Moorhead students broadcast live sports, arts events nightly

Many are now turning to computers to watch a long list of high school sports and arts events. Now, volunteers formed a nonprofit, hired students and now you will find anything from lacrosse to weightlifting on SpudsTV.

Moorhead High School student Cole Darling working to broadcast a swimming competition.
Ryan Longnecker / WDAY News

MOORHEAD — Minutes before the first relay and dive competitions at Moorhead High School, junior Cole Darling is getting ready to broadcast the events on SpudsTV .

"This is the audio portion, so these headphones will be used by the announcer," said Darling, who runs graphics for the broadcast.

He is one of a number of paid high school students who are part of SpudsTV to bring hockey, basketball, concerts and events to those who cannot attend.

"Definitely one of the things I look forward to during the day. I just love it," Darling said.

"We have people that watch the events all over the world," said Spuds TV co-founder Rick Westra.


Spuds TV is a community nonprofit organization. Parents sit on a board and work with sponsors, while students get the experience of broadcasting games, doing the camera work and creating graphics.

"Luckily, right now we have three full setups, so we can broadcast three different events on the same night," Westra explained. "We actually have a Spuds Car, and that Spuds Car travels all over Minnesota and covers events."

If someone can't watch the game live on the stream, they can check back later to watch the game when they are ready.

Spuds TV director Alex Ryan works with the students at the events, making sure technology is ready to go at game time.

"Sometimes, if there's only one or two events going on, one of the events will get two cameras and they get close ups and all the cool stuff," Ryan said.

Longtime Moorhead Sports radio voice Larry Knutson calls games on SpudsTV occasionally. He's glad to see students driving the project.

"That's what we had hoped for, because that was the design of the whole program was to make it likable for the kids, and supportable for the kids," Knutson said.

Events aren't limited to football and soccer. Orchestra, baseball and lacrosse events are also streamed live, giving parents and fans the ability to watch from anywhere.

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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