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OHS Students win Southeast Emmys for Sports Program

The Oxford High School sports broadcast team is the proud owner of two new Southeast Emmys for the docuseries “The Season.”

The awards were announced on June 9 during a ceremony in Atlanta, Ga. Two episodes of “The Season” won awards out of four that were nominated. In the Sports category, the show’s basketball episode took home a trophy, and in the Sports Program category, the baseball playoff episode was the winner.

According to Diala Chaney, advisor for The Charger, the awards are a result of the hard work of students Merrick McCool, Julia Mitchell, Albert Pham and Robbie McCurdy.

“They spent a year going to different sporting events, and they would film the events and put together this show,” Chaney said. “They produce about eight a year, and it basically tells a story through the lens of athletics.”

“The Season” began three years ago, when McCool and Andrew Gardner, who went on to co-direct the program together, were discussing an idea they had for a behind-the-scenes sports program. Duncan Gray, OHS assistant principal at the time, suggested they call the program “The Season” after seeing similar videos by Ole Miss.

Since then, the students have won eight Emmys altogether in both the Southeast and the nation combined. Gardner, who left “The Season” to be The Charger’s broadcast editor, was recently named Broadcast Editor of the Year for the state of Mississippi. Being on a team that earned eight Emmys before they were old enough to vote is an accomplishment McCool said he’s proud of.

“There was never a time when I was doing this when I thought, ‘Man, this is hard work,’” McCool said. “It was a lot of fun getting to know the athletes and the coaches, and they were so supportive. The whole school district and everybody was supportive of what we were doing.”

McCool graduated in May, and said he will be attending Ole Miss in the fall to pursue a degree in the journalism field.

In addition to its broadcast program, The Charger also includes a student newspaper, a literary magazine and daily online content. Chaney said she couldn’t be more pleased with the awards and the quality work the students publish.

“I can’t take a whole lot of credit, because the kids are so talented,” she said. “‘The Season’ is their baby, and they created it and made it into this amazing, really well-lauded and awarded program. We worked very hard to get it where it is, and I’m very pleased with the students who put in their blood, sweat and tears to put out impressive products.”