NFHS Network Recognizes Florence High School Among Top Student Broadcast Teams from Across the Country at Inaugural Broadcast Academy

Florence School Broadcast Program Voted Best Live Sports Broadcast for NFHS Network in 2014-15


Atlanta Hawks’ CEO Steve Koonin, ESPN and ABC’s Brad Nessler,

ESPN Studio Anchor Chris Cotter Shared Their Success Stories


Florence High School’s NFHS School Broadcast Program was recognized last weekend at the first NFHS Network Broadcast Academy for its excellence in broadcasting. Directed by Randy Bruce, a faculty member and coach at Florence, the student-run live-streaming broadcast network was named NFHS Network’s Best Live Sports Broadcast for the 2014-15 school year.

 Florence beat SBP programs from across the nation for the honor.

“We are very proud of our students,” Bruce said. “They have really embraced the school broadcast program at Florence and have worked hard to create their own identity. Our community has embraced their efforts, and their passion, enthusiasm and quality of work is something we are very proud of.   This is indeed a big honor.”

Bruce will present a brief summary of Florence High School’s successes at this week’s AHSAA Summer Conference. He is scheduled to address administrators on Friday at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Conference Center.

The NFHS Network, the nation’s leading high school sports media company, hosted the inaugural NFHS Network Broadcast Academy this past weekend in Atlanta. The unique, interactive event included talks from successful sports broadcasters and media executives, hands-on broadcast training workshops and the first annual NFHS Network Broadcast Academy Awards. The awards ceremony was streamed live at www.nfhsnetwork.com and included behind-the-scenes updates on social platforms including Twitter and Snapchat from attendees using #BA2015. 


On Friday, July 17, the participants attended the Atlanta Braves vs. Chicago Cubs game at Turner Field and were treated to an exclusive VIP behind-the-scenes tour.  In a workshop setting on Saturday, July 18, the student broadcasters and teachers participated in producing a live sporting event, broadcasting a live studio show and creating an original feature package about the event. 


The sizzle video featuring highlights of the event is available to view online at: http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/nfhs/90ca579aa4.


The students also heard stories of success, first-hand accounts of life in the sports media industry and career advice from ESPN Studio Anchor Chris Cotter on A Day in the Life of a SportsCenter Anchor, Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin about The Evolution of Sports & Media, and ESPN and ABC Broadcaster Brad Nessler, who spoke to the students about his Journey as a Broadcaster.


Each speaker shared their experiences in the media industry as well as advice for the young students who dream of being in their shoes one day.  Steve Koonin told the students, “Be willing to take a risk, be bold.  You are going to make mistakes. You have to accept that failure is part of success.”  Koonin also emphasized, “Have a unique voice. If you are a stereotype in this business, you are not going to have long-term success.”


Echoing Koonin, Brad Nessler recommended, “Take a shot at every opportunity.  You’re never going to learn if you don’t take a shot.”


The high point of the event was the first annual NFHS Network Broadcast Awards Ceremony, hosted by NFHS Network’s Rashan Ali.  High school broadcast teams and students were recognized in seven different categories and the 2015 winners are listed below:


 Best Overall School Broadcast Program

 Cleveland High School, TN


Best New School Broadcast Program

El Capitan High School, Merced, CA


Teacher of the Year

Omar Delgado, Christopher Columbus High School, Miami, FL


Best Live Sports Broadcast

Florence High School, Florence, AL


Best Original Programming

Morning Show, Christopher Columbus High School, Miami, FL


Best Student Broadcaster

Sam Brief, Highland Park High School, Highland Park, IL


Highlight of the Year

”Bishop Kenny #9 Charles Wade 80yd TD run,” Bishop Kenny High School, Jacksonville, FL


Omar Delgado, broadcast program leader at Christopher Columbus High School in Miami, FL and Teacher of the Year, said the first annual NFHS Network Broadcast Academy is like nothing his students have ever participated in.  “I’ve been to many broadcast and TV conferences and the truth of the matter is these sessions are unmatched.  Fun, interactive, hands on and enjoyable. “


Sam Brief, student at Highland Park High School in Highland Park, IL and winner of the NFHS Network’s Best Student Broadcaster Award, shared how the NFHS Network connects long distance family members and reaches beyond the school’s local area.  He explained, “This basketball season, our team had a lot of success and our coach’s parents live in Arizona.  Normally, there would be no way for them to see their son’s game.  Thanks to the NFHS Network, they were able to watch broadcasts of the games and sometimes we’d give them a shout out on the air!”




The NFHS Network captures the passion, pride, and energy of the high school experience by delivering live high school sports and events to family members and fans whenever they want, wherever they are.


The NFHS Network celebrates and showcases the unique accomplishments of students, whether they are a student-athlete participating in the 27 different sports covered by the Network, or one of the student broadcasters from schools around the country that produce events through the School Broadcast Program.  The NFHS Network also features state playoff and championship events for the 40 state members of the NFHS Network. 


All NFHS Network events are available online at www.NFHSnetwork.com and is optimized to view on all devices and screen sizes.  Follow the NFHS Network on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram at @NFHSnetwork for the latest news and event information. 


The NFHS Network is a joint venture among the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), its member state associations and PlayOn! Sports.  The NFHS is located in Indianapolis, Indiana and is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. PlayOn! Sports is based in Atlanta, Georgia and is the nation’s largest high school sports media company.


Media subscriptions to NFHS Network are available upon request.


Link to photos from NFHS Network Broadcast Academy: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7wqdqly1lira8kn/AAD4yGPkmxIxd54E5jMRwU0qa?dl=0.

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