If there were a memorable game prior to 1993 there would be no video documentation for TV broadcast.  The Cougar Sports Network began operations in the fall of that year, guided by assistant superintendent Tim Amos. “In those days we operated out of a surplus 15 passenger van,” recalls Amos.

We’ve come a long way.

The Cougar Sports Network now operates from a refitted surplus County ambulance that provides the capabilities for remote broadcast quality production of events by Asheville High students and volunteers ranging from AHS Madrigal Singers at St. Lawrence Basilica to a dramatic offering at o­ne of the system’s five elementary schools.

The Network records a variety of events in broadcast format, most of which end up airing o­n Asheville Education Television, Channel 16. The station reaches more than 50,000 cable TV homes in Asheville and Buncombe County.

Training Ground

Dozens of Asheville City students have participated in what Amos calls a training ground for this fine arts/media specialty. “This is the o­nly local environment, I believe, that exposes these young people to both live and live o­n tape environments. Many of our students have used the football production venue as a preparation for working as crew for the monthly live Board of Education telecasts.”

Stepping Stone for a Bright Future

A number of the Network’s student participants have capitalized o­n their media production skills. Several have become crewmembers o­n national sports productions with SportsSouth, Fox Sports Net. and ESPN.   Graduates Dylan Trivette and Matthew Zboyovski have become filmmakers. Stephen Elms serves as a lighting technician o­n Broadway. Justin Green serves as a video coordinator for an NCAA football program. And Jared Amos, who still helps out with productions from time to time, earned a $32,500 college scholarship from The National Television Academy (The Emmy Awards people).

State Championship Coverage

Since its inception, the Cougar Sports Network has covered the following North Carolina High School Athletic Association State Championships for TV broadcast:

  • 1999 3A Football Championship (Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill)
  • 2000 3A Soccer Championship (Paul Derr Field, Raleigh)
  • 2003 3A Women’s Basketball Championship (Reynolds Coliseum, Raleigh)
  • 2004 3A Women’s Basketball Championship (Dean Smith Center, Chapel Hill)
  • 2005 3A Women’s Basketball Championship (Reynolds Coliseum, Raleigh)
  • 2005 3A Football Championship (Duke University)

(Several State Semi-final games have also been broadcast)

Football Friday Operations at AHS Memorial Stadium

A dozen or so folks are involved in a football production each week. Setup begins around 4 PM.  The stadium is pre-cabled for video and audio, so that speeds along the process.  Students operate the four or five cameras. The three hour telecast keeps four people’s hands full in the “truck”: the director; graphics/producer; audio; and playback. Meanwhile, the “talent” call the action from the first level of the press box: former School Board member and statistician Lewis Isaac, color commentator Doug Piercy and play-by-play announcer, Tim Amos.

[album id=1 template=extend]

Volunteers Needed

Interested in getting involved? The Cougar Sports Network is looking for both student and adult volunteers. For more information call Tim Amos at (828) 350-6016.