Triton Sports Network–aka Joey Bonadonna– Earns Two Awards from Wisconsin Broadcasters Association


What IS this award?  Is it an award just for you? ( It has the girls basketball team mentioned on it.) Is it for your work broadcasting the girls’ games?  

Triton Sports Network received two awards from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association: 1st place in high school radio sports programming and 3rd in high school television sports programming. While the submissions were my calls from a broadcast, it is technically a school-wide award given to Notre Dame and Triton Sports Network. I am equally proud to help bring this home to NDA, as it is the first of this type in the history of the school.

How did you get this recognition?  Was there a competition?  An awards ceremony? 

The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Student Awards for Excellence are awarded at a ceremony every year at a conference usually held in Madison. Last year, we were virtual, but we were very happy to be back in person this year. To be in the running for the award, broadcasters from across the state submit one of their best calls from the calendar year 2021. I had two submissions: one from a girls’ basketball game for radio and one from a football game for TV. Judges from the WBA committee view the submissions and select the winners based on their grades.

Were you at the girls sectional game against Beaver Dam? 

Unfortunately, I could not be in West Bend for the game because it was during the conference in Madison, but I was tuned in for most of the game (even maybe during a bit of the awards ceremony). I am so excited for the girls and even more excited to get at least one more chance to call their state games at the Resch.

What does this award mean to you personally?  Is it a recognition for the school as well? 

I am so proud to bring this to Notre Dame. Just two years ago, we didn’t even have any student broadcasting at the school, and now we get to say we were number one in the state in sports radio play-by-play. I hope Triton Sports Network continues to live on, even after I graduate this spring. 

Whom would you like to thank in your “acceptance speech”? 

There are an endless number of people I’d like to thank. First, I’d like to thank God for all of the blessings and opportunities He has given me throughout my life. I’d like to thank my family, especially Mom, for being my greatest support in all of my endeavors. I’d like to thank all of my friends for showing great support for the broadcasts, especially for tuning in over the COVID year last season. Some people who have shown great guidance over the last two years include Mr. Koenig, Mr. Pekarek, Chris Liermann, Alex Strouf, Connor DuBoyce and so many others. Finally, I’d like to thank broadcasting legend and Premontre alum Kevin Harlan. Mr. Harlan said once in an interview I had with him in 2019, “Find the job you love, because if you love your job, it won’t feel like one.” Those words helped set me on the path of broadcasting and reflecting on them over the years has taken me to places I never would have thought possible.

You’re heading to Madison in the fall.  Will you have broadcasting opportunities there?  What will you have as your major?

I will be pursuing a journalism degree at Madison. Over the weekend, I got a chance to meet with the upcoming sports director at WSUM Student Radio at UW-Madison. In conversations with him, I will hopefully be calling hockey games as well as women’s volleyball games, which is especially exciting for me, as the Badgers are defending national champions. 

You’re also the sports editor of the Tritonian and the Sports Guy on the Morning Show?  What part of all these journalism outlets do you enjoy the most?

My biggest passion in life is talking about sports so I really enjoy being able to talk to athletes and coaches and sharing their stories and accomplishments. That’s the main part of it for me. Just after the last boys’ basketball game, the number of parents and grandparents that thanked me for the coverage I’ve provided over the last two years. . .at that moment, it really set in for me that I helped make a difference for the community. It’s truly been a gratifying experience to do that for everyone at Notre Dame.

Who is your personal hero for your broadcasting interests? 

It’s definitely been Kevin Harlan. Since starting his career at Premontre and taking it to unbelievable heights, he’s a true inspiration for me. Seeing his NFL Films special this year where he came back to campus and made his return to the press box at Ted Fritsch Field was surreal. He has definitely helped pave the way for me and many other broadcasters coming out of Notre Dame Academy and its parent schools.

What is your pre-game analysis for the Resch Center battle this upcoming weekend?

The girls getting the #1 seed at state was huge. They’ll play against Menominee in the semifinals and avoid playing Pewaukee right away, who gave them fits in the first game of the season. Menominee has a couple of Division II prospects, but the Tritons’ stifling defensive efforts and balanced scoring attack should help lead them to victory in the semis. The Reedsburg-Pewaukee game will be very interesting to watch as both are very talented. Either way, with a win on Friday, we will be seeing an opponent that the girls have beaten in the last year, but will provide a great challenge for back-to-back state titles.