An Interview with the Team’s Founder and President, John Boccio ‘23

John Boccio ’23 announces a game.

Daniel Sullivan ’22

A good school, above all else, thrives on the passion of its students. It is the students’ desire to succeed, grow, win, and learn that pushes the school towards bigger and better ventures.

Under this criteria, Chaminade High School is indeed an excellent school. And, while Flyers usually thrive when working as a team, sometimes it is the commitment of one student that leads them to victory. One night at 10:50 p.m., John Boccio ’23 gathered together his reels, boards, and play-by-play clips and emailed them to Physical Education Department Chair Mr. Daniel Feeney.

Boccio, already familiar with the world of communication thanks to his acting experience, had been taking a look at Chaminade’s multi-generational sports history and asking himself: “Why isn’t anyone talking?” He soon realized that the person talking had to be himself.

“I can recite the 2012 Game 6 NBA Finals shot word-for-word,” Boccio stated. “I wanted to be that person….the person to announce the incredible sports moments in Chaminade’s athletics.”

Coach Feeney was impressed and, by 10:55p.m. that same night, the Chaminade Sport Broadcasting Team was born. In the months that followed, Bro. Tom Cleary, S.M. ’81 signed off on the team and Mr. Patrick Reichart ’01 and Mr. Michael McCarthy were added as moderators. On September 25th, 2021, the Chaminade Sports Broadcasting Team announced their first official event—a football game between Chaminade and St. Peter’s Boys’ High School, where the Flyers won 45-17.

Tarmac recently sat down with Boccio and interviewed him on the status of Chaminade’s newest organization.

Q: How is the Sports Broadcasting Team going?

A: The team is running incredibly. We’ve already had some great sports moments, especially the Chaminade vs. St. Anthony’s High School soccer championship game—106 minutes. Jack Flaherty [’22] put in a game-winning header, and I just got to let out all my emotions. It was awesome. It’s things like that which make you love sports broadcasting. It’s exactly what I thought of when I was beginning everything.

Q: In what ways does the team benefit Chaminade?

A: What we produce in Sports Broadcasting allows all of the athletes to connect not only with other students, but also with themselves. I know for a fact that there are guys that will finish a game and immediately go to Local Live to see what happened and how we interpreted their play. The players get a sense of an outsider’s perspective looking in. One cool story is a student who had family in California listening when we were talking about him, and it was really special for that family. People around the country can listen to Chaminade sports in their free time, and that’s great for the school’s reputation. We also benefit the students by teaching them the skills necessary to enter the field of sports broadcasting, as well as thinking quickly in public speaking scenarios.

Q: What equipment, if any, does the team use?

A: Well, that’s funny you should ask, we have this thing we like to call ‘The Big Red Box’ that we keep up in the Gold Star Stadium press box. It’s a really long XLR microphone and mixer that allows us to control how loud we are on the broadcast. We also have a bunch of headsets that plug into the mixer and allow us to communicate in each other’s ears.

In regards to the actual broadcasting, Local Live is the streaming service that records all of Chaminade’s games with our commentary audio in the background. You can watch the game with a TV-like experience. In the past it used to be just video, but now parents can turn on the game in the car, at work, or with an earbud and know exactly what’s going on at each play. Local Live has really been the most influential in this process.

Q: How has the Chaminade administration supported Sports Broadcasting?

A: Bro. Tom has been our number-one fan throughout this whole thing; he has loved every second of every call that we’ve done. He shows up to the press box with me, Henry [Farber ’23] and Mr. Reichart, admiring everything that we do. It’s so cool to see the president of our school just love what we’re doing. He’s been great throughout this whole process, really supporting everything. Bro. Tom has listened to so many of our broadcasts that when we switched from handheld mics to headsets, he noticed right away and texted Mr. Reichart telling him how good it sounds. I can’t speak enough about how much of a fan he’s been about everything we’ve done.

Q: What role do the team’s moderators play?

A: Well, I don’t know that I’d call Mr. Reichart and Mr. McCarthy moderators. We are a team, so they are technically coaches—that really is the perfect word to describe what they have been doing. They’ve been absolutely incredible. Mr. Reichart has an extensive background in sports journalism, as well as personal experience working the scoreboard—even to this day—for the Mets, Islanders, and Yankees. Mr. McCarthy has been willing to expand this team as much as possible and really helps us get things done. They show up to every game, they find great guest speakers…Our most notable speaker was NBC’s Bruce Beck, host of Sports Final and the coverage of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. He was really interested in mentoring the youth, and it was great having him at Chaminade.

Q: So what should aspiring members of the Sports Broadcasting Team know about meetings?

A: We generally meet once a week in room 104 and discuss the various parts of the industry—the stats, being on camera, and other topics that may be foreign to new members. We also review our tapes and prepare for future events.

Q: What does the future look like for Chaminade’s Sports Broadcasting Team?

A: My biggest thing, really, is that I want this club to be my legacy at Chaminade. I would like it to keep on expanding, especially as the underclassmen start rolling in and becoming new members. We’d love to expand into other forms of sports media, as well as add statisticians. I want everyone to find something they enjoy on the Sports Broadcasting Team and, with the willingness of the moderators, the guidance of Bro. Tom, and the work of the students, this club can last for years to come.