What a weekend it was for the Centennial Conference at Johns Hopkins University.
In three days, the top-seeded Blue Jays hosted 12 games which featured four different sports.
Last night wrapped up my first full season broadcasting collegiate soccer. It was Championship Sunday in Baltimore – what every athlete dreams of.
A conference title was on the line and the Blue Jays of Johns Hopkins faced off against the Garnet of Swarthmore on a dreary November night.
The competition and game atmosphere was anything but dreary. Swarthmore went into halftime with a healthy 2-0 lead. As Centennial Conference Commissioner Steve Ulrich shared with me in the broadcast booth, no team trailing 2-0 in Centennial Conference playoff history had ever come back to win.
And that statistic would not change.
The Blue Jays, however, kept things interesting scoring two emphatic second-half goals to send the title game into overtime.
Ultimately the second-seeded Swarthmore Garnet would defeat the Blue Jays in a thrilling sequence of penalty kicks under the lights in front of a packed Homewood Field.
For Coach Anckaitis (pictured below) and the Garnet, it’s their first Centennial Conference title since 2014. Ironically, their opponent was Johns Hopkins that year.
Both Johns Hopkins and Swarthmore will play in the NCAA DIII tournament and represent the competitive Centennial Conference.
On a personal note, broadcasting Championship Sunday was a thrill. There was a different type of atmosphere than what I was used to calling games in during the regular season.
The amount of heart and grit you see in these players is sometimes hard to do justice to over the air. They simply love the game of soccer and pour every ounce of effort they have into one single game.
I had a blast getting to know the Hopkins fan base this season and familiarizing myself with many of the teams in one of the most competitive conferences in DIII soccer.
Fall soccer season at Johns Hopkins University has been a successful run for the Blue Jays as men’s and women’s soccer have gone a combined 29-3-3. Both teams are set to host the Centennial Conference Championships at Homewood Field this weekend.
This past Friday was senior night at JHU for the men’s side. Family, friends and fans of the game packed the stands at Homewood.
Among the crowd was 94-year-old Sophie Swiercz, who beamed with pride as her grandson Mikey Swiercz played his final regular season game in the blue and white.
At the start of the second half, with Johns Hopkins leading by a goal, Mrs. Swiercz joined me in the booth to make her broadcasting debut as a color commentator.
What happened next is a moment I am still trying to wrap my head around.
Within the first couple minutes of Mrs. Swiercz on the air, the Blue Jays were awarded a penalty kick.
And who would be chosen to take the kick?
Mr. Mikey Swiercz. Sophie’s grandson. On senior night.
It has been a while since I last put together a blog post, so let’s catch you all up to speed on me…
So far this fall, I have broadcast 20 collegiate soccer games at the DIII level, between Johns Hopkins and Stevenson University. When all is said and done, I will have broadcast over 30 soccer games at the end of the fall.
Broadcasts streamed through Johns Hopkins can be viewed on HopTV and broadcasts at Stevenson are streamed through the Mustangs Sports Network.
I am the play-by-play broadcaster for all four soccer teams (men’s & women’s) and do not have a color analyst with me in the booth.
Not having a partner on the air has its challenges. It essentially means I am filling 90 minutes (not including halftime or overtime periods) of airtime on my own and fulfilling the analyst’s role.
On doubleheader days, I barely have a voice. HOWEVER, I have honed my craft this fall and have vastly improved my delivery.
One thing both universities have given me the flexibility to do is build my social media brand during broadcasts.
During games, I hop on Facebook and/or Instagram to go live so my followers get a glimpse of what it’s like for me in the booth. It gives people a behind-the-scenes look into the broadcast.
Another fan-engagement strategy I practice during broadcasts is posing game-related questions to the viewer. I have seen an increasing amount of engagement and involvement on Twitter, specifically. Not only does this reassure me people are actually listening, but it also sets a tone for the broadcast and is a great piece of motivation to enter ‘lock-in’ mode.
‘Lock-in’ mode is what I call the state of mind I enter before a broadcast. It’s completely immersing myself into the game and the story lines surrounding the competition that given day.
As I move forward past the fall soccer season, my sights are set on landing play-by-play reps at a Division I institution.
If you or someone you know is looking for freelance broadcasters for the upcoming winter and spring collegiate sports seasons, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are the dates for several of my upcoming broadcasts:
Johns Hopkins women’s soccer vs. Swarthmore, 4 PM, 10/14
Stevenson men’s soccer vs. Lebanon Valley, 7 PM, 10/17
Johns Hopkins men’s soccer vs. McDaniel, 7 PM, 10/18
Stevenson men’s soccer vs. Lycoming, 7 PM, 10/20
Johns Hopkins soccer can be live-streamed for FREE here: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/jhu/.
Stevenson soccer can be live-streamed for FREE here: http://www.gomustangsports.com/sports/msoc/2017-18/livevideo/20171020.
Stay up to date with me on Twitter and Instagram @BobTrosset – thank you!
The annual Jim Nantz Award is given to the nation’s top collegiate broadcaster and determined by a panel of professional broadcasters from a variety of backgrounds.
After three years of failing to place nationally, my demo reel earned an honorable mention in this spring’s competition.
Here is the video I submitted:
Sportscasters Talent Agency of America’s CEO, Jon Chelesnik, formally announced this year’s top broadcasters in this video:
I’m honored to be the first student from Loyola University Maryland to place nationally. I know there will be more in the near future.
Thank you to Jon and his team for the recognition. I understand and respect the prestige that comes along with this honor and am driven by the fact that several former collegiate broadcasters who placed have gone on to earn big-time jobs in the industry.
Colonel and Civil Air Patrol member Joe Winter – who just so happens to be a professor of mine at Loyola this semester – was kind enough to allow me to take a glimpse into his life as a visitor to the Maryland National Guard just outside of Baltimore, Maryland.
As a graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas College, where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Sports Management, Colonel Winter put his sports knowledge to use by helping to build an organization called Loyola SuperFans.
The student-led group is dedicated to the promotion of the university’s athletics program and the support of the student-athletes.
SuperFans is best known for its commitment to creating electric atmospheres at Ridley Athletic Complex, home to Loyola men’s and women’s lacrosse. The organization shined bright during Loyola’s 2012 National Championship run, as head coach Charley Toomey led the Greyhounds to a victory over powerhouse Maryland.
With all that said, Colonel Winter’s resume reaches much more than just sports.
The New York native has traveled to Ghana and Singapore as an ambassador for Civil Air Patrol in the International Air Cadet Exchange. Ever since this experience, he’s had great influence in the local Maryland Wing hosting of international guests.
“Having the ability to serve around the world is a pretty powerful experience. There’s a tremendous amount of pride when you put this uniform on,” he shared.
The planes featured in the photos provided below just recently returned from fighting ISIS in Turkey. At any given time, Colonel Winter is prepared to fly a plane to wherever necessary. He jokingly refers to flying as “air therapy” because it offers a step outside reality.
In addition to being a member of the Civil Air Patrol, Colonel Winter is an Air Force officer at the 175th Wing where he is assigned as the Wing Executive Officer.
“My brothers and sisters here at the 175th wing performed admirably in preparing our nation and protecting our interests abroad,” said Winter.
The Jesuit education has played a major role in his life on the military side.
“No doubt my experience of working at a Jesuit institution, and sort of the Jesuit ideals and the core values of a Jesuit education, have shaped my decision-making process in the military; have shaped the way that I supervise my staff; the way that I mentor and lead the troops that serve alongside me,” Winter explained.
Colonel Winter doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon.
“I’ve committed my life to the military and I will certainly continue to do so as long as they keep me in. They’re going to have to be kicking me out. I’d only hope my relationship with Loyola, too, stays. There’s nothing better than teaching,” said Winter.
I want to extend my thanks to Colonel Winter for his flexibility and generosity. Readers and viewers have a chance to enjoy the story of a selfless and committed man.
Watch our full interview here:
A special thanks to my Loyola production team: Jenna Ertel, Nick Robinson & Morgan Sandlas.