Bright team colors and jerseys were the attire for midday at the WRAL-TV studios on Friday, July 31, 2015, as dozens of local football players and coaches descended on the station for the annual HighSchoolOT.com Football Kickoff.
“The HighSchoolOT Kickoff is our annual opportunity to bring together coaches and players to share our enthusiasm for the coming season,” explained WRAL.com Director of Content Jodi Glusco. “The Kickoff is a one-of-its-kind event in the Triangle that strengthens the connection between the teams we cover and our reporters, and we have a lot of fun doing it. This year was the sixth annual and it is an event we’ve come to look forward to.”
Every July, CBC invites football coaches from across our coverage area for lunch and an overview of how we’ll cover their games on TV, radio and the web. Studio A is packed with about 80 guests for lunch from Moe’s, our loyal sponsor who provides the meal each year.
After lunch the coaches and players split up for one-on-one interviews with CBC’s sports staff.
“Those video interviews (80+!), on topics ranging from coaching changes to season outlooks to an individual player’s affinity for emojis, all post on HighSchoolOT.com as we ramp up our football season coverage,” said Glusco.
CBC Sports Radio Assistant Program Director James Alverson, WRAL.com Senior Sports Editor Aaron Schoonmaker and CBC New Media High School OT Contributor Zach Mayo conducted the interviews.
“I have been interviewing coaches and players at this event for 4 years now for my Pre-season Saturday show and video content at HighSchoolOT,” said Alverson. “It’s always one of my favorite events of the football season because I get to catch up with so many coaches I don’t get to see throughout the year because my Game of the Week commitments keep me mostly in Wake and Durham Counties. It helps us to build relationships with key players and coaches in the area, which helps us get more in-depth information from a much wider coverage area than any other preps publication in the state.”
Some of the local players and coaches came from as far away as Fayetteville.
“The highlight of my day was getting to talk with the players and coach from Jack Britt in Fayetteville,” said Alverison. “They told some great stories about how they got their nicknames, winning a team state championship in wrestling, and then they wanted to try and read a script off of the teleprompter in the mini-studio. That in itself was worth the price of admission! They also cut a clip for a rejoin of Football Friday which was a pretty fun thing to get them to do together on camera.”
Thanks to 99.9 The Fan’s James Alverson & HighSchoolOT’s Zach Mayo for these capcom photos.