Jackets go global: SHS sporting events to be live-streamed

Jacob Williams, left, and K.J. Lawrence of SHS
Staff Writer

Starting August 18 with football, Starkville High School athletic events will be able to be seen around the globe via the wonderful world wide web. 
The school board voted 4-0 Tuesday night to approve the school to live stream all football games this season on the school website. Games will be broadcasted live and will be streamed with audio from the radio broadcast that's done locally for Supertalk Mississippi 100.9. 
Other sports such as volleyball and basketball will also be available.
"I think it's good for the simple fact that you get some exposure nationally and state-wide," SHS head coach Chris Jones said. "A lot of people went to Starkville that don't live here, but they still want to support. You get a chance to watch it if you live in Texas, Georgia, Tennessee or even in Mississippi." 
Athletic Director Milton Smith said the work to get Jacket athletic events live streamed has been in the work for about two years.
He has looked at it as a threefold project.
"First it will get our schools and our sports nationwide for the people who are in the Army, the people that can't come to games, grandmama, granddaddy that can't get out of the house," Smith said at Tuesday's board meeting. "They can stream sports online.
"Also, we're looking at it as an educational opportunity for our kids. We have one young lady who does filming for Mississippi State. She got a scholarship to do film for Mississippi State, so we open up the broadcast opportunities through Mrs. (Angela) Hobart's class. This is student-driven. From the schools I've talked to. The student participation increase once the program gets going, because kids don't have this opportunity at most schools. Another way we're looking at it is for revenue to raise money through advertising on our website."
The initial cost of the live-streaming opportunity is $24,995 with a $8,500 annual renewal.
Jones believes the live-streaming does nothing but good things for the school moving forward. 
"It was already in progress when I got here, but I'm all for it," Jones said. "It gives kids a chance to be seen by college coaches who can't come during certain times in the year. Hopefully we can take advantage of it."
In addition to the changes made with the live stream experience, Starkville will also have a new voice behind the mic. It's a new voice in the sense that Jay Perry has taken over as the sideline reporter for Mississippi State football this season, but this voice is all too familiar to Jacket fans. 
Longtime MSU broadcaster JIm Ellis will be returning to the booth at Yellowjacket Stadium after calling many years of SHS football in the past. Ellis recently scaled back his duties with the Bulldogs dropping his responsibilities with football and basketball and sticking with MSU baseball. 
Fans can watch the Jackets for the first time next Friday when they travel to Noxubee County for a 7 p.m. kick to start the season. 

(Editor's Note: Starkville Daily News education reporter Charlie Benton contributed to this story.)