football sideline shot

February 20, 2014 (Jackson) - There is nothing bigger in college football than the bowl season, and Belhaven University communication majors Kelsie Hughes and Drew Gardner were right in the thick of it this year. Both students had the opportunity to work with ESPN over this past semester, but working with ESPN at the Sugar Bowl was one of their biggest breaks.

Hughes worked with the producers and said, “I learned a lot about people, but on the side of production I learned a lot more about what to expect during big games like the Sugar Bowl.” Gardner worked with the camera crew out on the field and got to meet the players and coaches when they came for their interviews with ESPN. “I experienced the intensity of a live production of a football game. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about getting a shot or about being in certain places.”

In addition to his academic career, Gardner is an intern at ESPN Radio here in Jackson. He covers college football games all around Mississippi. Hughes currently works as an associate producer for the morning show at WLBT. She wants to eventually work with ESPN in the future. “I am doing everything I can to try to get connections to Bristol, which is where ESPN’s corporate headquarters is located and I am hopefully going to be there this summer. That’s all I want to do. I’ve applied and sent my resume to a bunch of different people,” said Hughes.

Gardner said he would also like to work with ESPN, but he also has plans of his own. “I would love to be my own producer and open my own production house and outsource my work. I’ve gotten the chance to do some freelance work through the American Heart Association of Alabama. I actually made a promotional video for their Go Red campaign coming up at the end of February,” said Gardner.