New Hartford – In a few short months, Cooper Deck will graduate from Penn State University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. A few short years ago, while Cooper was a student and New Hartford High School, he took the initiative to launch New Hartford Central Radio (NHCR), with the help of his parents, New Hartford High School Athletic Director John Banek and the guidance of faculty member Tom Krol.
Just four years later, “NHCR” has streamed several hundred Spartans sporting events, from Don Edick Field to the Carrier Dome and has achieved official club status, now involving 27 students and growing.
“We’ve got 27 students in the Communications Club now and we’d love to have more” Club President Joe Puccio said, adding “this past Fall, we live streamed audio and video of home and away football, as well boy’s and girl’s soccer and this winter we’ll be right back at it with boy’s and girls basketball and ice hockey”. Joe Puccio, is the son of Richard and Debra Puccio of New Hartford and is the younger brother of former New Hartford volleyball standout Allison Puccio.
As internet “broadcasts” of both audio and live video increasingly become rule, rather than the exception, New Hartford students are certainly affixed to the cutting edge of sports coverage.
“Our athletes and students just love it and we are very grateful for the amount of support we get from the administration to make sure we have everything we need to get the job done”, NHCR Vice President Tom Mumau explained. “We’re gaining incredible experience in covering sporting events and programming, which not many high high school students can ever put on a college application” added Mumau, a senior, who plans to study Broadcast Journalism next Fall at either Syracuse, Seton Hall or Fordham. “Tommy” as he is known to classmates and NHCR listeners, is the son of Diane and Chris Mumau of New Hartford.
While both Joe and Tom have achieved a certain level of celebrity status among the student body, as well as the families of the athletes who regularly log on to listen to Spartans sporting events, both members of the broadcast team were quick to remind anyone that is interested in joining the Communications Club that it is no picnic getting these productions off the ground. “We are at this about 20-30 hours per week after school and on the weekends to get these games streamed and get all of the work done in prepping for the games” Puccio told MYSR.
“The kids are responsible for all of it, setup, tear down, maintaining the gear, everything” Faculty Advisor Tom Krol said.
With all of the work and responsibility, comes a high level of pride, according to Puccio, who has hopes of attending Syracuse University’s renowned Newhouse School of Communications. “I’ve wanted to go to Newhouse for as long as I can remember” the junior explained, grinning ear to ear. “We are doing things here that other schools aren’t doing, let alone the students, we’re really proud that” Puccio said.
Another very important facet of the product being generated by the NHCR team is the exposure New Hartford Athletes are afforded, as potential college coaches can watch live or archived game video of potential recruits at the touch of a button.
The pride in the job that the members of NHCR are doing reaches the New Hartford Administration as well. “The students in the Communications Club are every bit as dedicated to their work as any athlete in this school is to their sport” said Athletic Director John Banek.
Both Puccio and Mumau, who have been involved with NHCR since 8th and 10th grade respectively, were also very appreciative of the time and effort put in by Faculty Advisor Tom Krol. “He (Krol) has been amazing with us said Mumau, we couldn’t do what we do without Mr. Krol”.
As for advice to other students / schools that may be considering launching something like this in their school, Joe Puccio has some advice that we have all heard someplace before: just do it. “That’s really what you have to do, just start doing it, you can stream audio with a little bit of equipment and an internet connection” so if you are passionate about covering games for your school, get the school behind you and do it”.
As for the current status of NHCR and where the current leadership would like to see it go, both Puccio and Mumau agreed “We’d like to leave it in just a little better shape that when we took it over, like (New Hartford alum) Jack Angelucci did with us after he took the reigns from Cooper (Deck).
New Hartford Spartans sporting events are live streamed by the Communications Club / NHCR on the school’s website at www.newhartfordschools.org/Page/6116 and the club can also be found on Twitter at @nhcr42 .
We’d like to thank both Joe Puccio and Tom Mumau for taking the time to talk about NHCR and we wish you the best of luck going forward. Oh, keep up the great work too!