Bearden launches sports information director program for students


Bearden is hoping the new student sports info program will increase the amount of coverage on all BHS sports.

During the abrupt end of the 2020 school year, Bearden not only lost nine weeks of the school year, but they also lost longtime sports information director Coach Jake Tate who took a similar position at Farragut.

Coach Tate covered all fall, winter, and spring sports, constantly keeping the student body and the community informed of scores and standout performances by Bearden student-athletes.

Since his departure, the sports information director position has been vacant, and the social media presence of Bearden’s sports coverage has not been as extensive as it was years ago.

Sensing a void, athletics director Mr. Donald Balcom and two Bearden teachers are working on a unique way to address that gap. Bearden is beginning a sports information program that will be completely student-led called “Inside the Lines.”

“This started when Mr. Balcom was looking for an SID for the athletic program,” Bearden teaching assistant Mr. Michael Brown said. “In the last AD meeting, Ms. [Angelia] Ford recommended students attending events and reporting back to me information about the game that I would then post on the website.

“Bearden has an outstanding athletic program, and I was just trying to help bring information about all the teams to one location and celebrate the accomplishments of the teams, players, and coaches.”

Ms. Ford wanted to contribute to the program and had the idea of asking talented Bearden students to help with gathering all the relevant information.

“I considered taking the Sports Information Director position that they had open; I just don’t have enough legs on my body for that,” Ms. Ford said. “As I got thinking, ‘I wish I was strong enough and had enough legs to go to baseball and softball and all of the games.’

“Then I realized that I need legs, so that is how this came about.”

Bearden will base its program off an already established work-based learning program in Nashville. The vision is to get three to five students with interest and experience with videography, photography, and social media to go to sporting events, take pictures, and report scores live.

Students involved in this program will meet Monday mornings at 7:45 to get their assigned sporting events for the week. The goal is for the first meeting to be held the week after Labor Day.

“To be in this program, we also want students who can communicate well with coaches,” Ms. Ford said. “I teach business communication skills along with Ms. [Ginger] Hynds, and I think that it is important to provide an opportunity for students to apply what they’ve learned in class.”

Students who elect to participate in “Inside the Lines” will work closely with Mr. Brown, who had a similar program to this at his old school in Florida.

As of right now, this program is a club, but in the future, the goal is to have this program count for work-based learning credit.

If students are interested, QR codes are hanging up in the hallways with information on how to sign up. Ms. Ford is also available in room 326 to answer any questions.

“The void for publicity for our sports must be replaced to credit the hard work that our kids do,” Ms. Ford said.