot of fun,” Mackowiak said. “People want to watch Salisbury, and we know we have to elevate our standards because we have so many people watching us, but with the passion from the employees it really has set the foundation for how successful we are.”
To check out SGSN in action, visit suseagulls.com on game day for all the action behind SU athletics.