PDT Sports Contributor
Four Valley Indian Seniors have traveled with the football team to each game during their high school careers. These four young men have been there, rain or shine, win or loss, showing hard work and perseverance in the face of any challenges in their way. This playoff push by the Indians, who host the Chesapeake Panthers at home Friday night, will be their last hoorah as they prepare to end their season with a bang. No, these four dedicated seniors are not football players. Garris Coriell, Christian Downey, Ethan Stone, and Ian Scott are the sports broadcasters responsible for the Valley Sports Network.
The Valley Sports Network (VSN) is a club that has existed at Valley High School since before these young men were freshman. However, under their leadership it has thrived and become a multifaceted entity which draws hundreds of viewers and listeners ranging from alumni to current students and their parents. Their viewing audience comes from all over the world, as one alumni watches the live stream from his current military stationing in Japan. They have over 500 likes on Facebook, and regularly pull in over 1000 views of their live game coverage and highlight videos.
Valley High School created a class just for the broadcasters this year. Prior to this, VSN was done on a completely voluntary basis with just the thanks of the fans as payment. The young men admit they’ve had a lot of help along the way, from their parents to teachers and other faculty members.
“It’s been an overall group effort. My Parents have been a big help, taking us wherever we needed to go because we’ve only been driving for two years now,” said Garris Coriell. “The broadcasting equipment is both loaned by the school and brought in by Garris.”
Despite all the help, there are challenges these four young men face. They spend much of their time making sure everything goes smoothly, and creating a program for everyone will enjoy.
“I spend many hours a week preparing for ball games,” said Senior Garris Coriell. “This year, I decided to make highlight videos for each football game. By doing this, I have spent an extra three to five hours working post game so that our followers can enjoy watching the great plays from previous games. The most challenging part for me would have to be preparing and setting up on the road, at different venues, to produce a solid broadcast.
“We’ve been on the backburner most of the time, though. In the beginning a lot of the away venues just looked at us like an amateur high school group and weren’t taking us seriously. But over time, a lot of places have been really accommodating. Waverly, Minford, Northwest, and a lot of the bigger playoff venues really welcomed us and made it easier.”
“The most challenging part, for me, would have to be remembering the names of the opponent’s players,” admitted Christian Downey. “You have to know what you want to say and how you want to say it. It’s not only during pregame, but when the action of the game is happening you have to be able to recall names and stats very quickly.”
On top of broadcasting and creating highlight videos, the seniors also interview players, coaches, and alumni who continue to play after high school. Garris Coriell remembers one interview above all others:
“The most memorable interview I had was the former running back of Valley, Luke Keller, who now plays for Morehead State. It was interesting to hear from a former player at the next level and the difference between playing at the high school level and college.”
“The most rewarding part for me would have to be when former alumni or fans come back and say ‘thank you’ to us,” said Christian Downey. “It feels good to know that you can help people from your community. And we couldn’t do what we do without Ethan Stone and Ian Scott. They do stats, run the video feed, and sometimes broadcast. They don’t get a lot of credit sometimes, but they should because they deserve it.”
The young men would like to thank all of the people that have helped and supported them along their journey of the last four years.
“First, I would like to thank our current members, previous VSN members and our school faculty,” said Garris Coriell. “Not only that, but the opposing school’s athletic directors, site managers, and fans of Valley athletics deserve thanks as well. I would like to give my parents a lot of credit for everything they have done throughout the years, too.
“This year our goal is to have the best year yet and go out with a bang! We are trying to recruit underclassmen to become members of VSN so that once we graduate the community will still have the Valley Sports Network to enjoy.”
Both Garris Coriell and Christian Downey have decided to pursue a degree in the media, looking at several schools such as Marshall, Muskingum, and Shawnee State University. Ethan Stone wishes to pursue a career in genetic engineering and Ian Scott will go for a microbiology. All four boys look to have a bright future ahead of them, and we may be hearing much more from Garris and Christian in the near future. Stay tuned.
You can view VSN at:
Reach Derrick Parker at [email protected] or on twitter @dc__parker