Many community members and Kaufman Lions fans view highlight videos and live streams on social media and streaming platforms during the sports seasons.
Not everyone knows the amount of production that occurs behind the lens or who is running it all.
Walking into the press box at Homer Norville Field or the audio video class at KHS taught by Stephen Armstrong, known as Coach Armstrong by his students, a different perspective is seen as projects are released on the district and class social media platforms. All video projects and live streams are produced by KHS students.
Armstrong’s students say he’s a top teacher, but he’s also a believer and a mentor. Students in Armstrong’s class rave about how much they enjoy his class and all of the aspects they learn from his teaching.
“I like Coach Armstrong because not only does he teach, he goes into life details and is just really inspirational in my life,” said senior video editor Daylon Dickerson. Armstrong aims for his students to leave his class with skills that will help them in their future careers, as well as a confidence that they can do anything that seems too difficult or impossible. With the teaching and mentoring that Armstrong provides to his students, they are able to take control on Friday nights running the live stream production for football games, as well as filming on the sidelines and for team coaches.
Students can take an audio video class at KHS even if they have no knowledge or experience in audio video. Colby Wood, another senior, wanted to join Armstrong’s class because he enjoyed watching YouTube videos and he wanted to learn how to make his own and start a YouTube channel.
Now, Wood films clips during the varsity football games to make highlights of the game. “I like being on the sidelines on game night and seeing videos I have taken, then put into a final project,” he said. “When people watch our videos and react to them, it just makes me happy that people actually enjoy what we do.”
A viewer reaction means the world to these students. Sometimes the video editors are dealing with difficult tapes or ones that seem boring, but that won’t stop Armstrong’s students from producing entertaining content.
“I enjoy taking something that seems to be bland and boring and make it into something that people actually enjoy,” said Hudson Grylls, a senior. Receiving a positive reaction to final projects gives these students confidence in their capabilities and pushes them to continue to stretch their capabilities and creativity.
Kaci Horton, a senior and music editor, said she and other students appreciate the amount of creative freedom they are given when they are working on projects.
Sophomore Hunter Morales said the best feeling is “getting that one really good play and when the crowd goes wild that gives you a big rush of adrenaline.” The students get to enjoy their jobs as well as the atmosphere of a Kaufman Lions’ football game.
“People don’t always understand everything that goes into filming," said senior sideline camera operator Chandler McBride. "You have to hold the camera straight and be around all the hype while keeping yourself calm and collected.”
Students put in many hours to produce top-notch content while also juggling their academic work and other extracurricular activities. Many of the video editors explain that the projects can be stressful at times. The tiniest details become time consuming and can become highly frustrating if they can’t get a portion just right since their deadlines are tight. But overall, it's a class that students “look forward to the most,” said Hudson Grylls.
“Shout out to Coach Armstrong,” Dickerson continued. “He said to me ‘I’d rather people come give me high fives for what my students did than give me a high five for what I did.’ ”