A Sports Broadcaster Story: Signing Off For the Final Time by Dane Massey

A Final Goodbye

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My story begins when I was 11. I played football for the Lake Villa Timberwolves organization. Football and sports were my passion and what I dreamed of doing when I got older. One day after a game, my friends and I went up into the press box to fool around and hang out. It was all fun and games until the play by play announcer offered me the microphone. At the time I was a really shy kid and not one to go out of my way and try something new. For the first few minutes, holding that microphone in my hand was a bit nerve racking to say the least, but once I spoke those first few words, I knew this was for me. I could hear those words over the speakers, and I never looked back.

Next thing I knew I was asked by almost everyone that heard my voice to come back again and again. For the next three years, I went up to the football field every weekend during the football season to announce games. After every season, my love for sports began to change from playing to announcing them. I had discovered my new passion.

When I first got into high school, I knew right away what I wanted to do. I wanted to be the new voice of Grayslake North sports. Many people I talked to pointed me toward the technology director to start a broadcasting program at my high school. We started off working together as an independent study class in Broadcast Journalism. It was not too long before I got to broadcast my first live game. I was nervous but also really excited that I was finally going to broadcast a high school game. I got many compliments the next day of how well the broadcast went. My teacher and I then started producing podcasts and pre-game shows weekly. My hard work on the podcasts paid off as I won an award for having the Best Audio Podcast of the IJEA (Illinois Journalism Education Association). Then I was broadcasting more live sports and expanding the broadcasting program by doing lacrosse, basketball, wrestling, and many more. Eventually, by my sophomore year, I helped start a brand new broadcast journalism program with my teacher mentors. With my help and influence, Broadcast Journalism became an official class with two full classes per semester. GNHS-TV was launched because so many students were excited to join and make content for the school. Soon GNHS-TV was producing several programs for the school to enjoy weekly.

Going into my junior year, I knew I had to do more than just broadcast high school games and do podcasts. Everything was growing and getting better for the Broadcast Journalism program. I expanded my sports broadcasting once again by joining a Chicago sports writing crew. I was writing articles and doing podcasts with other people on the crew weekly as well as keeping up with Grayslake North sports. I had the privilege to be selected to attend a national journalism conference in Washington, D.C. Months later I received another great honor to attend a journalism conference at Ohio University. I have also been selected and accepted memberships to National Honor Society and Social Studies Honor Society.
There is so much to be thankful for throughout this journey, between the athletic coaches letting me do my work, to my family guiding me, and especially to the teachers that have supported my work and have given me the courage to go out and do more. I cannot be more grateful to be part of this journalism class to close out my senior year. I will truly miss this place and the opportunities it has given me. My story as a young journalist does not end with this goodbye; it is just getting started as I go off to college to continue my journey to be the best journalist I can possibly be.