Thanks to social media, a love of high school sports and a high-profile classmate, three Olentangy Orange seniors have spent the last two years developing the best resume item of their careers with a simple Twitter page.
In late 2016, friends, sports fans and Orange classmates Max Brunke, Jacob Lipperman and Tyler Ross wanted a quick and easy way to find the results of their school's sporting events.
Zachary Harrison - College Announcementhttps://t.co/e7KHdDUHcK— Orange Sports Live (@OOHSSportsLive)December 19, 2018
"We were just like, 'We want to know the scores,' " Lipperman said.
So the trio started a Twitter page with the idea of aggregating scores. By their own account, they had no skills, no followers and no real idea of what they were doing.
Kari Phillips teaches the three students in her journalism class. She said from the beginning of their project, she knew they had an opportunity to succeed.
"I knew there was a need, for sure," she said. "It's just that covering high school sports is so hard. There are so many games."
To promote the page -- which was still just a hobby for the friends -- they made posters to put around the school telling people to check out their @OOHSSportsLive account.
The posters worked, gaining them a few hundred followers to start the process, and the trio laughed as they recalled their first marketing scheme.
"We made these stupid, funny posters," Brunke said. "Actually, they weren't even funny. They were sophomore jokes. But it worked out."
In spring 2018, the page had gained a little traction, and the Orange baseball team's trip to the state Final Four gave them a significant bump. By football season last fall, the page was reaching hundreds more than the group -- now seniors -- ever expected.
"When football season came around, we really realized it was starting to take hold," Ross said.
It was the football season that gave the group their biggest moment yet.
Zach Harrison, an Orange defensive end, was a highly sought-after recruit who had scholarship offers from the biggest schools in the country.
But unlike many high-profile high school athletes, Harrison is quiet and reserved, and doesn't like media attention. That's something his classmates knew.
"We knew he didn't want any media," Lipperman said. "He's a really laid-back guy and doesn't really like answering questions. So we just put two and two together."
The group approached Harrison with the idea that they would coordinate his signing presentation. Rather than inviting TV stations and local media, they would live-stream the event themselves in a comfortable setting.
On Dec. 18, Lipperman sent a tweet breaking the news. He was in math class, and while he expected the tweet to draw some interest, he didn't expect it to explode.
"I put my phone down on the desk, and a few minutes later I looked down and it was blowing up," he said.
Lipperman said when he saw how much attention the tweet was receiving, he immediately walked out of class and called Brunke and Ross.
The tweet had 30 likes and 50 retweets in minutes, easily the page's best response.
"For us, that was tremendous," Brunke said.
Over the next 24 hours, the plan evolved from a simple backdrop and a live feed on Periscope to a full production on stage with audio and video connections assisted by other departments.
From the Twitter account, the group had exclusive access to Harrison signing with Ohio State University, and in a matter of 24 hours, their account had grown exponentially.
Their tweets and video were used everywhere from local television to ESPN broadcasts, which they all agreed was a "crazy" experience.
The page now has nearly 1,900 followers and plenty of recognition.
"We had really high-up administrators calling to congratulate us," Brunke said. "It was wild."
But the page didn't just give the students a few minutes of fame. For Brunke and Lipperman, in particular, it's helped launch careers.
Lipperman expects to join sports-media company Storied Rivals when he graduates in the spring, and Brunke is headed to Ohio University to major in communications.
Ross will attend Bowling Green State University to play baseball.
Lipperman said the Twitter page was crucial in gaining exposure, and Brunke said he used the experience for all of his essays and applications.
"If it weren't for this, I would probably not be in journalism," he said. "I'm pretty sure the account got me into college."
But for all three students, the experience has been more than just a resume-builder.
"I came in wanting to make my mark," Lipperman said. "I didn't want to just be another kid who went here four years and didn't do anything. I feel like we did a really good job of that."
The trio isn't sure exactly what will happen to the account when they graduate, but Brunke said he hopes other students can build on what they started.
"I just want everything we produce now to just get bigger and better," he said.