Massey student, Jared Cummings, was the only Canadian among 60 high school
reporters invited to attend the Detroit Red Wings’ annual High School
Journalist Day on March 13, 2014.
editor for Massey’s school newspaper, The Stang, Jared travelled to Joe Louis Arena to
participate in mock press conferences, a press box tour and a viewing of
practice from the stands to get a better understanding of what it takes to be a
part of the sports journalism profession.
The event kicked off with a mock press conference of four
media panel members made up of USA Today hockey reporter Kevin Allen, Michael
Caples of Michigan Hockey, sports columnist Bob Duff of the Windsor Star as
well as radio play-by-play broadcaster and the voice of the Red Wings Ken Kal. Each
member touched on their own personal journey to get to their current job along
with the sacrifices and long hours needed to land those competitive positions.
“I had an opportunity to speak with Bob Duff after the press
conference and asked him about the number of hours that goes into becoming an
expert on such a wide variety of sports and teams,” Jared said. “His eyes lit
up as he talked about all the different leagues he covers and the research he
does and I could tell that he’s someone who truly loves what he does. You’d be
hard pressed to find someone whose passion for athletics is as fiery as Bob’s.”
Following the media panel Q&A, students were given a
tour of the Joe Louis Arena press box and the opportunity to view practice from
the stands while taking action photos and jotting down observations.
the Red Wings practice was fascinating. The way Mike Babcock directed practice
was surprisingly similar to how my minor hockey coaches run theirs. He chased
his team around the rink, banging his stick and barking orders, demanding a
great level of intensity from his players. I guess some things about hockey
never change, no matter what level you play,” Jared observed.
students had the chance to put head coach Mike Babcock on the spot by asking
questions about his experience in the sports industry, his coaching tactics and
even his recent Olympic gold medal.
commented on the advice Mike Babcock gave to the students: “Coach Babcock was
very inspirational. He talked about the importance of hard work and pursuing a
future that we thoroughly enjoy, but said that as young people entering the
world, the best thing to do is to go out and ‘get some life experience’ by
‘doing as many things as you can.’”
Wings forward and Special Assistant to the General Manager Kris Draper then took the stage to field students’ questions about his
career, the current Red Wings team and media. Three Red Wings players –
forwards Luke Glendening and Tomas Tatar along with defenseman Jonathan Ericsson – followed him with a 45-minute mock press conference.
students were invited to write an article about High School Journalist Day,
which will be judged by the team’s PR department. Three winners will be
selected with the top article winning the opportunity to shadow USA Today’s
Kevin Allen at a morning skate, lunch and Red Wings home game in 2014-15.