Matthew Sanders: Live streaming allows families, fans around world to watch Utah high school sports

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 29 2011 8:00 a.m. MST

One Utah viewer explained the impact of the games and online broadcast on one family, “Inspiring fact: #48 for Logan, Jacob Hogan, goes to church with me and just recently lost his mother who was 46 years old with 6 kids still at home!! I attended the Funeral service on Tuesday and observed how strong this young man along with his family is! No doubt who he is playing for today!!”

Others found the stream a way to reconnect to Utah family. Jack and Lorrene Garrett wrote, “We're watching in a hotel room in Ridgecrest, Calif., cheering on our grandson Jake Fotu and all of his fantastic Lone Peak teammates. Thank you for providing us this opportunity.”

During the live stream of the championship game between Lone Peak and Fremont high schools, Bishop sent an email to the broadcast team, “I am Jordan Preator’s Step Father. I am watching it (the game) live from Kabul Afghanistan! 3 Am here! Thanks for giving me the chance to see it! I have missed last years due to deployment. So I am happy that I was able to watch it this year.”

Bishop's email had a way of bringing the overall live streaming effort into focus.

“When we received an email from someone who works with our soldiers in Afghanistan, I realized that this was more than just a game we were broadcasting," Zundel said. "It is a way of life, cherished moments that would otherwise be lost. I was so moved by this email that I struggled to continue the broadcast for the next couple of minutes.”

Kyle Christensen, who has led the streaming effort, described the initiative as both a way to showcase Utah high school kids and help them develop valuable experience.

“Utah high schools and students, who are helping produce the streams, are learning valuable skills and gaining relevant experience," Christensen said. “Those who watch throughout Utah and across the world now have access to something that circumstance has denied them for years. Lives are being improved from every angle. That's why I love being involved.”

To get a sense of the live game broadcast, the replays of the 3A and 5A games can be found online here:

5A championship: Lone Peak vs. Fremont

4A championship: Logan vs. East

3A championship: Hurricane vs. Desert Hills

What follows is a sampling of email responses received from family, friends and fans who recently watched their alma mater or family members online:

“I am Jameson Hartman's grandfather in Chicago, IL.”

“Casey Shafer, former Desert Hills Football player, and I are watching from Virginia. And good luck to Noelle Shafer who is currently cheering down on the side lines right now!”

“Lovin' the coverage. Appreciate your positive way of covering the game.” — Janet Mcnulty

“Thank you for this great service to the community. You made my day. I was too sick to go to the high school 4-A championship but was thrilled to be able to see it on my computer. Thanks again!!” —Kurt Dowdle

“Go Grizz from Jaron Hartman, Jameson's (21) brother, watching from Wellington, New Zealand with Hanna and Broc. All of New Zealand is pulling for the Grizz!”

“Hey Guys, On business trip in N'Djamena, Chad, Africa. Go Grizz! Love you guys!” - Peter Baldwin (Logan High Alumn) P.S. wish my sister best of luck on Logan high girls basketball!

“Representing East High all the way from Oakland California. Thanks guys for streaming this video.” -Alvin Ahquin

“My boss is a BYU alum and Riley Nelson fan. Stumbled on the video feed to see when his little bro. would be playing in the title game. Thanks for killing our productivity today! ;-)”

David, Clifford Capital Partners LLC “Watching from Stockton California - Our grandson, Jacob Hogan is part of the awesome Logan Grizzlies!” — Dan and Raylene Hogan