April is National Volunteer Month and along with Michele Smith-Aversa and Kathy Gray, we would like to take the time to honor Mike Moll with his contributions to the sports department on-air and on the web at WKTV.
Mike is a man who loves sports and put that love to work by volunteering at the station. He started his volunteering stint six years ago when he was asked by Paul Kabelman – one of the Sports Directors at WKTV – to announce a high school football game. Mike was thrown into the fire as part of a three-man crew and he had a blast!
“My first game I did color with two other guys in the booth,” describes Mike, “I didn’t do a whole lot of talking, I wanted to soak it in and figure out what I was doing, but I did it once and loved it!”
As a part of the sports department, Mike does a lot more than just show up and announce at kickoff. On top of commentating, he writes stories for now.wktv.org, puts the full sports schedules together for the station, and works with athletic directors to get stats and set up communications with players and coaches.
Mike, a self proclaimed stat nut, doesn’t mind doing the work necessary to get the information he needs, “It’s hard because there’s not a lot of info and stats available for high school sports. You have to do your own digging by making phone calls to coaches and athletic directors.”
Being a volunteer for the past six years, Mike has seen changes within the sports department and the technology offered by the station. He mentioned the truck and it’s massive changes. It’s now all digital and allows for beautiful broadcasts, and it’s all run by volunteers! He’s also very impressed with the new graphics and the focus they have on individual players and coaches.
“Kids and coaches have commented on the individual focus and how it helps get their stories out there. The players like to share information about themselves,” explains Mike.
Producing a game takes a lot of volunteers and their time. Not only do you need the announcers, but you also need camera operators, a director, people to run cables, and graphics and replay operators. They’re all needed for only one game!
It takes a whole team and a lot of hard work, but Mike sees the bigger picture for his volunteer work, “There are an awful lot of amazing student-athletes to cover and we get to give them attention. It’s an opportunity to give back. Could you imagine if no one volunteered?”
No, Mike, I couldn’t! Volunteering is important and also extremely rewarding. Plus, Mike sees another outlet for his volunteering, “It gives me the opportunity to put my work life away for a little while. If I could do my career all over again, I would be an announcer. I’m going to do this for as long as they’ll let me!”