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South trio tells cyberworld about Rebels

January 20, 2011|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com
  • Alvin Muthoka, Umar Mahmood and Marcus Orr call the action at a recent South Hagerstown boys basketball game.
Photo courtesy of South High Media Club

HAGERSTOWN — One corner of the South Hagerstown gym is occupied by an energetic trio during Rebels boys basketball games this season.

Umar Mahmood, Marcus Orr and Alvin Muthoka, all juniors, are members of South’s media club, part of the Foundations of Technology class.

They are using the Internet to provide commentary and analysis of Rebels boys basketball games. The process is more along the lines of crawling before you can walk and walking before you can run.

Tonight, when the Rebels entertain Boonsboro, the boys will be in “their corner,” orchestrating another webcast.

Daniel Litten, who teaches Communications Technology and is the media club advisor, said the group used some persistence in getting the project off the ground.

“I remember them filming football and basketball games and I did filming too, but I’d see them calling the game as they were filming,” said Litten. “You could hear them. I asked them if they wanted to do it for real and they said ‘no’ and thought they had forgotten all about it.”

It might have been forgotten, but not for long.

“Umar came up to me toward the end of football season and said, ‘We want to do it this year,’ and I told them to come back later if they really wanted to. They did three different times.”

Mahmood really took the reins and Muthoka and Orr joined forces.

“Because we were freshmen the idea kind of just blew over,” said Mahmood. “I enjoy basketball a lot and thought it was another way to represent the school.”

Mahmood’s interest in broadcasting actually began to form at home in front of a television set and he has done what many young, aspiring announcers did at one time.

“I turn on a game — Syracuse or the Miami Heat whenever I could — and I would mute the sound and announce the games recording it on my phone,” said Mahmood.

The group has covered three South home games in a radio format on the Internet. The show can be heard on South Hagerstown High School’s website.

The broadcast is updated after each quarter, but the goal is to run live.

“Our long-term goal, we have the software, is to broadcast live over the Internet,” said Litten. “Right now, it’s a matter of trust from everyone to get the thumbs up. That would be the dream.”

Mahmood is the junior class president and sees a future in medicine, but he smiles when thinking about his current enjoyment.

“I enjoy it and if I can take advantage of an opportunity, I would,” said Mahmood.

Muthoka spends a little more time on the technical aspect of the broadcast.

“I’m more on the technical end, but I watch and practice saying things from games on TV,” he said.

Orr has his future sights set on marketing and currently spends time giving speeches to area organizations as a member of South’s Future Business Leaders of America.

“I wanted to get involved because I like speaking and I like the Celtics,” said Orr. “I’ll really like it more if we can add video.”

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