Behind the Booth: Broadcast 2016


Addie VonDrehle

The Harbinger boys zoned in on the game before them: East vs. Rockhurst. Juniors Mac Newman, Peyton Watts and Robbie Veglahn relayed every first down to those tuning into that night’s broadcast. With a significant increase in viewers for the mid-September game, the pressure was on, not to mention the additional nerves stemming from the professional KMBC broadcasters who stood less than five feet away from them. 

Instead of trying to block them out, Watts hung on to their every word as if he were about to fall 10 stories with asphalt beneath him. Even the shaking press box due to the Hawklet chants couldn’t distract him from focusing on what the anchors beside him said into their microphones. 

“I was trying to take what they were saying and repeat it back to make myself sound better,” Watts said. “It was definitely better than when I go off on my own whim.”

As a first year anchor, Watts struggled early on with what to say and how to say it. He always needed more emotion in his voice. He always needed more to talk about when the Lancers were up by 40. He always needed to improve.

“There’s tons of room for me to get better in every way,” Watts said. “Stuff like acting excited when it’s a blowout or learning not to repeat myself constantly.” 

Mixing up the words interception and incomplete would reveal Watts’ football inexperience prior to this year’s season. He could only teach himself to speak like a professional from listening to them.

 “I listen to Kevin Harlan a lot because he never runs out of things to say or ways to say them,” Watts said. “I feel like when I hear his tone of voice in certain circumstances or his many synonyms for the word ‘pass’, I get really inspired for my own broadcasts.”

Because Watts didn’t have a background in football, he needed to work harder to acquire the taste for pigskin and end zones. But for everything Watts was lacking on the football field, he made up for on the basketball court.

“I’m going to be able to analyze stuff before it happens [in basketball games],” Watts said. “I’m going to know when East is about to steal the ball or drive to the basket, so I can start talking about things while they’re happening.”

Putting on his navy blazer and checkered tie in the fall may make Watts look like a professional, but the only time he would ever feel like Charles Barkley would be in a stuffy gymnasium in January.