Three Westfield High School seniors didn’t hesitate at the opportunity to create what has become a popular weekly sports podcast while providing them with hands-on training in the world of media and broadcasting.
The trio of students – Evan Cummings, Sam Mefford and Aidan McNally – have become visible faces of “The Shamrock Sportscast” that has offered listeners play-by-play moments and commentary in sports ranging from football to basketball. Mefford said he, Cummings and McNally created the sports podcast because WHS didn’t have one.
“We thought we would give it a try and find a way to bring together the entire sports environment at Westfield into one platform to talk about it and people could listen,” Mefford said. “And certainly, we’ve had an awesome time doing that this year. It’s been so phenomenal to attend a lot of sporting events in order to cover it as well as talk about it and hear the feedback from the people around us.”
Mefford said the podcast, which is recorded once a week, comes down to preparation.
“We come together on Wednesday mornings with a breakdown and a week in review of the sports landscape at Westfield and then for some of the bigger games, we dive into the nitty-gritty of the competition,” Mefford said.
Cummings, a self-proclaimed sports fan, said his interest in sports media developed as a young child watching ESPN. He has been involved at the high school in various media aspects ranging from photography to working on the school’s TV show. He said being involved with “The Shamrock Sportscast” has been a good opportunity to cover high school sports.
“We usually compare notes if we have any and make sure we’re talking in-depth about different things,” Cummings said. “It really comes down to having good chemistry.”
Cummings, who will join McNally at Ball State University in the fall, wants to work for a professional sports organization, such as the NFL, NBA or NHL, in the future. He also encourages students to be proactive by attending sporting events if they are interested in pursuing a possible career in the world of sports media.
“It never hurts to start making a name for yourself early, especially when you have great opportunities like we do here at Westfield,” Cummings said.
The podcasters have also enjoyed being able to interview athletes as part of the overall experience, allowing listeners to hear their perspective about a game, an upcoming event or the season in general, according to Mefford. He said he and his colleagues work well together, which allows them to bounce ideas off one another.
“I think it’s gone really well,” Mefford.
Mefford, who is headed to the University of Tennessee-Knoxville to study biology with a pre-med track, said although his current experience in sports media isn’t in line with science and medicine, he hopes he can continue doing it in some aspect as a college student.
“Sports has always been my passion and it’s been so cool to talk about it,” he said.
McNally said they have tried to mix up the formats of their podcasts with humor and information.
“We like to make it fun and interesting, and that’s how you keep listeners around,” McNally said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
McNally, who plans to attend Ball State University to study sports media, said being involved in the podcast has also helped him with developing scripts and journalism. He wants to work for ESPN or as a commentator in the future, he said.
McNally said the podcast experience with Mefford and Cummings has been memorable.
“It’s been an honor, and I couldn’t ask for a better trio than the three of us,” McNally said. “I feel extremely lucky for the opportunity here at Westfield to do this and I’m extremely grateful for these two guys right here … and the experience I’ve had.”
To learn more
To hear “The Shamrock Sportscast,” search for it on your favorite streaming service such as Apple Music or Spotify. For more, contact teacher John Oestreich by emailing [email protected].