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MTI students involved in sports broadcast

Mitchell Technical Institute's satellite communications program has granted students a new opportunity this school year.

For the first time since the program began in 1989, its students have provided Midco Sports Network broadcast support for the region's sporting events. The school has provided broadcast support for news events for the network in past years but has not done so with sports until now.

"We are working as a subcontractor for the network," said Julie Brookbank, director of marketing and public information at MTI. "Every student in the program will have the opportunity to work at one of the sporting events."

So far this year, the program, which has 21 students, has assisted the network with eight events, which include South Dakota State University men's and women's basketball games and University of South Dakota football and men's basketball games.

Midco Sports Network is broadcasting the SDSU and USD men's and women's basketball teams during the Summit League Basketball Championships March 9-12 in Sioux Falls.

The students don't provide production -- such as running cameras or editing footage -- but they assist the network in sending out the signal for distribution for the various cable systems through satellite trucks.

Jim Grace, instructor of the satellite communications program, said the program allows students to gain experience and is something to put on a résumé.

"It's great and gives them the opportunity to see different possibilities with their careers," said Grace, who supervises the projects. "It's difficult to find opportunities like that."

Second-year student Kyle Tanke, of Guernsey, Iowa, said he's enjoyed the experience the program offers.

"I think it's a great experience as far as being hands-on and being able to do all of the work," said Tanke, who's helped with three of the eight assignments. "I like up-linking the live feed and running it out to other viewers and just being the backbone."

Brookbank said the program has been well received and is something that will continue in the future.

The satellite communications program will continue to work with Midco Sports Network for the remainder of the school year.

"They're going to schedule us to help as needed," Brookbank said.

Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.