PAYNESVILLE (WJON News) -- Since 2018 fans of Paynesville High School sports have been able to watch games via streaming thanks to the student-run broadcast club. A chance meeting at a fifth & sixth-grade football game led Lee Schleper and Erick Johnson to approach Matt Dickhausen with Community Education about streaming Paynesville football games.

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Schleper, who does play-by-play for the games, says Dickhausen thought it was a great idea, and it really took off when Dickhausen and Jacob Bertram were able to upgrade the equipment:

"And they bought some state of the art equipment through community ed where we have cameras all over the gym. We have two students running the cameras on their little Play Station devices up in the crow's nest"

Schleper says students do most of the work producing the shows, running the equipment, and selling advertising to area businesses. Co-Director Jacob Bertram says when the program started they had one camera and not much else. He says in addition to technical skills the students also gain vital problem-solving abilities:

"We do run into some issues and that kind of helps the students then be able to learn how to problem solve and to quick think on their feet how we can get this broadcast going for the viewers of course, and then of course making sure our sponsors are getting their ads and what they are needing."

Jacob Bertram, Paynesville Broadcast Club
Jacob Bertram, Paynesville Broadcast Club
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Senior Charlie Stang has done color commentary for the games since 2019 and says he has always loved sports and it is neat to be able to see the game from a different aspect:

"Well it just makes me enjoy the game from a different aspect. I'm not just a normal spectator watching the game I have to look at all the little things that happen and point them out so it makes me just appreciate all the games from a different point of view."

Jacob Bertram, Paynesville Broadcast Club
Jacob Bertram, Paynesville Broadcast Club
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Stang says Schleper has been great to work with and has really shown him the ropes.  Bertram says doing the broadcasts is a wonderful experience for the kids and it has been great to see the viewership grow:

"And the biggest thing that really gets me is the amount of viewership that we have and it's growing each and every season, and we also have some of the elderly grandparents or friends of the athletes that are playing that wouldn't be able to see them, just because of the situation that they're in, that now they have the opportunity to be able to watch their grandchild or their friend or their family friend."

Jacob Bertram, Paynesville Broadcast Club
Jacob Bertram, Paynesville Broadcast Club
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He says they get people from around the world watching as well as opposing teams' fans, and family members away on vacation. The broadcast club streams about 10 events each season and covers football, volleyball, gymnastics, basketball, and more. Click on this link to see some of their work.


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