O’FALLON, Mo. – The pandemic has brought its problems but it’s also created opportunity. The Wentzville School District has launched a student-run program that helps teach technological skills in the age of COVID-19.
Like most districts, Wentzville has implemented capacity restrictions for their sporting events. Immediate family members are the only ones allowed in the stands, leaving the majority of students and sports fans without a way to support their teams.
Derrick Docket, director of marketing for Wentzville School District, helped create a program allowing students to learn new professional skills while appeasing sports fans at home.
“Since we knew we were going to be restricting the amount of people coming to our games, it gave us an opportunity to do some live video coverage for those who couldn’t come,” Docket said.
Students are learning how to livestream games, the ins and outs of advertisement and commercials, how to create graphics, cut game highlights, and more.
Jayce Haun, a sophomore at Liberty High School, has had an interest in media since he was young and has become actively involved with the program.
“This is actually one of the things I want to do along with photography and film,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to do that ever since I was a kid, so this is perfect for me.”
Since the students have taken over varsity game days, online streaming popularity has increased in the community. They currently average around 3,000 views per livestream.
Haun appreciates that the program gives him and other students hands on experience on what a career in media would be like in the real world. He and Docket agreed that the program is bigger just streaming high school sports because students are also learning how to adapt to and overcome challenges.
The program is primarily based at Liberty High, but due to growing popularity from students in the district and more parents wanting games of all levels streamed at home, Docket is working on expanding it to each high school in the district.