We checked in with Daktronics Event Producer Justin Szymanski at the Air Force Academy to reflect on his first season on the job. Justin started at Daktronics in HSPR and now handles event production for football, volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, and hockey for Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.
What were some of the biggest obstacles you faced as you came on campus?
One of the biggest obstacles I had to overcome coming to a brand new site was the short turnaround from when I got to campus and the first event. A lot of things were happening right from the start. It was the first season with all new boards: two end-zone video boards, ribbons, LED speaker facade and puck displays.
What does your game-day crew consist of at football?
My football crew has five camera operators, a Director/TD, a utility and a Show Control operator.
With covering college hockey, what are some of the challenges you face producing for that sport?
Luckily, I know hockey very well. In college, I was part of a TV crew that produced hockey on a high level so I knew how to put on a hockey production before I arrived at Air Force Academy. My hockey crew has one camera operator, a replay operator, a director/TD and a Show Control operator.
What was your favorite game-day moment in your first year?
My favorite moment so far was when the Air Force hockey team won their home playoff series to advance to the Atlantic Hockey tournament. The energy in the building was off the charts that night. We wound up winning the conference tournament and then made a small run in the NCAA hockey tournament. It’s going to be hard to top that moment, but I’m excited to see what moments next year will bring.