Sports, The SportsTalk Shop

A Season of Firsts

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After Monday night’s thrilling double overtime Bethlehem Catholic victory on ATVN and before preparing for our final regular season high school sports event of the winter on Tuesday, I did a little reflecting back over the last couple of months…

In 1969, the Beatles formed an idea to “Get Back” to what they had done before their rise in fame with the way they would put their music together.

We had a similar idea at the ATVN studio this winter – to get back to putting our high school sports schedule together the way we did before COVID (and all the resulting after-effects) which slashed the way we had “normally” covered local sports the last few years.

  At the same time, we additionally tried to incorporate brand new elements for our viewers, and succeeded by including the following list of “first-time ever” events broadcast on our network:

  • First-ever EPC girls basketball regular season game
  • First-ever Colonial girls basketball regular season game
  • First-ever Colonial League wrestling match 
  • First-ever women’s wrestling match 
  • First-ever girls basketball regular season doubleheader
  • First Colonial baseball championship

And… we also featured:

  • More Colonial League games than ever before
  • More local schools than ever before
  • Regular blog entries here on this website promoting women’s basketball and wrestling all season long

We accomplished all the above while still bringing our audience many of the most competitive games of the year, including the two down-to-the-wire games we brought you last Monday (and, for anyone who spends any time around high school kids will tell you, it’s not always easy to predict what 15-year-olds will be like or how well they’ll play on any given day).

Things were complicated a bit by some rather dramatic (and last-minute) changes in “traditional” scheduling by the local schools themselves as the officiating shortage is beginning to impact the scholastic sports landscape (more on this matter coming up later this year).

We have received a lot of great comments about what we were able to do this winter from our viewers and we were very happy that they took the time to share their opinions and positive thoughts about our new game plans with us.

We made some bold predictions several months ago about what we were looking to accomplish and a number of things had to go right in order for us to pull all of them off. 

Thanks to a great effort by a lot of different people, and judging by the positive responses from our viewers…we did it!

But speaking of offering “thanks…”

First, we could not have accomplished all of this without the incredible cooperation of the local schools and their athletic directors, administrators, coaches and staff.

To the teams and student athletes themselves for putting on some great performances, both with very competitive games and some great individual performances throughout the season.

Our crew had to deal with some radical changes in how we implemented our schedule and were amazingly flexible and accommodating to some new ways of doing things, in addition to doing their usual first-rate, quality job in bringing local sports home to our viewers.

Our own ATVN administration was unbelievably helpful and supportive in enabling us to build our broadcast schedule and maintain our ability to carry out our goal to broaden our local coverage and try to satisfy the needs of as many of our viewers as humanly possible.

We also had unbelievably good fortunes from a weather perspective, which not only reduced our “normal” number of postponed contests but also (not counting the issues raised by the officiating shortage) kept radical rescheduling to a minimum this winter…I’ll leave that up to you in terms of assigning credit for that one.

Last and certainly not least, in addition to everything we did “sports-wise,” our annual Dream Come True telethon raised a record amount of money this past winter and surpassed our total from two years ago by over $43,000.  Once again, all the credit for this goes to our viewers for participating and donating money to this great cause, along with all the behind-the-scenes personnel involved in putting the entire event together.

But much like a coach will do after a quality win, our celebration will be short-lived as we get ready for our next chapter and look ahead to making even more additions and bringing in new elements for the next sports season.

Before we do, I did want to extend one more heartfelt appreciation for everyone’s efforts and a sincere “thank you” to everyone involved in this process.

Now, let’s bring on the winter sports playoffs!!!


The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Astound Broadband or any other agency, organization, employer or company.