Lindenwood Student Wins Own Sports Radio Show

Melissa Spears | Lindenlink Contributor

Nineteenth century American poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.” One Lindenwood University student is doing so and has gained a stepping stone bringing him even closer to his dream.

St. Louis’ top Sports/Talk radio station, 101 ESPN, hosted its first ever “Sportscaster Factor”. The competition gave St. Louis participants sixteen and older a chance to audition to become the host of their very own weekend show. Three preliminary rounds were held in the Vadalabene Center on Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s (SIUE) campus.

Over one-hundred and seventy-five eager broadcasters came ready on February 12 awaiting their beginning chance to audition. The first two rounds picked off many, sending them home with tips on how to improve their broadcasting skills, leaving only thirty-six left to compete in final round of auditions on March 2nd.

Photo by Melissa Spears
Brett McMillan blows away the judges with his radio show plan.

The two-hour final round of auditions knocked participants from thirty-six to sixteen then down to the final eight. Junior Broadcast Journalism major, Brett McMillan, survived all three rounds and became 101 ESPN’s Sportscaster Factor winner. McMillan says he is blessed to have won this opportunity.

“God is good and the glory is His. I’m hungry to learn, grow and have a blast,” said McMillan.

McMillan spent his first year at Truman State University before he transferred Lindenwood University.

“I’m truly blessed to be at LU,” said McMillan.

He says that Lindenwood and the Communications department have helped him grow everyday towards his professional dream career.

“There are so many talented people and knowledgeable professors to learn from. The School of Communications does everything the right way. That environment is good for any student.”

McMillan’s first found out about the competition through a fellow student and broadcaster, David Amelotti.

“David wanted all three of us [Alex Ferrario, McMillan, and Amelotti] to try out,” said McMillan.

The first night of auditions came around, Amelotti was unable to attend, however Ferrario and McMillan both surpassed and made it to the second round. Ferrario was let go on the second round.

“They told me I had great enthusiasm and would be great for a hockey talk show but I needed to broaden my sports knowledge,” said Ferrario.

Photo by Melissa Spears
The eight finalists are lined up awaiting the announcement of the winner.

Although eliminated, Ferrario remained supportive of his good friend.

“I’m happy for him. I’ve had the privilege to broadcast with him for two years. Brett has incredible sports knowledge and presence on air. Joe Buck, watch out!,” said Ferrario.

Photo by Melissa Spears
Kent Sterling announces the second and first runner up, as well as the winner, Brett McMillan.

Other fellow students are honored to know McMillan and witness his journey towards his bright future. Junior Digital Cinema Arts major, Audrey Schroeder said, “It was an honor to broadcast basketball games with Brett this season. He is a great person and his love for sports is so unreal. He’s going to make it very far. This is just the beginning.”

Junior Broadcast Journalism major, Brittany Velasco also said, I’m so happy for Brett. He is one of the sweetest people I have ever met and would do anything for anyone. I may be biased because I’m his friend, but he works hard at everything he does. He deserves this.”

“The actual contest was a lot of fun. I think everyone appreciated the chance to interact with the 101 ESPN staff,” said McMillan. Although McMillan’s show hasn’t officially started yet, he was grateful for the opportunity to even compete.

“I think the best is yet to come. I’m looking forward to getting the chance to learn from some talented people. I’m very thankful for it all.”