WWPT brings home the gold from the Drury Awards in seven categories

By Alex Reiner ’18 and Jonathan Kaner ’18

They cover sporting games, they report news and they discuss controversial matters. Now, they celebrate. The WWPT Staples radio network took home trophies in seven different categories during the Drury Awards on Saturday, May 6, in Chicago. They won best newscast, public affairs, radio drama adaptation, sports play by play, sports talk, sports cast, and number one network in nation station.

“[Winning the awards] was pretty incredible,” Cooper Boardman ’17, who won gold in best play by play, sportscast and newscast, said. “You’d never expect us to have such success that we did as a station on a national scale. I never expected this.”

Boardman has been a part of WWPT since his freshman year and has played a pivotal part in calling their big games, personally winning five Drury’s since his freshman year.

However, he is not worried that the station will suffer when they lose his talents. Boardman will be leaving WWPT to further his radio skills in the Newhouse program at Syracuse. “It is definitely in good hands. If you look at the guys who won this year, they are all sophomores and juniors,” Boardman said.

Two of those students are Jackson Valente ’18 and Jarod Ferguson ’18, who were awarded for Best High School Public Affairs Radio Broadcast in the Nation. “It felt awesome knowing that we were the best in the country at something and at the same time we were representing Staples,” Ferguson said.

Valente added that the work they put in really paid off in the end, and that he is honored to put Staples in a bright light while also proving that sports broadcasters play a big role. “It feels great to represent Staples because you see athletes represent Staples well, but we are also showing that there is more than that.”

Mike Zito and Jim Honeycutt worked together for WWPT for 14 years, and they both retired at the end of the 2015-2016 school year. The program was taken over by Geno Heiter, who teaches the radio class and supervises WWPT.

“Mr. Heiter has made the transition very easy for us at WWPT and STN, and we’re very excited going into the future,” Valente said. He also noted that WWPT would not be where it is today without Zito and Honeycutt, who helped the program grow into a nationally respected one

WWPT still has big plans for the future ahead. “Next year, I hope for even more success and that we can be nominated in and win in more than seven categories,” Ferguson said.