Swing open the door to room 230 on a Thursday afternoon and you will find endless coils of wires leading to pro- ducer, Poojan Pandya, who is counting down the seconds until the beginning of the Roundup and West Radio’s weekly sports podcast. As “Hip Hop Hooray” rolls in, the team is introduced to the listeners who await intense conversa- tions full of personality and passion. Those who tune in hop along for a ride full of shocking predictions, insightful suggestions, and even the discussion of controversial topics.
Colts Corner commentators Matt Gold, Douglas Lattuca, Ben Dick- son, and Brian Flattau are all thrilled to be back on the Hills West bandwagon for a second season of the Colts Corner Podcast. The team consistently gives their input on the latest school and pro- fessional sports news each and every Thursday afternoon. The sports enthu- siasts are truly eager to announce the Hills West wins to the student body in addition to making their predictions on professional sports. From Ben Dickson raving about his Yankees to Brian Flat- tau raving about his Jets, the Colt’s Cor- ner crew has a blast on the air each and every week. Contrary to other commen- tators, Flattau went on to predict that the Jets would beat the Patriots: a pre- diction that Dickson immediately refut- ed. Be sure to tune in and hear Flattau’s “electric player and team of the week.”
As Flattau, Gold, Dickson, and Lattuca predict which players and teams will “bounce back” week to week, they truly are able to bounce ideas off each other and create content in which the audience can truly tell that the com- mentators are having a great time doing something that the students, as well as themselves, love.
Last spring, their passion was honored when their podcast won third place in the “Newspaper Special Section: Sports” of the 2017 LI Press Awards. From Hills West football to the NFL and beyond, Colts Corner clearly has a distinct au- thenticity. The diversity of thought and personalities within the podcast crew is refreshing.
Mr Doxsee was a driving force behind the addition of the podcast last year: “Mr. Doxsee thought the podcast would be a good way to express what’s going on in sports to the student body. Many students don’t have the avail- ability to always be immersed in the inclusive environment of the game,” said Matt Gold, Sports Editor. “While the goal of the podcast last year was to develop a consistent schedule, this year promises to “increase the following of the podcast.”
Although diversity already ex- ists within the sports section, the com- mentators are eager to expand their section to become even more diverse by including live broadcasts and Tweets within the Roundup Twitter account. The section already began testing this new feature last year.
Gold expressed the success with the new feature last year: “We live tweeted [football] games last year. It was an easy and quick way to allow stu- dents to get a feel for the games and see how the Hills West teams were doing.” However, this year the Roundup will be broadcasting select Hills West sports games live on the HSWroundup you- tube account. Be sure to keep an eye out for the homecoming game broadcast!
The section has already tested this feature the first two weeks of the sports season. Although “connectivity problems have been encountered,” Gold
is confident that these impediments will be polished by the homecoming game. The broadcast has already proven to be quite successful with almost 100 viewers tuning in to their broadcast last week- end, when the Colts destroyed East Is- lip, 24-0. However, improvements and expansion are always at the forefront of this resilient section, and they seek to find even more success with their new features.
Lattuca spoke about the prog- ress and the future of the broadcast after his latest experience using the new technology: “The Wi-Fi worked greatat last Saturday’s game. The Wi-Fi went out on us at the end of the first half; however, we got it back up in the third quarter. We are looking for a better location, looking to add headphones to our set up, and possibly add a walkie talkie system to keep all of the broadcasters and camera operators in the loop. Additionally, we want to set up cameras by the band and the cheer- leaders so we can kill extra time when the game isn’t active.”
Gold, the Sports Editor of the Roundup, is extremely excited for the progress the section will achieve this year as well as after he graduates from Hills West in June of 2018: “What’s the most comforting thought is that when I leave Hills West, I can come back in ten years and see the incredible progress of the section.”
Although the podcast and the new social media features are large breakthroughs for the sports section, the sports writers are still continuing their coverage on their section of the website and in the print editions that the Roundup releases throughout the year. Douglas Lattuca, Assistant Sports Editor, wants to make sure that the student body is aware of the written content produced by the section. Ev- ery week, Lattuca releases an interview with Coach Madden in a segment titled
“Coach’s Corner.” Lattuca is even look- ing to expand this interview segment to other coaches and sports through- out the year. Similarly, Flattau has a Fantasy Football segment he releases every week, in which he delivers his “bold predictions” to students dying to get the latest Fantasy Football scoop. In addition to these informative sport seg- ments, the section has a “Colt’s Score- board” on the Roundup website. This scoreboard is updated consistently, so the student body can keep track of their
West TV is only one quarter of the soon-to-be Hills West Media ma- chine. Hills West Media will encompass the current Roundup news outlet, Hills West social media platforms, West Radio, and West TV. “We are really excited to expand our reach to all students at Hills West. This expansion will give all students involved a richer experience,” said Mr. Riccuiti.
Rumors have been circulating around the school concerning a con- version of the current yearbook room into a broadcasting and media center. Mr. Riccuiti has confirmed that there is planning underway: “We are hoping to make changes to the room in the library so that both the yearbook and newspaper can continue the excellent work that we both do.” The room that has been utilized by the yearbook club for the past few years will become the set for the new West TV: a platform in which the students will be involved in informing the student body. Hills West students will have the opportunity to broadcast the morning announcements to the entire school. “We hope to even- tually make it so that students can tune in and become educated on school events by their peers,” said Mr. Riccuiti, an advisor for the newspaper.
As the planning required for the massive expansion of the Hills West Roundup into Hills West Media is finalized, the Roundup is ready to leap into the next huge journey ahead. From those who broadcast to those who continue to take the tradition- al role of writing for the print and website, all of the staff members are excited.