WSOU radio’s Kevin Huebler juggles objectivity and fandom as sports director

Corey A, Thomas

South Orange, NJ – Commentary has been the fundamental piece to great broadcast of a sporting events for several decades. To sum this task may seem easy due to the fact that these commentators are simply describing the game that they watch.

But what most don’t realize is that many hours of preparation, production, and focus goes into each broadcast. Whether it’s on the radio or even for television sports commentary is a craft that adds value to the experience of indulging in sporting events. For the sake of this piece we are going to take a look at College radio for Seton Hall.

Seton Hall’s radio station WSOU has been the go to for Seton hall sports coverage on the airwaves for several years. The station is ran by the students for all pirate fans. WSOU has received acclaim for its music programming, winning a Marconi award for non-commercial station of the year in 2016, but its sports programming isn’t too far behind and has been going strong for the last 50+ years.

The man in charge of running the sports division of the station is broadcasting student, Kevin Huebler.

Kevin was elected as sports director back in April 2016 as a sophomore. Being chosen as director at this point of his college career was a statement of his leadership and experience at WSOU. Now that Kevin is in charge he must continue to set the standard for the rest of the sports crew.

“There’s a few differences being the director, but the biggest one obviously is that you’re in charge, Kevin Huebler said. When someone makes a mistake it’s not just on them it’s also a reflection on you.”

Kevin described that being the director means that you are responsible for everyone who’s on a game or show, you’re responsible for making sure everyone knows the equipment, you’re responsible for things that go wrong. When you’re a general staff member, you are essentially kind told what to do and where to go and when you make a mistake you don’t realize everything it impacts.

Being a director has helped Kevin become more aware of what goes on at the station. He can’t just only focus on his own task, because his task is to oversee everyone else. He is the one people go to when issues arise. Kevin is still growing as a leader and he know that even he will make mistakes, but it’s important that he doesn’t let those mistake effect is ability to lead.

Kevin does not sit back and gives orders, he goes into the fray as a commentator as well. Kevin wants to make it clear that he isn’t just the man in charge, he is just another WSOU staffer just like everyone else.

Huebler has been calling games since his freshman year, and even today still has to learn and improve his skills.

“Overall my commentating has improved tremendously, Huebler said.  “I was very monotone on broadcasts and it was a challenge for me to get to the point where I was getting excited about what was happening. I was afraid that being excited showed favoritism so I had to learn that that wasn’t the case.”

Being a Seton Hall student can make being objective as a commentator challenging. As a student your always are rooting for the Pirates to win. But when you are on the air you have to put personal feelings on hold.

“Balancing fandom vs objectivity has been pretty easy for me, Kevin said. “I always hated hearing a broadcaster say ‘we’ or ‘us’.  It just sounded wrong to me.”

Kevin has been able to keep that kind of thinking in the back of his mind.  One trick he has found to help is trying to watch games without caring. Kevin will pick a game and watch it without cheering or rooting for Seton Hall.

This tactic comes into full effect when basketball season starts. This is the most important season for WSOU sports. Staffer who are prepared and experience are given the privilege to call these games due to their elevated listenership.

Basketball is Kevin’s favorite sport, which means that he is always it at his best when it comes to his broadcast.

“It’s just a fast paced sport that I feel that I know the most about, Huebler said.” “I grew up playing it. I played it in high school. I’ve watched it forever, especially college basketball.”

WSOU sports prides itself at being professional and accurate for all of pirate nation. The dedication and commitment that the staffer have to provide the best coverage of sport is what keeps people coming back. Hall Line, a post-game talk show at WSOU, is still going strong 50 years later and that is a testament to the WSOU hard work and professionalism.

 

 

 

 

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