Lincoln Sports Zone: Gahanna Lincoln broadcast show gets viewers 'in the zone'

Marla K. Kuhlman
ThisWeek group
Gahanna Lincoln High School senior Kortney Grimm, technical director, prepares in the Lincoln Live control room for an episode of the Lincoln Sports Zone with anchors Audrey Paquette and Evan Henry.

Buckle up, Gahanna.

You’re invited to be "in the zone" – the Lincoln Sports Zone, that is. 

That’s the teaser for the show that premiered Feb.18 and already has gained 1,000 views on YouTube

Lincoln Live instructor Mark Lowrie, who teaches production and speech classes, said the Lincoln Live morning newscast was created last year, whereas the Lincoln Sports Zone made its debut last month.

Although the high school previously enjoyed morning announcements, Lowrie said, a three-camera, state-of-the-art live morning newscast has been added that’s Lincoln Live.

“Once hybrid ends, Lincoln Live will be a live, daily newscast,” he said. “We currently do two shows a week.”

The Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools is scheduled to return to full-time, in-person classes March 15.

Junior Audrey Paquette, an anchor for the Sports Zone, said, every week, she and her colleagues cover the sports that are going on, which means going to games, matches and invitationals to get video of athletes playing, interviews of them talking about how they performed and informing viewers about the stats of some players.  

“I’m interested in pursuing a broadcast-journalism career because I like being creative with the stories I have made so far on athletes and teams,” Paquette said. “I also have a passion for sports, and I recently found out that I really like doing play-by-plays even though it can be hard to talk really fast.”

As a member of the Sports Zone, junior Lily Sager said she covers games and creates packages that go in depth on the different sports and players. 

“After being a part of the TV program the last two years, I have grown to love anchoring, producing and editing,” she said. “If it wasn’t for the variety of TV classes I have had the opportunity to take, I would not have found the path I want to take when I go off to college.”

Junior Javan Simmons and senior Kortney Grimm anchor the first episode of the Lincoln Sports Zone show, which premiered Feb. 18.

Sager said she wasn’t expecting the big response the show has received, but she’s so excited that it did. 

“We are building a program here at Gahanna, and I’m so glad that the Sports Broadcasting class was created,” Sager said. “It really gives students an opportunity to expand on all aspects of broadcast journalism. The TV program is doing great things, and I can’t wait to see where the TV program goes.”

Paquette said everyone is excited that the Sports Zone has been a hit online thus far.

“I know we wouldn’t be Lincoln Sports Zone without the time Mr. Lowrie has given to us to make sure we know how to shoot games right and to make the shows the best ones ever,” she said. 

Lowrie is in his second year teaching at Gahanna Lincoln since succeeding Tom Gregory at the start of last year.

“When I got hired at Lincoln, principal (Jessica) Wiliams said she wanted more students to be exposed to the TV studio, so we added new courses and expanded our current course offerings,” he said.

Film and Documentary Production was added to the curriculum, and the high school currently has three sections of the Intro to Broadcast Journalism class, which is a prerequisite for all the others. 

“The Sports Broadcasting class was something I really wanted to do because it's right in my wheelhouse,” said Lowrie, who worked as a sports producer at WSYX (dual ABC/Fox), WBNS-10TV, and WOIO (CBS) in Cleveland before he started his teaching career.

Prior to joining Lincoln High School, he worked at Marion L. Steele High School in Amherst (in Lorain County) for 18 years. 

While there, his students won 55 Regional Student Emmy Awards and three National Student Emmy Awards for the show called Steele News Live. 

“Lincoln Live is a continuation of the concept and success I had at Amherst,” said Lowrie, who moved to Gahanna to be with his fiancée.

“We hope to have enough students next year so we can have the show go year-round,” he said. 

For now, Lowrie said, his students are working hard just to get the standard set for shows and to get them on the air. 

“As we progress, the class will take time to explore the sports broadcasting industry and areas like play-by-play and color commentary,” he said. “Once we are more established, students and coaches will really want to be ‘in the zone.’”

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla