Out of Chaos Comes Beauty: Behind the Scenes of Red Hawk Sports Network’s Trip to Guangzhou

What better way to start telling the story of the weekend of events in Canton, Ohio than a heavy downpour that delayed the annual Hall of Fame game?

There are not any. The Red Hawk Sports Network has done everything it takes to film its upcoming Sam Mills induction documentary to be top notch.

Just based on the 10 hours on the road and the bits of filming done around the Tom Benson Hall of Fame stadium before the skies opened up, it was pretty clear no one could predict exactly how this trip would turn out in from Thursday. at Sunday.

One of the professors who started RHSN, Stacy Gitlin, let the students make many decisions on their own while helping to command the trip and keep an eye on everyone. Gitlin has a lot of faith in students like broadcast intern and RHSN director Jason Naccarella.

“We get a lot of students through this program who are great at learning sports and understanding teams,” Gitlin said. “But when it comes to TV production, that behind-the-scenes camera, editing and fieldwork, it’s always intuitive. [Naccarella] is a problem solver and has an exceptional work ethic. It’s who you want to lead a project like this.

RHSN’s Matt Bruchez (front, center), Teni Bello (front, right), Jason Naccarella (middle, left), Gianna Daginis (middle, right) and Montclarion Sports editor Matt Orth (rear) hold their credentials media.
Photo courtesy of Matt Bruchez

Naccarella had to solve many problems in an ever-changing environment in Guangzhou. Going into his final year, his responsibilities will be at an all-time high. But as this journey shows, he has many people on his side to help him.

“We really needed to be ready for anything at any time,” Naccarella said. “Our team did a great job of making sure they had all the equipment and research needed to film anything or interview anyone, so it wasn’t just me adjusting to the changes, it was a team effort.”

Jason Naccarella pulls the large sign of inductees outside the Pro Football Hall of Fame Museum.  Photo courtesy of Matt Orth.

RHSN Director Jason Naccarella shoots the large panel of inductees outside the Pro Football Hall of Fame Museum.
Matt Orth | The Montclairon

Social media was also a team effort. Every little thing done in Canton and Ohio as a whole has been meticulously captured on Instagram, thanks to RHSN’s senior social media correspondent, sophomore intern Gianna Daginis.

At the start of the trip, Daginis had a plan for how she wanted to show the ins and outs of the trip.

“Given that few people are physically present here, I wanted to make the social media content as immersive as possible,” Daginis said. “I wanted to make sure that the content we shared was able to highlight [Mills’] achievements, document the Hall of Fame festivities and the atmosphere of Canton and also show behind the scenes and the involvement of everyone in the project.

Jason Naccarella and Gianna Daginis shoot an interview outside of a barbecue further south in Ohio.  Photo courtesy of Matt Orth.

Jason Naccarella and Gianna Daginis shoot an interview outside of a barbecue further south in Ohio.
Matt Orth | The Montclairon

Instagram takeovers of the Montclair State University athletics Instagram account, videos of behind-the-scenes moments including a close look at the festivities, and interviews are just some of the content created and shared by Daginis .

Anyone who has been following the coverage can get a clear idea of ​​how the weekend went. And Daginis is consistent with creative and thoughtful social media posts.

Another student who was on top of the social media game, as well as interviews and filming, was sports communication major Teni Bello. She helped create professional-looking Instagram reels for RHSN.

Bello just recently majored in sports communication, but this trip has made her happy.

“I always knew my talent was to be in front of the camera, but this weekend I learned a lot more about news and sports reporting, filming and social media,” Bello said. “That was my goal – I wanted to be more involved and to be versatile. And I thank everyone on this trip, for being open and very honest with feedback at all times.

Teni and one of the former alumni coaches have a chat about the late Sam Mills.  Photo courtesy of Matt Orth

Teni Bello and one of the former alumni coaches have a chat about the late Sam Mills. Matt Orth | The Montclairon

Broadcast intern Matt Bruchez has had the time of his life getting involved with the crowd of people in Canton, seeking sound bites from anyone seeking to speak. He filmed NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. He took a selfie with comedian Keegan-Michael Key. He interviewed sports media legend Chris Berman. Ultimately, Bruchez is grateful for the experience.

“I’ve said it many times before that I believe it was the best days of my life,” Bruchez said. “Being a lifelong football fan, it was truly an amazing experience. Going to an interview [Berman] and Cris Collinsworth, who are guys I look up to in the sports broadcasting world, were amazing. The whole experience was so surreal and I’m still trying to figure it out.

Jason Naccarella and Matt Bruchez help photograph the Hall of Fame photo shoot.  Photo courtesy of Matt Orth

Jason Naccarella and Matt Bruchez help photograph the Hall of Fame photo shoot.
Matt Orth | The Montclairon

Matt Bruchez and comedian Keegan-Mich

Matt Bruchez and comedian Keegan-Michael Key.
Photo courtesy of Matt Bruchez

Professor Steve McCarthy was also a crucial part of the team, leading everyone on and motivating them to step up and fear no opportunity. He explains how unique this global opportunity is.

“A Division III player doing [it] in the pros is rare – one that makes it to the Hall of Fame is extremely rare,” McCarthy said. “It’s always a good story when something probably won’t happen again.”

The group of students and teachers pose for a photo before heading back on the road.  Photo courtesy of Red Hawk Sports Network.

The group of students and teachers pose for a photo before heading back on the road.
Photo courtesy of Red Hawk Sports Network

The experience was a once-in-a-lifetime moment for everyone involved. Bonds grew. Memories were created that will last forever. And a lot of work has been done that will pay off in many ways. This is exactly what Gitlin wanted for students.

“Twelve-hour workdays, up, in the sun, to sleep four hours and start again,” Gitlin said. “It’s drudgery, but the moments between sunburn, sore feet and not eating are life-changing memories that you will compare all the rest of your experiences to.”

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