Yarnell goes live


Sam Yarnell gets ready to share the news on The Daily Dispatch.

Senior Sam Yarnell has been working with the broadcast team at the school’s news show, The Daily Dispatch, since his sophomore year. He hosts his own segment, “Generally Great Athletes,” dedicated to informing students on the latest sports information every Thursday. As of last year, Yarnell has ventured beyond just broadcasting with the school’s team and has begun his own radio show, Generals Radio, covering games at the school in his spare time. “I learned from one of my friends that there’s an online radio program where you can pay a certain amount of money and basically broadcast to whomever you’d like,” Yarnell said. “I kind of just went with it and started broadcasting.”

Although Yarnell admits that the broadcast team really pushed him to further his work with sports journalism, his passion for sports began at an early age long before high school. He grew up a passionate Washington Nationals fan, and his interest in radio broadcasting first began when he started listening to one of their broadcasters, Dave Jageler. “He really inspired me, I don’t know why, it’s just his voice really connected with me when I listened to it,” Yarnell said. “One day I was just like ‘I really want to be like him’, I really want to talk about baseball and broadcast [about] baseball.”

Not only does Yarnell broadcast varsity baseball, but he also does radio play by plays for other varsity sports at the school as well. He plans to cover varsity sports teams’ games all year round. “I currently cover basketball, baseball and football,” Yarnell said. “I’m also going to try to cover soccer and lacrosse starting this spring.”

Generally, most of Yarnell’s listeners are players or their families, but anyone can tune in using the link found on his Twitter @samy_yaya. The link can also be found on the Pub Lab’s Twitter @WLPubLab or www.crossedsabres.org. Only a few weeks ago when Yarnell covered the home football game against Annandale High School, he had about 70 listeners. “I broadcast to anyone who has an internet connection,” Yarnell  said. “The most [listeners] I’ve ever gotten on a Generals Radio broadcast is upwards of 100.”

Although Yarnell enjoys what he does, he confesses that it is not as easy as it may seem.  Radio takes a lot of preparation. With “Generally Great Athletes” he was able to look through the school’s website, ESPN and write something out. However, when he is broadcasting on the radio, although he says improvisation plays a key role, Yarnell says it takes a lot more planning ahead of time. “It’s more challenging on the radio,” Yarnell said. “It takes a lot more preparation, on the radio it’s more play-by-play.”

Yarnell plans to continue studying broadcast and radio broadcast in college but realizes he most likely will not have time to broadcast the school’s sports after he graduates. He plans to hand down his radio broadcasting show to another student at the school before he leaves. “I like helping people understand things and teaching people things,” Yarnell said. “I feel like that’s what I do every time I broadcast.”