Monmouth alumni, students help River Hawks
MONMOUTH – The MAM Trail was historically a direct route between Monmouth and Muscatine, Iowa, but now there is a new trail between the towns made by students and alumni of Monmouth College.
Taking advantage of an internship opportunity, Communication Studies majors Troy Hippen ’22 of Monmouth and Zac Colberg ’22 of Woodbury, Minnesota, and May graduate Jake Landry of Sugar Land, Texas, joined the alumnus. Tyler Bean ’16 on the Muscatine River Hawks media team, a member of the Semi-Professional Mid-American 8 Man Football League (MA8FL).
Bean was already with the River Hawks as a play-by-play announcer. During the internship, Landry joined Bean in the broadcast booth as a color analyst, while Hippen and Colberg work behind the scenes. Hippen runs the software that makes broadcasts possible, while Colberg helps with the team’s social media marketing.
The internship started earlier this year and, even though the semester is over, Colberg, Hippen and Landry will continue to work with the team until the end of the season, which could be as late as the League Championship game. MA8FL the weekend following July 4th. .
“We heard about the internship from (Communication Studies faculty member) Chris Gobel, who heard about it from (department colleague) Trudi Peterson,” Hippen said. “She heard about it from Tyler. Professor Gobel told us, ‘Here’s an opportunity, and here’s the info. “The three of us spoke to each other separately for about a week, and we were all hired pretty much on the spot.”
Hippen said the River Hawks are a media leader in the MA8FL, paving the way for the Muscatine River Hawks team media network.
“We are the first in the league to have this,” he said. “There were a few problems at the start, but we are working on finding solutions.”
The Monmouth media group follows the team at home and on the road. Their road trip on May 30 will take them to Decatur, Ill. For a tough game against the Central State Savages. The River Hawks will have the momentum on their side, however, as they claim back-to-back shutout wins by a combined 117-0.
“Everyone says we’re the third team in the league behind the Peoria Punishers and Midwest Hawks, but we’re trying to prove them wrong and win the championship,” said Hippen.
Match day isn’t the media team’s only job. A weekly podcast, featuring Bean and Landry discussing the team, is produced by Hippen and promoted by Colberg, who also helps with the setup.
Much like some of the team’s players keen to take football to the next level – in part, relying on video packages produced by Hippen to spark the interest of teams – the students at Monmouth hope their time with the River Hawks can serve as a springboard in their careers.
“I would love to continue working in radio or in sports, something like that,” Hippen said. “The coaches have talked about seeing me again with the team in the future. It would be something I would do in parallel, but if it leads to anything else, so be it – wherever it takes me.”
“Ideally, I would love to do social media and public relations for a team,” Colberg said. “The dream job would be doing it for the Vegas Golden Knights (in the National Hockey League).”