The Sports Report’s Ranger Rundown elevates its reporting to a new level


Every Wednesday, sophomore Matthew Mahoney, sophomore Sam Tuori, and junior Tommy Spaletto huddle around a phone after pressing record. There, hidden away in the lecture hall, they bring the text to life as statistics easily flow with the conversation.

“I would say we just are kind of ourselves on there,” Tommy said. “I don’t think we’re too serious.”

Beginning with some downtime and a suggestion from TCT Adviser Ken George, the three teamed up on a new project for The Central Trend site: a podcast focused on sports. Traditionally, sports are covered through recaps and player profiles online; however, the three seized the opportunity and started with covering college sports.

Feeling like something was missing, the podcast soon switched topics after it had started. In order to appeal to a larger audience, the Ranger Rundown needed a change.

“Mr. George kind of opened our eyes to the fact that people on The Central Trend don’t really want to hear about college sports,” Sam said. “They want to hear about FHC sports. They want to hear about our community sports— our team sports.”

Providing overviews of games and highlighting phenomenal players became the new content of the Ranger Rundown podcast. Focusing on varsity sports, the results help keep the podcast from becoming repetitive— something they try to avoid.

“[We] just [use] different terms and stuff that you don’t normally hear,” Matthew said. “It’s not your normal report. We like to put our own input rather than just your boring, basic reporting.”

Adding their own twist on it, their personalities show with every recording. Numbers and people aren’t just thrown at the listener; instead, the trio makes sure to enjoy the recordings while reviewing the week’s events.

This interesting dynamic comes from each person’s joy for what they’re doing.

“It’s something that I really enjoy,” Sam said, “and I really like doing it. It’s really fun. It’s a great topic to talk about with some great friends.”

“We have fun with it,” Matthew added. “We definitely have fun with it. It’s not just business; we’re having a good time with it. That’s also partially why it takes long [to record].”

These recording sessions aren’t always easy for them.

As this is a brand new addition to the Sports Report, the Ranger Rundown has faced numerous technical difficulties. Recording on the simple iPhone app called Voice Memos, the podcast is then edited and posted online to SoundCloud.

“We are presented with some challenges,” Matthew said. “The whole recording system with the Voice Memo thing is usually kind of difficult. It takes a while to send and upload. Whereas I guess a real microphone [would] be a lot easier. Also, the noises and distractions present some issues, especially if we’re in the lunchroom because [the janitors will] be rolling around trash cans and stuff, and it makes it hard to record it in an efficient manner.”

Furthermore, some difficulties aren’t external factors. Recording a podcast is a new experiment for each member, and it proposes some issues with how they speak and exchange information with the listeners.

“Sometimes I’ll have to pause the podcast and think about it because I’ll talk too fast,” Matthew said, “and I’ll get ahead of what I’m thinking. I have to pause it and think about what my transition is going to be. But I want to get to the point where I don’t have to do that, and we can just finish the podcast quicker by flowing through.”

By trudging through the awkward transition phase of getting to understand how exactly the podcast should be formatted, the Ranger Rundown hosts are learning.

Whether it be a new way to edit the recordings better or a quicker way to upload, tips and tricks are being picked up from the podcast that can be used outside of that lecture hall.

“I’ve noticed a lot more of an improvement with public speaking and just being confident in presentations and other classes,” Tommy said. “I’d say that’s probably the main thing I’ve taken away and probably being confident on air in general.”

All the hard work they put into it, from the actual sports research to the efforts made to make it casual, the Ranger Rundown hopes to appeal to a variety of people. From parents interested in school events to the students in the halls, the trio hopes to get their podcast out to more viewers.

“We [will] just keep trying to publicize it, get the word around,” Sam said. “It’s hard because I don’t think a lot of high school kids really want to listen to a podcast. I get that. There’s great content in it, and I hope that they can give it a listen sometime and start loving it.”

With hopes of continuing the Ranger Rundown on for years to come, the three focus on the now. Being able to commentate on sports, something they each have kept in their lives, makes the reporting, little bickerings, and stress worthwhile.

“I think the reason that we are kind of ourselves on the podcast is [that] it’s like three guys who love sports,” Tommy said, “and [we] just feel like we can be ourselves. We all have something in common. It definitely makes us closer as good friends, and it’s something that we look forward to every Wednesday.”