GameBreakers Earn Network Experience on KTIV

BVU's GameBreakers cover football games each Friday evening in Storm Lake and surrounding communities. The digital media students film and edit highlights for KTIV's "SportsFource Extra."

Daniel Meissner chose to attend Buena Vista University for the opportunities offered in digital media. Little did Meissner know he’d become part of the Friday night highlights show, “SportsFource Extra,” on KTIV, the NBC affiliate in Sioux City.

The junior from Manchester is one of four BVU GameBreakers shooting, editing, and shipping high school football highlights to KTIV Sports Director Brad Pautsch and his crew every Friday night.

“To be a GameBreaker is awesome,” says Meissner, a digital media major. “KTIV has provided us the opportunity to do what we love. It’s part of our weekly routine.”

Meissner joins fellow digital media majors Clayton Van Horn, Nick Henrichs, and Cody Holtgrewe in covering football games each Friday evening in Storm Lake and surrounding communities, often working side-by-side with Jerry Johnson, BVU Assistant Professor of Digital Media, who advises during the process, as other faculty members do with on-campus media outlets BVTV, KBVU, and The Tack.

“I joined BVTV before the first production my freshman year. And now, I’ve shot several sports at BVU and around Storm Lake... There hasn’t been a moment when I haven’t been involved on campus.”

Clayton Van Horn, BVU GameBreaker

After gathering first-half highlights, BVU GameBreakers return to Lage Communications Center on campus to edit video and write a highlights script for transmission to KTIV in time for “SportsFource Extra,” which begins at 10:15 p.m.

“We’re very appreciative of the GameBreakers and their efforts each Friday night and then into the winter sports season,” says Pautsch. “We’ve come to expect quality packages from BVU’s digital media majors, which adds to KTIV’s reach and programming. I know when I assign a game each Friday evening, we’re going to get the highlights we need delivered on time.”

“As a former GameBreaker, I know and appreciate the opportunity of that hands-on experience,” says KTIV General Manager Bridget Breen. “KTIV wants Siouxland students to have access to deeper learning in the broadcast industry and what better way to do that than by partnering with colleges and universities.”

“This gives us great experience in working on deadlines for a network broadcast,” says Van Horn, who hails from Crete, Neb. “It’s also been fun to shoot some highlights for KTIV during the winter, and sometimes at games involving our friends here at BVU.”

Van Horn had never shot high school sports before arriving at BVU. He was too busy playing football and wrestling as a prep.

“The environment of Friday night football for me is unmatched,” says Van Horn, who helps the BVU wrestling team maintain its social media accounts. “Whether you’re on the field playing or behind the camera shooting, it’s special.”

In addition to their work as BVU GameBreakers, Van Horn, Meissner, Holtgrewe, and Henrichs all play key roles in news and sports productions at BVTV. All four have performed broadcast roles at BVU that range from calling games to creating news segments to managing their peers in all facets of the trade, including some aspects of radio on KBVU.

Each one of these students will complete one or multiple internship experiences in the digital media field prior to graduation. Henrichs has done media work in Omaha, while Meissner called high school games on radio in eastern Iowa. Other BVU digital media students have served internships across the Midwest, as well as in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., in recent years.

“I have 100 percent enjoyed my BVU experience,” Meissner says. “My first few months as a freshman, I’ll admit that I had a hard time adjusting to college. Then I met Andrew Bandstra, an upperclassman in digital media who asked me to get involved. I did, and, ever since then, I’ve been having fun.”

Bandstra, a 2019 BVU graduate, serves the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in Waldorf, Md., as a broadcaster and media relations manager.

“I joined BVTV before the first production my freshman year,” Van Horn says. “And now, I’ve shot several sports at BVU and around Storm Lake. I’ve recorded ‘The Woz’ (Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak) during the American Heritage Lecture Series, and other news items. There hasn’t been a moment when I haven’t been involved on campus.”