By Bradley Bedard
The Fitchburg State Falcons overcome obstacles every day, but now they face one off the field. Sports Information Director and Assistant Athletic Director TJ Garske has left his position in order to pursue other interests and left a large void to fill.
“TJ did have a vision in mind when he helped create the [Falcon Sports Network]” said Jamie Rogers, the school’s new sports information director, serving as interim for the position.
Garske took the position of SID in the fall of 2014. With him he brought an ambition for progress. He implemented new strategies and programs to improve the quality of the sporting events as well as their online video broadcasts. While working with a group of students, Garske worked to form what is now referred to as the Falcon Sports Network, Fitchburg State’s student-run sports broadcasting program.
Garske spearheaded the project, seeking assistance from the university’s students with an interest in media, television, sports, computer programming, and any other specialty relevant to the broadcast in order to improve the previously outdated program.
“I believe that part of that vision was [implemented] with the three-camera shoot that was introduced at the start of the fall 2015 season,” said Rogers about Garske’s goal for the program, “as well as being able to hire our own group of student workers that are now a part of the FSN.”
Since the spring of last year, FSN has been able to create new student work-study positions for Fitchburg State, including more cameramen and directors for the video broadcasts. With the acquisition of a new mobile live television studio, FSN has been able to expand to a three-camera shoot, a feature that was impossible with the old setup.
“I can’t say enough about the amount of compliments that we have received from parents of both our student athletes as well as parents of opposing teams,” said Rogers.
Garske’s time at Fitchburg State came to an end this fall, and with him goes a sense of direction for the Falcon Sports Network crew. However, Jamie Rogers, Assistant SID during Garke’s tenure, stepped up to the plate and took over for Garske as interim SID. “I had the opportunity to sit with TJ prior to him leaving and was able to formulate some ideas … for the winter and spring sports,” Rogers said assuredly. “My plans are to hopefully keep up the quality of the FSN productions that we have been able to produce as of the start of this season.”
Rogers has worked for Fitchburg State since his freshman year here in 2000, so he is more than comfortable taking over the sports information department and run the FSN program. “It has increased my work load by quite a bit, but I have been fortunate to have an intern to help,” said Rogers. “I have also been able to turn to the FSN crew … to help in this transition period as well as had help from our graphic team [and] from most of our student workers with media coverage for the fall and the upcoming winter sports. The Fitchburg State athletics staff has also been able to help me out in the transitions period. If we need a new piece of equipment to improve on the quality of the webcast and video stream, [Director of Athletics] Sue Lauder has allowed me to make those purchases.”
As for the new interim SID, Rogers said his plan is to “have a new SID in place shortly after Thanksgiving,” adding, “ I would be more than willing to help in this transition as well.”
Rogers praised the work that Garske was able to do in his short time at the university stating, “I can’t [say] enough about the amount of improvements that have been made since I was first a student worker here at Fitchburg State 15 years ago.”
FSN is always looking for more volunteers to help improve the quality of the broadcast and Rogers said, “I think any SID [or] executive director would like to have more workers, whether that be through volunteers looking for experience or student workers.” So if you’d like a chance to help out, you can contact Jamie Rogers in the athletic department.