A Week in Review

24 05 2010

It’s been a while since I posted; I’ve been super busy between school ending, moving into a new house, and the spring sports season at KECI.  But here’s some of what I’ve been up to:


I traveled up to Polson to cover the Missoula Mavericks taking on the Mission Mariners in a non-conference legion baseball matchup.  Needless to say the game went to the Mavericks, who 10-runned Mission 14-4 in the contest and improved to 21-1 on the season.  Having played legion baseball myself, I was surprised Missoula’s AA was even playing Mission at this point in the season, since Mission is in the A conference and thus extremely outmatched by Missoula’s AA.  Brody Miller was 4-6 from the plate for the Mavs with a double, a home run and 5 RBIs in the game.


I quickly covered a couple of early round B-C girls state tennis matches here in Missoula.  Being my third time shooting tennis, I’m starting to get comfortable with it (just in time for tennis season to be over of course).  The trick isn’t the difficulty of shooting the action since obviously the game takes place in a fairly small confinement.  The trick is staying aware of who is playing who, which matches are the most important, and keeping track of what the games and sets are at.  By now I’m a lot more confident with those aspects of covering the sport, hence it’s a rather easy/relaxing activity to shoot on a nice sunny day.  However Thursday was not so nice… I only got about 30 minutes of footage before the courts were cleared for a rain delay.

At this point Kayla and I headed to Sentinel High School to catch the 3rd game of a playoff series between Sentinel and Hellgate; the winner of which punched their ticket to the state tournament.  After losing the first game 5-4, the Spartan bats awakend in the second game as they mercy ruled the Knights 18-1 in 5 innings.  It was more Sentinel dominance when I got to third game, as they’d need only 6 innings to take down Hellgate 11-1.  The win gets the Spartan softball squad to the state tournament for the first time since 2005.  Jamie Jo Kallis had a heck of series on the day for Sentinel, she went 9-11 from the plate with 6 RBIs, 4 of which were the result of her grand slam in the second game.


Friday I took a trip all the way up to Thompson Falls to cover the semifnals of the Western B-C Divsional softball tournament, the winners of which would clinch state softball tournament positions.  I was there for the entire first game between the Loyola Breakers and Mission Bulldogs; Loyola is the most prominent class B softball team we cover (in terms of viewership, geography). Although Loyola won the regular season conference title, they were playing without their star catcher and power hitter Alex Hughes, who was not yet medically cleared to play after receiving a concussion at a tournament in Butte the week before.  The game was a tight 2-1 contest throught the first four innings but then Loyola pulled away in the final three innings, winning by a final of 7-3 and securing their state tournament berth.

I could only stay for the first three innings of the next semifinal between the Florence Falcons and the hometown Thompson Falls Lady Bluehawks but I saw enough.  Lady Bluehawks pitching ace Kyla Molzhon is the most dominant western montana picther I’ve seen this year, she struck out six Falcons through just the first three innings… her squad needed just a lone run in the fifth to beat Florence 1-0 in the game.


I covered three championship matches at the class B-C state tennis tournament.  The boys singles championship match was the only one I covered that went three sets.  Spencer Ahlborn of St. Ignatius defeated Bridger Mahlum from Bigfork 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.  The politness between the two really threw me for a loop, especially when a state title is on the line.  They complimented each other every game for impressive serves and returns.  It was nonetheless refreshing, and in no way deterred from the competitiveness of the match.  Ahlborn was very athletic playing close to the net and charged it every opportunity he had, which made it fitting that his match point came off of a dominant overhead smash at the net.  This was Ahlborn’s third victory over Mahlum in four meetings.


Windy Weekend

3 05 2010

May 2, 2010

Quite an eventful weekend in the local sporting world.  Saturday was a wet and cold day for shooting.  We (Kayla and myself) started out at a softball game between the Hellgate Knights and the cross-town rival Sentinel Spartans.  Sentinel was already up 5-2 when we arrived.  The Spartans went on to win the game 8-3.  Our highlights mainly consisted of an RBI double off of the fence in center by Spartans first-baseman Katie Focher and a solo Sentinel home run to deep left-center by Riliey Cullip.  I’m still struggling to perfect my softball filming.  On Cullip’s home run I completely lost the ball and had a choppy pan past the fence to finally locate the ball after it had already landed… I’ll get better but the sport has definitely been giving me some fresh photog challenges.

After that game we headed to catch some of the Mavericks matchup against the Billings Scarlets.  Let’s just say that game was all Missoula en route to a 21-2 Mavs win.  The Mavericks have been looking really solid so far in this young legion season.

After gathering a plethora of Mavs highlights from the game we headed over to the infamous Maggotfest to get a VO-SOT from the rugby action.  As fate would have it, the perfect interviewee in Rich Sondermann (a player for the local Missoula Maggots squad) walked right up to us and started conversing.  He actually had a  few staples just above his right eye that were securing a fresh wound he’d received from an earlier game.  After some great soundbites and game shots we headed back to the station to edit and script the day’s footage.  Luckily the rain didn’t really start pouring until we had already declared the day’s filming deeds as done.

Today was more baseball under drier but windier skies.  We covered a pair of Legion games as the Bozeman Bucs edged out the Scarlets 9-8 and then the Mavericks defeated the Bucs 9-5.  The biggest hit of the day’s action came off of the bat of Bucs player Corbin Gates, as he hammered a solo shot deep over the wall in left to put the Bucs up 4-1.  But it was birthday boy Nathan Jewett (who I was informed turned 16 this weekend) who put the Mavs on top 5-4 with a 3-run triple in the bottom of the 3rd inning.

Despite the windy and therefore somewhat cold conditions, the quantity of baseball action this weekend has me excited for summer to be here… only two more weeks of school!

More Sun and More Firsts

19 04 2010

April 18, 2010

What a beautiful weekend to live in Missoula.  With clear skies and temperatures in the 70s, the conditions were extremely inviting for all of the outdoor sporting events I was involved with over the weekend.

However, the story I shot with Kayla on Friday actually took place indoors… but was still the hottest story I’ve ever had to cover.  I shot  a 90 minute session of Bikram Yoga which Kayla was participating in.  The story is the first of a series of news packages she is putting together to inform viewers on various ways to workout and get in shape.  The catch about Bikram Yoga is that it takes place in a room heated at over 100 degrees… I can honestly say I’m not sure I’ve ever sweated more than I did while I was shooting that story.  My shirt was entirely soaked through and I had drops dripping from my face every few seconds… and  I didn’t even do the workout like Kayla did.  I will say that after the class was over AND we shot our interviews AND I had a chance to shower AND I was convined the torture was over, I did feel very accomplished and my body felt the cleanest it’s felt in a long time.

Work on Saturday did take place outdoors as we shot a high school track meet, a softball game between Sentinel High and Hellgate High (Sentinel won the pitching battle by a final of 3-1), and an American Legion baseball game between the Missoula Mavericks and Belgrade (Mavs prevailed 14-4).  Ben Roberts (known as a football and basketball start for the Sentinel Spartans) is possibly the number one prospect out of the state of Montana and it was easy to see why as he hit a home run in each game of the days double-header.  Although it was a first for me in covering both track and baseball, I enjoyed both and look forward to more of the same the rest of this spring season.

Spring is in the Air

25 03 2010

March 24, 2010

This week of work has definitely been causing my mindset to transition into the swing of spring.

Monday I covered the first day of full pads for the Montana Grizzly football team’s “spring ball”.  Shooting football in March certainly felt confusing… the weather didn’t help at all either.  Every five minutes went from borderline blizzard to eye-blindingly sunny.  As difficult as it is to dress and cope with such conditions physically, shooting video in this kind of weather is equally draining.  Every time the sun disappeared and it would start raining, I’d have to turn the camera’s filter down from two to one or none.  I’d also have to re-iris the shot for lighting and re-white balance for crisp color.  Not to mention I shielded the camera with my coat to prevent any water damage.  Of course  minutes later the sun would come out and I’d reverse all of these steps again in order to get a usable picture.   After about three hours of shooting B-roll of various drills and scrimmaging, I finally got to interview defensive tackle Tyler Hobbs and newly appointed head coach Robin Pflugrad.  Today was my first time meeting and interviewing the coach… I’m sure it will be far from my last.  Coach Pflugrad wasn’t in a particularly chatty mood as he articulated that the day hadn’t been the best practice session he’s seen out of his players.  Hobbs emphasized that the team is still finding its way.  Besides the rust of winter, the players are facing many changes in coaching staff and thus changes in specific expectations of the players.  Although it felt exciting to be shooting Montana football again in Washington Grizzly Stadium… I had to remind myself that this was just a tease.  After all it is just March, competitive collegiate football is almost half a year away.

What isn’t far away in the world of sports is softball season.  Kayla and I attended two high school softball practices today to gear up for high school softball season which is less than a couple weeks away.  We got footage and interviews at both Missoula Loyola’s pratice and Missoula Hellgate’s.  The weather today was consistently warm, sunny and great for a change.  It really felt like spring outside and seeing softball practice reinforced the transition into the spring sporting season that is upon us.  I’m nervous/anxious/excited for trying my hand at filming a new batch of sports as the season approaches.  It’s becoming apparent that spring has arrived.