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There’s a new revolution in Southland prep sports: student-run broadcasting

Updated: 2 days ago

You need a chess master’s savvy to coach at the highest levels in Southern California high schools. Also a scavenger’s eye for nuggets of gold, for any hint of competitive advantage.

Corona Santiago girls’ soccer coach Mike Fleming has scrolled social media and, several times, stumbled upon promotions for Studio City Harvard-Westlake TV’s broadcasts of the Wolverines’ matches. It’s a free, near-professionally-run stream — and as Fleming put it, a scouting tool. So if such a broadcast is out there, Fleming said, and you’re not checking it out as a coach, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

Students host a streaming broadcast of a game on Santa Margarita High’s “Eagle TV 2.0 Sports.”(Paul Higgins)

“With Harvard-Westlake, they do a great job of producing the game with great content, with people commentating who are knowledgeable of the game,” Fleming said.

Here’s the kicker: Did he know those people are Harvard-Westlake students?

Slight pause.

“I did not know they were kids,” Fleming said.

Harvard-Westlake’s Jake Lancer is a 17-year-old who just started calling the Wolverines’ live-sports broadcasts because it was unrealistic to keep his basketball dreams alive at a school overflowing with top-tier recruits.

Lancer has become a five-star prospect behind the mic, assuming a role as the Wolverines’ cross-sport play-by-play announcer while honing his craft through countless hours of HWTV broadcasts.

Santa Margarita has built a comprehensive operation complete with a mobile control board, graphics and cameras, all of which costs somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000. Bellflower St. John Bosco is launching its own student-run streaming platform, “Bosco+,” later this month. And the NFL has launched a program called the “Sports Content Lab” at Inglewood High to start a local pipeline of sports-production talent.

Suddenly, the Southland is transforming into a preps hotbed for not only future athletes but also a generation of young broadcasters making their mark on the mic and at the control board.

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