Bonadonna Takes Second in Wisconsin High School, College Broadcasting Contest

Bonadonna Takes Second in Wisconsin High School, College Broadcasting Contest

Nick Bumgardner, Editor-in-Chief, Online Tritonian

Notre Dame Junior Joey Bonadonna took second place honors in the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association (WBA) Student Awards for Excellence, an annual awards program that recognizes the achievements of high school and collegiate student broadcasters.

Bonadonna, the color commentator for Green Bay Blizzard football, began broadcasting Triton athletic events this school year.

With COVID-19 restricting access to Triton sports, Bonadonna brought the court online.

“I quickly caught on and had a great time this season, especially with boys’ basketball having one of their best seasons in recent program history and girls’ basketball winning a state title,” said Bonadonna.

Running an award-winning student broadcast, though, doesn’t come without its challenges, especially during a pandemic.

Hardest among them, he said, was the preparation.

“Finding stats on high school players when many teams don’t have them as public information is definitely hard.  Many times we also ran into technical issues, whether it was a camera turning off mid-game, the scoreboard camera being too blurry or starting with logos on the screen or microphones turned off.  There were definitely a lot of moments that made the hecticness of broadcasting games so hectic,” he said.

Despite these challenges, Bonadonna’s work quickly stood out among the local competition.

In January, Chris Liermann, proprietor of Bay Port Radio, suggested Bonadonna enter the WBA’s award program.

He submitted a three-minute clip from his call of a girls basketball game against West DePere.

Over the next two months, a panel of judges listened to submissions from across the state and selected a top three, with Bonadonna securing a second-place finish.

“It means a lot to receive this recognition.  Broadcasting has always been a goal of mine for my future and receiving this award is definitely a resume-builder.  I hope to continue to push to get number one over my next two years of eligibility,” he remarked.

Andrew Pekarek, NDA Marketing and Communications Specialist and member of the broadcast team, applauded Bonadonna’s dedication to his craft.

“Joey is a very dedicated individual.  There were plenty of times during the winter where he would attend class, then after school set up the equipment to start the live stream for a freshman basketball game, then attend musical rehearsal and then do the play-by-play call for the varsity basketball game.  The next day I would see him before 7:30 a.m. walking to the school chapel to attend morning mass.  He represents NDA very well,” he said.

As the spring sports season approaches, NDA is in need of more student volunteers.

With volleyball, football, soccer, and baseball games set to be broadcast online, students interested in being on-air voices, producers, camera operators, photographers, or videographers are encouraged to contact Pekarek, Bonadonna or Athletic Director Matthew Koening to get involved.