Wednesday, Dec 13, 2017

HHS graduate wants a sporting chance

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Harvard High School graduate Eric Sutera is studying sports broadcasting at Western Illinois University. Courtesy photo

As a student at Harvard High School, Eric Sutera had plans of joining the merchant Marines when he graduated. After becoming a volunteer at Harvard Community Radio, which led eventually to his own show, Sutera had a change of plans and is now studying sports broadcasting at Western Illinois University, Macomb.

“I love it,” said Sutera, who graduated from Harvard in 2012. “I think I went down the right path. It’s something that I’ve been given a talent to do. I’m proud of what I’ve done at Western already.”

Sutera has a country music show on WIUS 88.3 the Dog (WIUS-McComb). He is a color commentator for WIU women’s basketball. For the past two years, he has been a play-by-play announcer or for WIU women’s volleyball and a color commentator for WIU softball. Sutera also ran a sideline camera during WIU football games his freshman and sophomore years at the school.

“There are a lot of opportunities especially for young students at Western to get experience right away in their field before they graduate,” Sutera said. “In my opinion, I have a very solid resume already with probably three to four years of broadcasting experience that I feel is going to help me with getting a job in the future.

“It’s an awesome program to go into because you get a ton of experience. It just gives you so many opportunities from the day you walk in as a freshman.”

Sutera said one of the most important things he has learned at Western is how to write.

“I thought I was a terrible writer [before attending Western],” Sutera said. “Sometimes I still think that, but the classes I have taken have really helped me.”

Sutera said the most important part of any broadcast is the preparation before hand, and his favorite part of preparing is interviewing coaches and players before each game.

“It’s a pretty essential thing for prep-work because you get an inside look,” Sutera said. He noted he usually spends an equal amount of time preparing for each game as he spends broadcasting.

“As you get more familiar with the team, the prep-work can drop a bit,” Sutera said.

Sutera plans to attend graduate school at WIU for marketing with an emphasis on sports management.

“It will open my fields up to a lot more, not just sports broadcasting but also media relations and things like that,” Sutera said.

His dream job is to be on the broadcast team for NBC Sunday Night Football.

“My favorite two announcers are Al Michaels and Chris Collingsworth,” Sutera said. “It’s my favorite production of all sports.”

With big goals, however, Sutera understands he needs to have a backup plan.

“I wouldn’t mind working in media relations writing pre-grames and post-games, writing stat sheets and keeping up with the insight of the team,” Sutera said.