Roblans volunteer to livestream Bearcat football games
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the amount of fees regularly paid by KPRL to CIF for broadcasting Bearcats games. We apologize for the error.
Bearcat Country streams weekly high school football games
Five years ago, the ball started rolling for Bearcat Country, which live streams Paso Robles High School Bearcat football games — both home and away. Jon Dallons said that when he and his wife, Jan, hosted a yearlong exchange student from Serbia five years ago — to date they have hosted 70 exchange students though not all of them for a year — her mother could not afford to travel to the United States to attend her graduation. Since not all exchange students are able to get a diploma from the U.S., Dallons knew it was a big deal. So he decided to see about setting up a Skype chat with his student’s mother.
He asked the administration at Paso Robles High School for permission to set up his equipment early and was told that he could set up in the press box at War Memorial Stadium. Then he was asked if he could make the streaming available to the parents of the other exchange students. Dallons set up his computer with a camera and accessed the interview via his Verizon hot spot. Word got out and 116 separate computers logged in to watch the graduation.
“I had never streamed before,” Dallons said. ” I knew nothing about it. Before I knew it I had a station set up.”
Next thing Dallons knew, local radio station KPRL heard about the live streaming and the station’s owner, Kevin Will, asked if he could stream the varsity Bearcat football games under KPRL. That started four years ago. He was then asked to live stream the away games and has traveled to all the away games for the last four years. For the first two years, he traveled with KRPL’s announcers, first Mike Moreno and then Jim Weiman.
It wasn’t long before Bearcat Athletic Director Tom Harrington said that he wanted the live streaming to continue. The only problem CIF had with the live streaming was the advertising. It would have been okay to use KPRL’s audio, but only if the commercials were muted. That, Dallons said, would have required another person to do that part of the work. So a new announcer was needed for live streaming.
Dallons found Don Goldammer sitting outside Harrington’s office before heading to an away game. Goldammer’s son was the junior varsity quarterback at the time and he traveled to all the games. In the course of conversation, Dallons found out that Goldammer also had radio experience, and before long Goldammer had agreed to announce the games for live streaming.
“He announced for us that night,” Dallons said.
In the beginning, Dallons said there were about 30 computers viewing the away games and 25 to 30 computers viewing home games. Since then, the quality of video has improved with faster Internet connection, a faster computer and better equipment. At the last away game, 144 computers streamed the game.
“We have a lot of support from the school,” Dallons said.
All of the equipment purchased to date has been purchased by Dallons and all of the time and travel has been donated by Dallons and Goldammer. Dallons said, however, that he will be soliciting donations on the website to offset operation costs.
In addition to live streaming the football games, Dallons, Goldammer, Weiman and coach Bill Stansbury do a weekly show called “The Locker Room” that they live stream every Wednesday at 6 p.m. with interviews of the coaches and players.
To view this year’s football games or the 84th annual Pioneer Day Parade, go to www.bearcatcountry.net.