The Path to Success for a Sports Journalist
*This article was written for a school assignment. Some of the information I got from Matt Pocket wasn’t taken clearly, so some facts here aren’t accurate. However, there should be a legitimate version of this article in The Oakland Post very soon.
“As Dakota gets to the line of scrimmage in an I-Formation, Eisenhower looks to make a stop that could save their lead,” exclaims commentator Matthew Pocket.
Pocket, a communications major in his senior year at Oakland University, is an aspiring sports broadcaster and radio host. Serving as Sports Director for the college radio station and lead play-by-play analyst for OU’s basketball teams, Pocket is working to make his aspirations a success.
Before his freshman year of high school, Pocket had never thought twice about radio broadcasting. This changed while looking into high schools to attend.
“When I was in 8th grade, I was choosing between De La Salle and Warren Cousino for high school. I met with the former principal at Cousino, who pitched the idea of CHS very well to my parents and me. He also told me that he felt I had a great voice for radio, and that I should take the radio class as a sophomore,” said Pocket.
When the option became available his sophomore year, he took it and succeeded.
“I excelled at the entry level class, and took Radio 2 the following year,” said Pocket. “Early in the season, I came up with an idea. If we had any equipment, why not go to the football stadium and broadcast the football game that Friday night? The game was against Utica High School, and Cousino romped in the game. I probably sucked, but I thought it was a ton of fun, and wanted to keep going. So we did with Cousino, all the way to the state semifinals, where they lost to the eventual state champion Macomb Dakota.”
Choosing Oakland University
After Pocket graduated from high school in 2008, he began looking into colleges to hone his skills. Between Michigan State, Oakland, Central Michigan and Spring Arbor; Pocket settled on attending college as a Golden Grizzly.
“The turning point was that it was Division-1 college basketball, and we had the opportunity to cover our own games live. Neither Central or State offered that opportunity. Plus, I loved the vibe. I knew right away that this was where I wanted to be,” Pocket stated.
Pocket began as a volunteer for the college radio station, WXOU, his sophomore year of college. He worked as a board operator for a good year, but by the time he became a junior, he was promoted to Sports Director for the entire station.
He had started to do play-by-play commentary for Oakland basketball his first year with WXOU, but had not been a regular in the role until his promotion.
“As a junior, I took full play-by-play responsibilities,” said Pocket. He has won the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Award for Sports Play-by-Play because of his talents.
Corner Pocket and the Future
Now in his senior year at OU, Pocket has a powerful and busy role around campus. Including any events with the radio station, Pocket can be heard for nearly every radio broadcast of Oakland basketball. He has also expanded the stations efforts to include covering local high school football games and he is the host of his own sports show called “The Corner Pocket”.
Pocket hosts his show every Friday afternoon with his co-host, journalism major Bryan Everson.
“Pocket is an amazing talent with a lot of personality. Hosting ‘The Corner Pocket’ with him has opened up opportunities for me I didn’t think would be possible so soon,” said Everson.
Pocket has also begun contributing to the college newspaper, The Oakland Post, writing columns for the sports section when the opportunity arises.
“The goal is to do play-by-play, someway, somewhere, somehow. I’ve put a lot of time into it and I know I can be an asset, and hopefully I can be entertaining to anybody listening out there,” Pocket said of the future.
As the play begins, Pocket tells his listeners what he sees on the field.
“Dakota QB falls back for the pass, he puts it across the middle; and it’s intercepted. Eisenhower has intercepted the ball. Ike holds on to their lead with that interception, and the win is within their reach.”