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East Haven resident and 1998 high school graduate Rob Becker is on point when it comes to getting the Yellowjackets’ games broadcast on public-access television. (Photo courtesy of Rob Becker )
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The athletic landscape is constantly changing with the increase of technology, and East Haven High School hopes to be ahead of the curve with 1998 graduate Rob Becker leading the way. Rob works in the East Haven District Tech Department and also serves as a co-advisor to the high school’s Media Club. Throughout the school year, Rob is responsible for filming Yellowjackets’ games and then broadcasting them on East Haven’s public-access television channels.
“I cover basketball, hockey, whatever. It all depends on the season. When we’re done filming a game, we edit it and put it on TV for broadcast,” says Rob. “I’m station manager for the education access channel in East Haven. My duties and responsibilities involve providing programing and decision-making on how the channel moves forward.”
Some of those decisions revolve around how to make use of recent technological advancements. East Haven has switched from analog to digital during Rob’s tenure and has even done some streaming of games.
“Ten years ago, it was me making the decision to go from VHS to DVD. Now, we’re going from DVD to a web video streaming type service,” Rob says. “Another thing I’ve done is streamed games remotely on YouTube. That’s another thing I’m working on—to get more games online.”
Rob has turned in some of his best work while covering the East Haven boys’ ice hockey squad. Head Coach Lou Pane allowed Rob and his colleague Bob Sand to wire the Easties’ home rink, thereby allowing a large student crew from the school’s Media Club to cover the action.
“Essentially, we have wired cameras all along where the benches are. We have two-man cameras and one fixed camera in the penalty box, but we took it a step further and have cameras mounted above the goalies to give the over-ice perspective of a questionable call if the puck went in the net or not,” Rob says. “We also redesigned the press box at the rink to accommodate new camera setup.”
Rob received a prestigious distinction as a result of his efforts at the rink. The new press box at DiLungo Rink was dedicated in Rob’s honor.
“If you go down to the rink, there is a plaque that has my name on it. It’s an honor,” says Rob. “We used hard work and determination to make something great even better. To have my name on it is very meaningful after all that hard work.”
East Haven Athletic Director Anthony Verderame has been extremely impressed with Rob’s ability to use media as a means to help the Yellowjackets flourish on the field.
“Rob has continually worked collaboratively between all departments to improve the promotion of East Haven athletics and its athletes. Rob has coordinated with my office and the superintendent’s office to provide Hudl online sports film access to all coaches and athletes at East Haven High School,” Verderame says. “This is a huge advantage for our student-athletes in providing college recruiting videos, introducing students to video editing technology, and broadcasting game videos to share with our community.”
Rob asks student-athletes to meet him halfway when it comes to piecing together their highlight reels. However, he still enjoys diving into the game films to find those magic moments that can potentially catch the eye of a college coach.
“I’m starting to do that more. An athlete will come to me about putting a highlight reel together, so I ask them for specific games and what they did, so I know what to look for when I look at the game footage,” says Rob. “I recently did one, put it on YouTube, and he shared it with his recruiters.”
In addition to his work in East Haven, Rob also recently became a member of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Department’s Media Committee.
“The committee discusses things pertaining to access to facilities for state championship games—what facilities work for media and which don’t,” Rob says. “I sit on that committee as a representative for schools and what schools are working to do to provide professional media with access to facilities, Internet, and other things for them to get their stories done.”
Rob loves being part of a big film crew while he teaches East Haven’s students about video production. As modern technology continues to blossom, Rob wants to be there for there Yellowjackets every step of the way.
“I’d like to do more streaming and online broadcasting of games,” says Rob. “In terms of student involvement, it’s them learning what is involved in a big production. They get community service hours, and they’re improving the community itself.”
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