BSR announcers get once-in-a-lifetime chance to broadcast Kent State vs. Ohio State matchup

Brittany Thoma

The Golden Flashes are road- tripping to visit the Buckeyes this weekend and the Black Squirrels are going too.

Black Squirrel Radio is packing up its equipment and talent and hitting the road, destined for Columbus. BSR will be broadcasting the Kent State vs. Ohio State football game tomorrow.

BSR planned on snagging this game as a broadcasting opportunity from the start of the semester. Amanda Kelley, news director and co-coordinator of the event, said this will be a learning experience of a lifetime.

“We are going to be covering the same game that the Big Ten Network is,” Kelley said. “How often do students have that kind of opportunity?”

The Black Squirrel crew will leave Kent tomorrow evening and spend the night in Columbus.

Although kickoff is at noon, they plan to arrive at Ohio Stadium between 9 and 10 a.m.

Ken Brown, one of the game’s three announcers, said they are leaving copious amounts of time to set up all the equipment.

“We’re triple checking for this game. We can’t afford to lose audio for even two to three seconds because that could be a touchdown pass that the listeners miss.”

Last Saturday’s Homecoming game against Miami was the first time Black Squirrel broadcast a Kent State game, but they plan to cover all the home games from here on out. They will also broadcast the Flashes men’s basketball games this season.

The away game in Columbus, though, presented them with a unique opportunity.

“Doing it at Kent is one thing, but to broadcast a game where 100,000 people will be is a different level,” General Manager Rory Geraghty said.

For those listening to the game on campus, it will stream over the Web from or on Channel 2, 4, 6 or 7.

Off-campus residents can tune in on Time Warner Cable Channel 16 anywhere in Portage County.

The announcers for Saturday’s competition are Ken Brown, Eric Ristow and Mitch Cooper — all sophomores. Cooper is the play-by-play announcer, who tells the listeners exactly what’s going on during the game. Brown and Ristow are the color commentators, who analyze the plays and progress of the game.

“The best part is that the production is being put together by all sophomores,” Kelley said. “The only older help we have is Rory, but the bulk has been put into action by a very young group of students.”

Cooper, a life-long Ohio State fan, said he’s so excited for Saturday that it’s hard to think straight.

“There’s so much going through my head right now. To be able to broadcast and talk about a team I followed growing up is huge for me.”

Kelley said the students may have to pay for the trip out-of-pocket because the budget doesn’t cover travel costs.

“Regardless of reimbursement, we’re going to OSU. We’ll never have this opportunity again at the Horseshoe,” Kelley said. “This matchup is huge for Kent State and we get to be a part of it.”

Contact College of Communication and Information reporter Brittany Thoma at [email protected].