Stats, commentating, and home runs: inside Wilson Live


Vera Janney

Grace Kowal

The taped-up stats sheets stick out like a sore thumb among a slew of Spanish posters in room 419. Crowded around the papers are four members of the dedicated Wilson Live crew, each busy carrying out their assigned task. 

There are two commentators—one for play-by-play and the other for spitting out stats during breaks between plays. One spotter relays pertinent information about the details of the game (like the jersey number of the guy who caught a touchdown) to the commentators. But most essential is the camera operator, who follows the game using a monitor and a steady hand.

In addition to the active crew, Wilson Live co-president Gabe Vanni takes bets on winners and the score spread, and writes them on the whiteboard. The faculty sponsor of Wilson Live, David Thompson, sits in a rolly chair watching the game with a grin on his face. Thompson, along with class of 2018 alum Isaac Frumkin, started Wilson Live in 2017. The group not only films Wilson’s biggest sports games, but also club sports, JV games, and theater performances. 

Initially, finding equipment and the funding to buy it was a challenge. Roughly $1,000 was spent on various equipment, and if not for Thompson’s savvy sale-finding skills, it would have cost even more. However, Wilson Live has gotten past the roughest financial bump.  “We have a pretty good set of gear now that allow us to broadcast from almost anywhere,” Thompson explained.

Wilson Live still has trouble finding camera operators for games and students able to commit to times after 5:30 and on weekends. Like with any club, money is an ongoing difficulty, and they’re always on the hunt for more sponsors. However, the club has come a long way since its start in 2017. There are over 30 members who rotate between different performances and games. Every week, four to eight events are filmed, each at least two hours long. The Wilson Live YouTube page, which contains hundreds of video recordings from games and theater performances, has 856 subscribers. 

But what is it like being a member of Wilson Live? For co-president Leah Winchell, there’s nothing to dislike. Keep an ear out for her voice as a play-by-play commentator, especially in soccer games (her favorite). Winchell reflects fondly on her experience so far. “It allows me to help out with and make a positive contribution to Wilson sports and events that I might not have otherwise been able to contribute to,” she said.

Wilson Live is a well-oiled machine, and behind its operations are passionate and dedicated students and faculty. Thanks to WilsonLive, members of the school community can be represented and acknowledged for their extracurriculars, and sports culture is more accessible to all. After all the hard work they do, make sure to show your appreciation for Wilson Live and subscribe to their YouTube page!