As a high school student, Hans Bristol webcast numerous events for Waconia High School. A couple of weeks after graduating Hans got the opportunity to do color-commentary for the MSHSL State Softball Tournament on Prep45. Now a 2017 graduate, Hans will be taking his skills to St. Cloud State University to pursue a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Below is a Q & A with Hans Bristol.
What is your sports background prior to webcasting your first game?
Sports has always been a big part of my life. Playing as many sports as I could until high school was really important in learning about sports, which I feel has helped my career as a broadcaster. Watching and listening to sporting events was my preferred way of enjoyment as a young kid, which I believe helped truly grow a passion inside of me to be in sports for the rest of my life.
What two teams played when you did your first webcast?
My first ever webcast was in the fall of 2013, Waconia High School hosted New London-Spicer in a Wright County Conference football battle on a warm early September night.
Who did you ask or who asked you to cover your first game?
The summer before my freshmen year, I contacted 3 local high schools about the idea of starting a webcast program. I was motivated by parents who had heard me performing play by play on my own as a kid growing up, but even something inside myself was extremely excited about the possibilities. Waconia High School’s athletic director Dave Kuehn, and new Football Head Coach Sam Baker gave me my first shot at the world of play by play commentary and webcasting.
How long did it take for you to feel comfortable doing games?
In my first fall of calling and producing high school football games, everything was a learning experience and very new. My 2nd year beginning the webcasts and play by play, I felt a new sense of confidence in my productions.
What would you recommend to others who are interested in announcing high school games?
Be professional! Your appearance, quality of work and seriousness about what you do speaks volumes. There will be tech issues, schedule mess ups and life situations that may cause conflicts. Being accountable and reliable to always being at events will only earn you the respect of a school, potentially earning you more chances to be a part of further games or events.
What do you think are advantages of a student attending a webcast workshop vs how you started out?
Learning from someone who has experience in the world of webcasting will improve your beginning in the high school sports production world. In my own experience, I began something my school had never done before. This can be an incredible learning experience for students, and positively impacts your community while promoting your schools activities. Students will have confidence with proper training from a webcast workshop before going into producing their first broadcast.
Is there anything else you would like to add that you feel would help tell your story and motivate others to start webcasting games for their school?
There is also so much to learn for students by producing webcasts. Understanding how to produce quality broadcasts really can teach a student lessons on quality work and the benefits. It’s also a very fun, special part of a schools athletic program. All of the work can be used for resumes and can be beneficial when applying for colleges.
One incredible aspect I learned about the webcasts I produced and was able to be a part of is the impact it had on the community. Especially in my final year, I would have people coming to me with how much they truly appreciated the webcasts. I would get emails from family all over the country about how thankful they were they got to watch their younger family member play in sporting events on the webcasts.