Tag Archives: Jack Caldwell

Jack Caldwell Covers The Super Bowl

WWPT-FM — Staples High School’s award-winning radio station — produces great sports broadcasters as regularly as the New England Patriots used to win Super Bowls.

Jack Caldwell is the latest in that long and storied line. He’s smooth and steady. He prepares well. He knows his stuff. He’s good.

In addition to play-by-play, he does music and news. This year’s, he’s WWPT’s executive director. In his spare time, he’s broadcast director for the student newspaper Inklings.

His sports cred comes naturally. He comes from a long line of baseball fans. His grandmother told stories of listening to Vin Scully call Brooklyn Dodgers games; together, Jack and she discussed their favorite (and least favorite) announcers.

His father Chris is in sports marketing. He’s worked at every Super Bowl since XXXIV (that was in 2000, for you non-sports fans). So Jack and his dad have never had a chance to watch the big game together.

This year — as an early graduation present — Chris took Jack to Minnesota. He tried to get 2 tickets, but wasn’t sure if he could. They decided they’d watch Super Bowl LII together — even if that meant doing it at the hotel.

Sunday morning, Jack’s dad surprised him with 2 tickets.

Jack Caldwell and his dad at the Super Bowl.

Before the game on Sunday morning, Jack attended an event with broadcast personalities Trey Wingo, Tony Romo and Cris Carter. After, he chatted with them. When he said he was an aspiring broadcaster, Romo and Carter posed for this photo with him.

You’ll notice Jack’s wearing his WWPT logowear. Fans were allowed to do “mock” broadcasts on a set at US Bank Stadium. This was Jack’s first broadcast ever with his father.

I’m not a betting guy, but I bet Jack’s broadcast was better than any other fan who stepped into that booth.

It was a working weekend for Jack. He watched and learned as much as he could.

WNBC reporter Bruce Beck — an avid WWPT-FM supporter and mentor — allowed Jack to shadow him as he worked.

On Saturday — despite 6 inches of snow — he explored many media sites, and visited the ESPN set. The Lombardi Trophy was there. Well, an ice sculpture replica of it, anyway.

As for the game: Jack’s a Jets fan; his dad likes the Lions. Going in, they were “reluctantly” rooting for the Eagles. But when the training scene from “Rocky II” was shown as Philadelphia’s hype video, they were won over for the night.

It was a fantastic weekend. There’s nothing like sharing the Super Bowl with your dad.

Especially when you can take a photo like this, moments after the final whistle.

BONUS STORY ON JACK CALDWELLAs a sophomore, knee surgery forced Jack into a wheelchair for 6  months.

His favorite sport to call is ice hockey. When the Wreckers made the state semifinals — at the “Yale Whale” arena — he worried he could not get to the press box.

WWPT friends and family helped him up, then helped him set up equipment. He called the game — an overtime Staples win.

That support meant a lot to Jack. It meant even more when that broadcast earned him a 2nd-place award in the national John Drury radio competition.

Last year, Jack and the station won honors in every Drury category they entered.

WWPT-FM faculty advisor Geno Heiter (left) and student broadcasters jump for joy after earning 12 John Drury Awards.

The Super Bowl — seeing media row and shadowing Bruce Beck — was a fantastic experience. Jack learned a lot about “real world media,” and looks forward to sharing that knowledge with everyone involved in media at Staples.

For his senior internship at May, he’ll work on the “Anna & Raven Show” on Star 99.9 FM. He hopes to study broadcast journalism in college (he will hear from schools in March).

After that — well, like other WWPT sportscasters, the sky’s the limit.

The Super Bowl was an important weekend, Jack says.

“I got to have a real fan experience,” he notes. “So if I begin to cover events for real in broadcasting, now they won’t seem as daunting.”

Staples Snags An Emmy

Over the years, Westport has been known for many things: Artists and writers. Advertising and marketing executives. Hedge fund titans.

Add another: Sports broadcasters.

From the 1950s through today, this town has been home to national names like Win Elliot, Jim McKay, Jim Nantz, Sal Marchiano, Mike Greenberg, Chris McKendry and Rebecca Lowe.

Staples’ WWPT-FM has produced its share of stars too, like David Lloyd, Jon Stashower, Evan Makovsky, DJ Sixsmith and Eric Gallanty.

Add in Kyle Martino and Jeremy Schaap — Staples grads who did not work for the school’s radio or TV station, but are now doing great things on NBC and ESPN, respectively — and we’ve got enough folks here for our own 24/7 network.

The list gets longer. Cooper Boardman and Jack Caldwell have just led a Staples Television Network crew that won a National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences regional award for Best Student Production.

In other words: An Emmy.

Cooper Boardman (left) and Jack Caldwell, with trophies won earlier at the IBS National Broadcast Awards ceremony.

The honor — presented by the Boston/New England chapter for best high school TV sportscast — was for a live Staples boys basketball broadcast this winter.

In addition to Boardman and Caldwell — a senior and junior, who serve as co-directors of sports for the TV and radio stations and have won multiple awards previously — other contributors included Ben Klau, Buster Scher, Jackson Valente, Alex Massoud and Aaron Leopold.

Remember those names. A few years from now, you can say you knew — and heard — them when.

(Hat tip: Mark Lassoff)

And The Winners Are…

Cooper Boardman and Jack Caldwell have made a career out of broadcasting Staples High School sports on WWPT-FM, and the Staples Television Network.

They’ve called plenty of big wins, and a few heartbreaking defeats.

Yesterday, the 2 student announcers got a few victories of their own.

Cooper and Jack — who serve as co-directors of sports — were finalists in an eye-popping 14 IBS National Broadcast Awards categories.

In a ceremony held at New York’s Hotel Pennsylvania, they won 3: Best Play-by-Play Football (Jack and Cooper); Best Play-by-Play Basketball (Cooper); Best Use of YouTube (Cooper).

Cooper Boardman (left) and Jack Caldwell, with their 14 trophies.

Cooper Boardman (left) and Jack Caldwell, with their 14 trophies.

IBS stands for Intercollegiate Broadcasting System. It’s been around for 77 years. With the growth of high school radio — pioneered by, among others, Staples — the organization recognizes younger announcers too.

Cooper — a senior — will attend Syracuse University’s prestigious Newhouse School of Public Communications. Jack is just a junior. After one more year of calling Wrecker games, he’ll head off to college for broadcast journalism too.

Unlike last week’s Oscars, these awards won’t be taken back. But like many WWPT stars before them, Cooper Boardman and Jack Caldwell are already on the road to radio success.

Click here for an audio link to Cooper and Jack’s winning football broadcast. Click here for a link to Cooper’s You Tube channel. Below is one sample of his work.

(Hat tip: Jim Honeycutt)