Ouachita Sports Digital Network High School Conference

November 11, 2022

By Camryn Manning, Staff Writer

November 11, 2022

On Wednesday, Nov. 9, high school students from all over the state of Arkansas are scheduled to gather at Walker Conference Center and Young Auditorium for a media conference hosted by the Ouachita Sports Digital Network (OSDN). The event is described online: “High school students are invited to hear from professionals in fields including broadcast production, sports photography and videography, play-by-play, sports journalism and sports radio. Students may choose to attend one of two sessions scheduled each hour.” Over 300 students and teachers are now signed up to attend this first-time event that will hopefully become a tradition for years to come.

Chris Babb, director of Ouachita sports media productions, described the event as four sessions with eight panels of professionals to cover different topics. These include live game broadcast production, sports journalism, sports play-by-play, sports photography, sports videography, television sportscasting, sports radio and women and sports media. Each panel will be moderated by Ouachita students, including Levi Dade with Sports Photography, Caroline Derby with Sports Videography, Kendel Givens with TV sports and Chase Hartsell with Sports Broadcasting Play-by-Play. Babb said, “The goal is for students to hear from professionals in the industry to hopefully take tips back to their high schools. There are a lot of high schools that have definitely increased their presence in broadcasting, whether it’s sports broadcasting or just broadcast programs, a lot of schools are broadcasting athletic events.” Babb stressed the importance of educating students in broadcasting because when one broadcasts, they are the face of the school or organization. Babb said, “They’re representing an organization, and we want to help them do so professionally.” Babb has encouraged students at OBU to get involved in the conference as well, saying, “whether they’re in high school or college, they’ll be able to take a lot from it. Hopefully they will be able to take home what they learn and make connections with professionals in the field.”

        Hoping to make the OSDN High School Conference a yearly event, Babb commented on the start of this event having been planned in April of 2020, but because of COVID-19 it had to be postponed until now. The location of the event is also advantageous to many; most statewide events are held in Northwest Arkansas or the Little Rock area, and inaccessible or inconvenient for most in the lower half of the state. Several have come to Babb to thank Ouachita for this event being held in Arkadelphia because of the elimination of a long drive for their students to be able to attend.

During the event, organizers hope that the students and teachers attending will also be able to see how OBU runs during the Battle of the Ravine. With the conference happening during the week of the rivalry game, there will be more activity and excitement on campus than usual, and the timing of the event also allows the professionals coming in to cover the game for their outlets. In addition, the OSDN production trailer will be parked outside of Walker Conference Center and fully running to show students how the OSDN uses it for sports broadcasting.

Students also will have an opportunity to sit in on Justin Acri and Wess Moore, hosts of “The Zone” on 103.7 The Buzz, broadcasting their show live. This section of the conference, sponsored by Berry and Turnage, is a unique opportunity for students to see the workings of a radio station brought to them in Walker Conference Center. Keynote speaker during lunch is David Bazzel of 103.7 The Buzz (KABZ-FM) in Little Rock and the Little Rock Touchdown Club.

Babb has expressed his gratitude for the relationships he has built in the field to be able to make this event happen. He said, “a lot of this comes from people I’ve known for years and built connections with over time in the sports communication world or sports information world, or my time as an athletic director, I’ve built relationships with a lot of different people who’ve been willing to come down and if we were to do this again I’m sure they would be more than willing to jump in again.” The admissions office has been a large help to making this event happen. Babb said, “they’re helping so much in providing a lot of support, both financially and with registration.” Babb also expressed gratitude to Berry and Turnage for their support in bringing the radio station 103.7 The Buzz to Ouachita’s campus, and to Dr. Root and Deborah Root for bringing this idea to light and helping make it happen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

Soccer Season Recap

Next Story

New Major on the Block: Christian Foundations

Latest from News

Scholars Day set to highlight academic work

By Sam Bennett, Staff Writer Ouachita’s annual Scholars Day, scheduled for Wednesday, April 24, illuminates students’ academic achievements across various disciplines throughout the academic…

About Me

Go toTop