How One Man Changed My Life

Last Updated by Nate Wek on

For almost three years, I’ve been a full-time blogger, reporter, and digital content developer at South Dakota Public Broadcasting. But it’s the story of how I got to SDPB that’s worth telling. And a large chunk of it is due to the help that I received from one man, Sioux Falls Storm radio announcer Rich Roste.

2010

I had just finished up my third semester of college at South Dakota State University as an economics major, and I was looking for something to do on weekends that would keep me busy.

Through the platform of Facebook, I saw that the Sioux Falls Storm were looking for interns for the upcoming season.

I was late applying, but decided to do so anyways. My mindset was I’d get to attend Storm games for free.

The organization sent me a message back shortly after saying that they wanted to sit down and meet with me. It was during this meeting that they explained how there was still an opening in the marketing/media department for an intern.

A really good buddy of mine, Jerry Palleschi, who now works at Results Radio in Sioux Falls, was already a media intern for the Storm, so I was also looking at this opportunity to hang out with him.

They ended up offering me the internship, and I said yes.

First Home Game

I arrived to the Sioux Falls Arena, roughly two hours before the game, where I was going to meet my new supervisor. I was nervous. My goal at the time was to just watch the games. I had no desire to do anything related to media.

During our first meeting, Rich intimidated me. I introduced myself and we exchanged some small talk as he connected the last few wires and adaptors to his equipment.

My job with the Storm was simple - watch the games, mark down some of the key highlights, and keep drive summaries for Rich.

After the game, Rich told Jerry and I that we had done a good job, and I began to ask him questions about the broadcast. My only experience to sports broadcasting was what I had heard on the radio. Never had I seen what happens on the other side of the microphone before.

Jerry and I.jpgJerry Palleschi and Nate Wek

The Season Continues

By the time we got to the next game, I was no longer nervous. I understood my role, and I thought that Rich was a nice guy. As long as I did what I was told, there wouldn’t be a problem.

It was around this time that Rich started explaining more aspects of his job. Rich showed us how to set up equipment, do pre-game research, and organize cords in Crown Royal bags.

Every game I just kept asking questions, and Rich kept answering them.

Sioux City Road Game

After one of the home games, Rich asked Jerry and I if we had any interest in taking the fan bus down to Sioux City and working a road game with him. I thought this was a great idea, and I didn’t hesitate to say yes.

About thirty-minutes before kick-off, Rich looked over and asked the two of us if we wanted to be on air during halftime. I was in shock, and of course my answer was “yes!”

Once we started, the nerves quickly changed. My adrenaline was pumping with excitement. When it was over, I immediately wanted more – it was like a drug.

Rest of the Year

The internship continued, and my attitude about what I was doing was as high as ever. Rich kept inviting Jerry and I back on air for some pre-game, halftime, and post-game segments. By the end of the year, I was doing sideline reporting.

At the end of the year, Rich presented Jerry and I with homemade diplomas, saying we both had graduated from the Rich Roste Academy.

Before I walked out the door for the final time, Rich invited me back for the next season to be the sideline reporter for the full year.

Rich Roste Academy.JPG

2011

I had just finished the fall semester of my junior year of college when I began preparing for the upcoming Sioux Falls Storm season. At this point, I was no longer studying economics in school. I had shifted to general studies for my major, and my grades in school were struggling.

The 2011 Storm season was great though. I was gaining a ton of experience from being on the radio every game and learning some of the ins and outs of calling a game. Plus, the Storm went on to win the championship that year.

SF Storm Ring.JPG

Once the season was over, I had a long discussion with Rich about what I was doing with my life in school. This was the crucial conversation… I was at the point of college where I had to make a decision on a major and commit to it. It was because of this conversation that I finally decided to change my major to mass communication, with an emphasis in journalism broadcasting.

Fast Forward To Today

I spent the entire 2012 season in the booth with Rich as his color analyst. Every game I became more and more confortable with the process, my preparation, and presence on air.

This was an opportunity that was rare for a kid my age in the Sioux Falls market, and I knew it was. I took full advantage of it.

In 2013, I returned to the Sioux Falls Storm once again – for one final ride. However, this time I was looking at doing something different. After a few discussions with front office staff members, it was decided that I would write press releases, assist Rich with more technical things, and handle social media on game days.

Rich Jerry and I.jpgJerry Palleschi, Rich Roste, and Nate Wek

For almost three years, I’ve been working for South Dakota Public Broadcasting. Had it not been for Rich Roste, there’s no way I’d be where I am today.

His advice to me over the years has been fantastic, but his friendship since has been more valuable than I can put into words. I now work for an organization that I thoroughly enjoy, and I work with people who make me an even better person.

Thank you, Rich, for helping me find my passion!

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