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Chap Radio Sports Network: Brennan Riker and Nathan Karseno

Thursday, Jan 19th, 2023
Author : Keegan Stewart

The creators and producers of the Chap Sports Radio Network join the podcast to tell the story of how this student-ran production came to be!

Episode length 34:32 minutes
00:00 34:32


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Keeegan Stewart : Hello and welcome. This is the LCU podcast, a podcast that will bring stories, insights and people from Lubbock Christian University. I'm your host, Keegan Stewart, and I'm happy to be with you for another episode. Today we're here to learn more about the LCU Chap Radio Sports Network. This is something that is student created and student driven. If you've been to a game in the RIP recently, you've seen these guys courtside and that's who's here to have a conversation today.
I got to talk with Brennan Riker and Nathan Karseno. Brennan is a sophomore communication and mass media major. He's the station manager and sports director for 99.1 Chap radio. Nathan Karseno. Junior com in mass media. Major is the assistant station manager and assistant sports director. We learned about how this project got launched and built from the ground up.
We talked about what all goes into broadcasting, both during the games and behind the scenes. And lastly, they shared about how they're constantly looking to build their team and increase LCU student involvement with this network. I hope you enjoyed today's conversation with Brennan Riker and Nathan Karseno.
Guys, thank you all for being here today.
Brennan Riker : Thank you.
Nathan Karseno : Absolutely.
Keeegan Stewart : They're excited for this conversation. And, you know, we're here to tell the story and paint the picture of what you guys have done, not only for the communication department, but for the athletic department and for the university as a whole. A really, really cool thing. Um, and really what y'all have done is build something from the ground up, and it's really fun being on the side, watching it get taller and taller and bigger and bigger.
So excited to unpack this with the yall today. Before we get into the how. Let's just clearly explain to the audience the what. And so, Nathan, we'll start with you. Explain exactly what y'all are doing here with SCP Radio Sports Network and then Brennan. We'll get into the how. How this all happened.
Nathan Karseno : So what the chap radio sports network is it is sports broadcasting live on LCU’s student run radio station. We have most of the time two broadcasters on site live at whatever sporting event we've done basketball, soccer, volleyball, baseball, softball, pretty much every live event you could do at LCU radio broadcasting wise. And we have a producer as well back here at Chap Central, and we go through a pregame show, do the live broadcast.
We cut to pieces in the middle, do a little bit of a postgame show and sign off. That's pretty much the run through we got. So social media is as well where we promote our broadcasts, promote anything else going on at the radio station. But what the chap what the chap radio sports network is. It is live sports broadcasting back on chap radio.
And it's been a joy to do. It's one of my big passions and we've got quite a bit of students involved with this as well who have enjoyed it so far. And it's almost a year existence and we've really built it into a great, sustainable organization that has a consistent timeline, that's consistent and work, and it's done very well so far.
Keeegan Stewart : Brennan He mentioned almost to the year anniversary and that's a really exciting thing to to celebrate coming up very soon. You're the you're the station manager for Chap Radio. You've you kind of jumped on the ship for the radio network and you're driving it. How did this come to be? What what sparked this over a year ago?
Brennan Riker : So we got to wind back to my first semester here at LCU, which would have been the fall of 2021. And I was in a couple communications classes and one of those was principles of announcing with Dr. Hughes, who is the chief operator for 99.1 chap radio. And he saw that I had a passion in sports and specifically sports broadcasting because I was still doing things for my hometown radio operation back there.
So he we met it was it was either late November or early December of 2021. And he came to me and said, I want you to be our station manager and I want you to have a heavy emphasis on sports and basically build up a sports broadcasting program and balls in your court and do what you want with it.
So during that Christmas break of going into 2022, I recruited some students, Nathan being one of them, I believe Nathan was one of the very first people that I reached out to in wanting to in having him come in, be a broadcaster. So we recruited a handful of students. And during that Christmas, I worked very hard on formatting because it's one thing, you know, just to go out and broadcast scheme.
But in order to have a great broadcasting, uh, or in order to have a great broadcast, there has to be some sort of format with a pregame show, the, how the game runs and then the wrap up show. So working very hard on forming that together and then making sure that we would be able to meet in January and put together a broadcast schedule for basketball as quickly as possible because we were already a little late to the party and by that point both the lady chaps and chaparrals were over halfway through conference play.
So we do that, we meet and we put about six broadcast on the basketball schedule, give or take, and we go through that. And we were able to call the NCAA division II regional tournament here in Lubbock for the men's team. And so we got to call two games in that regard. And then we called a few baseball games.
We weren't actually able to get into the thick of it. So towards the end of spring 2022, we revisit with Dr. Hughes and it's like, okay, let's really get this thing rolling. We he's he saw that we had some things of substance that sustainable here at chap radio. It's like, okay, let's go out and continue, you know, building the program, getting more people involved.
Let's let's get a sponsor. Let's get a sponsor. And that way we can really, uh, build the program. So I met with Raymond Richardson with University Advancement during the summer, and we were able to find a sponsor in Lakeridge Chapel. So at this point, we're trying to figure out what else we want to do for LCU athletics.
And I said, let's go ahead and do soccer and volleyball. You know, most people may not listen to those sports, but I found it very important to cover those sports because they're here at LCU and it's good it's a good opportunity for students to learn and basically have fun because those games are a lot of fun. So we wanted to schedule as many games as possible and then of course we got to basketball and the goal was to call as many home games as possible this year.
And that's what we have done so far.
Keeegan Stewart : Yeah, y'all are always in there and it's not just home games. Y'all have also been intentional about getting on the road a few times in May, also have plans to do that more this semester. Is that right?
Nathan Karseno : Nathan Yeah, towards the end of the year we're going to have a huge one in Canyon. Both the men and the women have a back to back to end the regular season. So that's going to be cool that they have it kind of like a rematch. But I think that first one is in Canyon and we'll be there.
But yeah, you mentioned it this past semester. We had our very first road broadcast ever. We were really appreciative of how we're able to find out how to do this. It was almost like we kind of just started toying with it on our own. We took the radio, the comm racks, the little system, took it to the middle of the mall here on campus, tested it out, see if we could go remote from the station and found out we got connection.
Everything sounded well, so we were like, okay, we have confidence. Let's look at the schedule. And at that point it was soccer season last semester. So we looked at the schedule, looked at what's a good game, what's something that is close enough where we could drive and make a trip out of it, hopefully a one day trip if possible.
And so with the men's soccer team going on, the men's team was doing real well and they had a big one coming up at Midwestern State, who is a very prestigious men's soccer program as well. They're always in the top 25 rankings throughout a year. So we traveled to Midwestern State, give or take three hour drive. Not too bad.
Had a great game, successful broadcast, first ever road broadcast. Unfortunately, it was a loss, but nonetheless it was a great experience. We got to experience a different facility, still got to see our guys and did what we do. So it was it was really cool to have that opportunity to be on the road and do what we love to do.
And then today or excuse me this semester, flash forward to now basketball season. We had our second ever broadcast just this past Saturday on the road and it was our first basketball road broadcast that was, I feel like a way better experience just because I'm more of a basketball guy to begin with. And we were at San Angelo in San Angelo for the Angelo State LCU game, and we did a doubleheader.
So we got to be there a little longer. And Angelo State is a very good program on the men's and women's basketball side as well. So it was a couple nail biting finishes and it was a packed Janelle's center over on the campus of ASU. So it was an incredible environment and just a successful broadcast, if not more.
Unfortunately, two more losses, but maybe we'll get that into a better swing as we continue road broadcasts down the line.
Keeegan Stewart : They're going to have to make up for it on February 23rd.
Nathan Karseno : That is correct.
Keeegan Stewart : Grand Canyon. So how were you all received, by the way? I mean, by Angelo State when y'all were on the road and the year to come to college? Students, Oh, man, these guys have their own student broadcast. How were yall received.
Brennan Riker : We were treated very well by the Angelo State people. We had multiple people come up to us and say, Hey, if you need anything from us, we're here and we'll be glad to help. The only thing is, as such, with life on the road, when we were sitting there setting up an Angelo State's men's team, was out on the court doing their final bit of a run through before the game and one of their coaches said, Hey, do your mind, you know, step stepping outside so we can do a run.
And we said, sure. So that that was the only thing, but everyone was real nice to us and we got to meet the radio guy at Angelo State. He's a nice guy, he said on the opposite table from us. But it was it was just great overall and we didn't have any problems. And I mean, it was exactly what you wanted.
If you could have an ideal Division two basketball road game, that was it right there. I mean, the Juno Center is one of the most one of the nicest facilities with two very good basketball teams. So we couldn't ask for anything more.
Keeegan Stewart : That's great. And Nathan, there's a ton of work that goes into this beforehand. It's not just okay, tips at 7 p.m., 7 p.m. here. Here we go. The large majority of the work comes before tip. Could you paint the picture for the audience a little bit? What a game day looks like just getting prepped and making sure you're in coordination with your play by play color guy, your producer back at the station.
That stuff is stuff that not everyone thinks about. Help us understand.
Nathan Karseno : That. Absolutely. I will. I'll run through what we did yesterday. We had a doubleheader last night here on campus as well. So it's it's a pretty much almost a full day effort, if not definitely a half day effort, the second portion of the day. So thankfully, we were able to get the game notes from our sports information directors.
Richard and Chris over in the athletics department do a great job with those every game. So that's really my first step. I mean, everybody does do game prep a little differently. Everyone's on their own schedule depending on how confident they may or may not be. But personally, once I got the game notes from Chris, Richard and Chris, I start immediately reading those, get a little insight on both of these teams where they're standing right now.
And then I try to get to the facility about an hour to an hour and a half before our pregame show, which is 30 minutes before tipoff. And then once I'm at the stadium with all my equipment that I've gotten from the station and bringing over, I put I fill out these two spotter charts. I call them, got both teams on them.
Look up the stats for the season stats from last game, fill all those in for every every team or for both teams. And then just make sure I'm familiar with the players and their numbers so that I can have the best broadcast I can have. And then by that time it's almost ready for pregame show. And then the pre-game show, we have a pretty standard agenda where we go through basically table setting of both of these teams, what's their record, where they're sitting in the standings?
And then we go to a quick little PSA break, maybe come back, look at some key players, what they're averaging, where they stand in individual stats, maybe what they did last game, any important keys, takeaways from either game and from either player in terms of like a scouting perspective. And then just a quick rundown of just where the where they are in their schedule.
What's coming up next? And of course, we shout out Lakeridge Chapel throughout the pre-game show and throughout the broadcast. But then once tipoff is underway, I kind of just zone out, let the game speak through me. And then the pre-game show is normally 10 to 15 minutes long post-game where we go through Our Lady Chap and Chaparral of the game go through the stats for either either game and then final scores and that's pretty much wraps it up.
But we have a pretty standard agenda from pregame show to post-game wrap up and it's been real successful with us. So the more and more we've gone through the game prep process and through the broadcast process, it just gets easier and easier and like I mentioned, it is different for every person. Everyone researches or studies a little more or a little less or a little different time slots, but nonetheless, whatever finds however you find success is the easiest way to go about it.
And so, yeah, it's almost a full day effort like five, 6 hours from start to finish on those doubleheaders. So it may be a grind for some, but for me I love it and it's been real fun to not even just do the broadcast but do the studying beforehand, be in the arena, watching it run through and walkthroughs before the game.
Just being around the sport, regardless of what sport it is, it's it's been a treat and it's one of my favorite parts is just the process, not even just the game.
Keeegan Stewart : Brennan What is the hardest part about broadcasting a game, but also what's the best part?
Brennan Riker : The hardest part about broadcasting is having the confidence in yourself to deliver a good broadcast. I think that's one of the biggest things that I want to emphasize to our team. Is it you have to really trust yourself and your knowledge of the game and your ability to speak effectively on the radio and communicate to the audience what is happening and how it's happening and all these different things.
Because if you don't have confidence, you'll struggle, but struggle is also not the worst thing in the world. Sometimes that is okay. It's not like this is something where we have to be perfect every game. Obviously the goal is to put out a great broadcast where not only the audience has fun, but you have fun yourself. So we emphasize getting better each broadcast.
After the game, you really listen to your broadcast and take notes and what you can get better at and what you did good at. So that but that's probably the hardest thing is just finding the confidence and able to deliver that. I guess the fun, the funnest part is the fact that you're involved in an athletic program and you're involved in a lot of these with a lot of these athletic programs here for a Division two college like that is something that not a lot of people get to do.
And you get a front row seat to the action and you get to witness some of the best athletic programs in the division. Go at it every time you put on a headset. So that's probably the most fun. And then of course, whenever you do things like conference tournaments or national tournaments, that becomes even more fun because the pressure's ramped up.
So you have crowds really start packing the arenas or wherever you're at, and it just becomes absolutely electric. So that's probably the most fun thing about broadcasting.
Keeegan Stewart : You've been calling games for a while. You've been involved with your hometown Post. You called high school contests for them. Just give us a short bit on that.
Brennan Riker : Yes. So I started broadcasting when I was a sophomore in high school. It really wasn't supposed to happen. I was called to keep score for our radio guy, but he he didn't tell me until we're halfway on the road to Littlefield for a playoff game that I was going to be doing color as well, but did that. And I loved it.
And then I came back the next school year and started doing volleyball and then basketball and then baseball and softball, and it really went on from there. So that's where my love and passion, because up until that point, I wanted to wanted to be a football coach like my dad. But then I started broadcasting and I absolutely loved it.
And the funny thing is, a lot of what I did in post, I have translated that over to chap radio because I've found success, success in the formatting of things there in basically just transferred over to chap radio and that's how we kind of operate things.
Keeegan Stewart : I love it, man. I'm really glad that you can use your experience from what you know, bring it over here and teach so many others. And part of what y'all have done, Nathan, is assemble a team. It's fun being in the RIP on game day and looking down. I wonder. I wonder who Nathan and Brennan have down there today.
And we'll also know. And I bet one of them's back at the studio producing a talk about the team building process. How many do y'all have? How did your how did you all go about making the team? Y'all both can answer this. And also, y'all have been clear about it to me before we started recording. Y'all want to continue to build the team so speak speak to that as well.
Nathan Karseno : Oh, we're always looking for more. So any LCU students who are listening, who are interested, even if it's the broadcasting or even just the producing, we are more than willing to have you with us and we're looking for more. We're always looking for more. I feel like that is a good problem to have as a big staff, but I really appreciate and love the group that we have right now.
I think we have maybe 10 to 12 total who have done work for us in some capacity. Almost all of them have had game experience doing play by play or color analyzing, and then almost all of them know how to produce a game as well. So the scheduling is a little, a little different when it comes to everybody's schedule.
I mean, there's so many things on campus to get involved in, but right now we got Landon and Landry, Nick, Kyler, Aissa, Olivia, Robert, and then Brennen and myself. That's like the whole group right now. We are always looking for more, asking for more, and anyone who just wants to get involved is more than willing to join us.
It is very easy to learn the process, learn the skills that it takes. And like Brennan mentioned, the biggest thing really is the confidence and that starts in yourself. And if you have that ability to believe in yourself, get behind the mic, put a headset on and let the game do the talking. That's really the biggest thing we're looking for that and the passion to just be involved and interested in the program.
And anyone who really is interested in in athletics is sure to be very successful. Landon and Landry, I know before we even started this program, we're big sports fans and we could talk about any league for hours and hours and so well, when we started things here with the Sports Network, I immediately thought of them. I thought they would be great, well-spoken guys who just enjoy sports.
And that's the biggest thing. If you enjoy what you're doing, you're obviously going to love it and make the most of it and have fun doing it. And Brendon and I are very passionate about it. That's why we work so hard trying to put on this great program. And I believe that for every one of the people who work with us that they enjoy the process and they enjoy being a part of our team.
But you mentioned that we're always looking for more and we would love to have anybody who's interested because it's a great program to represent the university, represent the athletic department, and put on something great for the entire community.
Brennan Riker : We also want students to be able to enjoy something in a way that other students don't get too. Like this is something that it's amazing because who would who would have thought that students at a at a college are the voice on radio of their athletic programs? And that's something that a not not a lot of students in the Lone Star conference you know, in schools that are in the Lone Star conference get to do we are the only student run radio station in the Lone Star conference to provide a radio broadcast of all of our major sports here at LCU.
So just the fact that students get to do that is amazing and we want to have as many students involved as we can so they can enjoy what me Nathan are doing. Me Nathan have called a lot of games, so we want the issue of having too many students so we can have everyone get to enjoy this and get the chance at maybe finding their passion in sports broadcasting.
They do one game say, Hey, this is kind of fun, I like doing this, and that kind of gets this snowball rolling with that.
Keeegan Stewart : I want to ask both of you just a personal question about sports and sports media, but who who's each of your favorite broadcaster of all time when you're like, oh, man, this guy's calling a game. This girl's calling the game. I've got to hear him. This makes the game so much better.
Nathan Karseno : Have a good one. I mean, obviously, you mentioned I've been a sports guy. I've been watching sports my whole life and I've actually been really interested in sports journalism and sports media for a very, very long time. So what a lot of people may not do when they watch sports is pay attention that much to the announcers and to the guys back at the studio.
But I am really I really study those guys. And so I do have quite a bit of mentors in the industry and people I look up to. But I think my number one is Craig Way, who is the play by Play Voice of the Texas Longhorns. He does every single sport, men's and women's, all the way down from basketball and football to swimming and diving and rowing.
He does almost every athletic department or athletic program in the department for the Longhorns, and he is really inspirational. I've met him one time at a basketball game, really down to earth guy. He's super cool and obviously has a great voice for radio. So he's been in the industry for quite a long time, been with Texas for a long time, and I've really found an interest in how he delivers the game, how he how his pacing is and speaking, and then obviously the details that he uses in each of the sport, it just makes you feel immersed to the action, which I feel like is every broadcasters number one goal.
Obviously, maybe they're thinking they don't want to stutter, they want to get the names right, but ultimately you want to provide the best experience for the audience. And I think Craig Wade does a great job, and that's why I've always enjoyed listening to him. But being a Longhorns fan, I may be biased nonetheless. I think he's one of the best in the industry just because of how diverse he's able to do every single sport and how knowledgeable you have to be not only about the sports in general, but about every single player on the men's and women's side.
It's something that's really motivational to a guy like me who does a lot of the sports. There are a lot of the same sports as well here at LCU. So it provides me an opportunity for knowledge to maybe study up how he does things. And when I listen to the broadcast, it's almost like, what can I take from this to put into my own game and how I can be a better broadcaster myself.
So I think Craig Wei's number one for me, he's great.
Keeegan Stewart : What about you, Brennan?
Brennan Riker : Well, he talks about the voice of the Texas Longhorns. I go on the other end of the spectrum and give the voice for Texas Tech basketball and baseball. Jeff Hackson I've been listening to Hackson, I believe, since he came to Lubbock when I was a it was either my eighth grade year or my freshman year of high school.
I got this little pocket radio off Amazon. I mean, it was the size of my phone and I could plug in earbuds into it and tune in to 97 three because I would always be on the road, whether it be best for basketball games or for football or whatever it is. And I would want to listen to the tech games because I couldn't watch them on my phone.
So a lot of times I'd have, you know, a Jeff Hackson and Chris Level or it would be Jeff Hackson and Jamie Lynn for baseball in my pocket, listening to basketball and baseball. And I really fell in love with Jeff Hackson's style of how he calls games is very descriptive, but he's very quick, so he's doing a really good job describing the game.
And basketball is a very fast moving sport. So for him to be able to communicate with that, to be able to communicate what's happening on the floor as it's happening and then get getting excited at the right moments, that is something that I aspire to accomplish. And he has worked very hard at what he does for radio, which to be the voice of a Division one collegiate athletic program.
You got to be at the top of your game. So I've listened to him since those days and I've actually got to know him working at Ray Mark Communications, and he's a great guy and he actually I got to sit down and do an interview with him for class and he gave me a lot of pointers on not only broad casting but the industry in Evolve in and of itself and just what it takes to be a broadcaster.
And he talked about mental toughness and how it's a grind. But if those who truly love what they're doing are going to get over the adversity in power through. So Jeff Hackson for me is my number one close second would be Brett Musburger. That's only because of the 2008 tech and Texas game. I think I could do word for word from that broadcast, but that that is also such a legendary voice on TV broadcast.
Right. There is obviously very different style with how he's very calm and composed, but it's still just a legendary voice.
Keeegan Stewart : You bet. You guys. I go and I.
Nathan Karseno : No, I was just saying quick pointer. It's interesting that you put Paxton because Craig and Haxton will be in the same building on tomorrow. The 14th.
Keeegan Stewart : On January 14th, yep.
Nathan Karseno : Tech playing Texas at the Moody Basketball. So that's as funny.
Keeegan Stewart : As it is. So pick your broadcast. I know I can listen to it. John when you want.
Nathan Karseno : I'm going Craig.
Brennan Riker : Way I'm going to be listening to Jeff tomorrow.
Keeegan Stewart : Guys. I'm really excited about what y'all are doing with Chap radio, sports now and I'm proud, y'all. So thank you all for what you're doing for LCU, for the department, for the athletic department, and for the university. Before we sign off, please tell our audience where to listen to all and where to follow you on social media and tell the students one more time what they need to do to get involved with your team.
Nathan Karseno : So we'll start there first. Getting involved. It's as easy as coming here to the CAA, coming to the communication side of the building, finding the radio station and simply writing your name on the sign up we have on the board. That's the first step. You don't have to talk to anybody. You didn't even have to know what we look like.
But if you do, that's even one step better. Approaching Brennan and I is the best way to get involved with the program to start your will, be able to learn about you. We'll teach you a little about the program itself and what we do and then ultimately we'll get in contact with you and see what we can do.
But the 99.1 Chap radio is open for every student, every faculty here at LCU, regardless of major, regardless of classification. If you're interested in having your voice be heard to the Lubbock community and beyond, we are more than willing to have you and more than happy to let you be a part of what we're building here. And of course, we've mentioned a lot about the sports broadcasting program.
Hopefully we have more and more students involved with that, but we really want as many students as possible just involved in the radio in some type of capacity. We've had a great amount of student run radio shows, whether they are sports shows, talk shows, music shows, whatever have you. We've had every type of radio personality and every type of voice, and we have a whole time board in the radio station.
You can reserve whatever time you like to have a weekly show of your own. You get an hour slot as many times a week as you want weekly. You know however you want to do it, it's it's all up to you. And you can have your own personalized radio show and of course, even be involved with the sports program as well.
So we're very passionate to plug that in, to push every student we can to get involved with this. If you have even the slightest interest and we hope that you would be able to experience everything you want to hear at chap radio.
Brennan Riker : And then you can find us on Instagram at 99.1 Chap radio at Twitter at the same name. Then the I guess is it called a username on Twitter? Yeah. Yeah. Or whatever at LCU chap radio. So 99.1 chapradio or LCU Chapradio. Yeah, we're also on Facebook. I don't know how many students have a Facebook, but we're on there too, also as 99.1 Chap Radio.
So that's all of our social media handles. Follow us there for latest information. When we're calling games, when the radio show is on air that day and a lot more content, and then you can listen to us at 99.1 FM, of course, but we're also online at If you go to, we'll take you through the LCU website and then we'll have you click on the live stream and they'll take you to that and you'll listen to live Radio 24 seven, whether it be radio shows, sports broadcasting or just great music.
Keeegan Stewart : Yeah, that's right. You can listen from anywhere in the country. Outside of the country, you can find Chap radio.
Brennan Riker : Yes, definitely online because our obviously our broadband with is covers a good majority of Lubbock. But let's say you live in Midland or like Nathan's family in the DFW, you can still listen online and would be a great way to tune in to chap radio.
Keeegan Stewart : Nathan Brennan, thank you all for what you're doing and thanks for this conversation today.
Brennan Riker : Absolutely. Thank you.
Keeegan Stewart : The last thing I want to say is to learn more about this awesome story with Brendon and Nathan and what they're doing. Go find the digital reflections copy the latest edition, the January edition. To read more about this story and all that they've done really enjoy today. Thank you all for listening to the LCU podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please go ahead and shoot it.
Someone else who you also think will enjoy listening. Leave us a rate, leave us a review and thank you so much for being a part of the LCU community. Hope you have a great day. God bless.
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