It’s crunch time

We’re getting into that time of the year where we have to switch from shorts to pants, and start wearing jackets. That also means that in the state of Alabama, high school football is getting into the most important part of the season – region championships and the playoffs.

Last week I was able to produce and run a great game in Pelham as the Panthers upset Spain Park 27-24 on CSS. Spain Park still won the region championship, but Pelham solidified themselves in the playoffs. You can check out our broadcast of the game here.

It was a great experience to see that game and to finally get back into some high school production. I haven’t been able to do that since May when we did the AHSAA softball championships down in Montgomery where I did play by play. Of course we ran our radio game of the week last season on the now defunct 97.3 The Zone, but now we have video when we do it!

Coming up this week on Thursday is the AHSAA volleyball state championships, and we will be bringing you those live all day long as we go from 1A through 6A. We’ll also have some postseason football starting next Friday when the playoffs start, but I’m not sure which game we will bring you yet. You can check out the brackets here (although they are still unfinished until the end of week 10) to get a feel for some possible big match-ups.

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This time of the year is always what I look forward to. November means Alabama/LSU, Alabama/Auburn, Thanksgiving, high school playoffs, cold weather, and so much more. When I left the radio station back in July, I wasn’t sure if I was going to get to enjoy all of the things I loved about November. Working in sports media means you get the chance to cover all of these games and do what you love to do.

Now, if I didn’t have a job that was sending me to these games, then I could still enjoy these things as a fan, but I have grown to want to do more than just sit in the stands and cheer. Yes, I love screaming my head off at the Iron Bowl or when LSU comes to town, or as Homewood starts their pursuit of another championship. However, I have noticed this year as I sit in the stands doing nothing but watching that I needed to do more. I will constantly talk people’s ears off if they are sitting next to me because I’m used to doing play-by-play or color commentary. Or I sit there on my phone constantly checking scores and wanting to share them with people because I always had to be up to date as a producer.

That is part of why I started my own company about three months ago. I did it quietly, and only a handful of people know that I did it. I had big, ambitious plans for it right out of the gate, but things didn’t come together as I would have hoped, so I had to put it aside for now. I called it Flux Media because it didn’t necessarily have one solid purpose so Flux was a very appropriate name for it. I still believe some of the things we were doing with the radio station could have been successful if just given a fair chance. I believe enough in some of our ideas that I am willing to go through the trouble of creating this company – getting tax ID’s, forming an LLC, gathering investments, and more – and I’m willing to fail so that I can learn from my mistakes and experiences so that I can one day succeed.

One of those things that the station never understood was the importance of high school athletics in this state. Now through being patient and working hard, I’ve been lucky enough to be chosen to be a lead producer for the NFHS Network in Birmingham and handle all of the events that need production. Flux has been “contracted” I guess you could say to handle any and all events in the future for the network. You can watch all of the events online on the AHSAA section of the NFHS Network website. Our team consists of myself, Aaron Daniel, Tim Melton, and Jerry Young, with other people jumping in to help out as well.

Here is our tentative schedule of events (subject to change):

October 31 – AHSAA Volleyball Championship
November 8 – AHSAA Playoffs Week 1
November 9 – AHSAA Cross Country Championship
November 15 – AHSAA Playoffs Week 2
November 22 – AHSAA Playoffs Week 3
November 29 – AHSAA Playoffs Week 4
December 7 – AHSAA Swimming Championship

Hopefully this is just the beginning of what we can do with high school sports. Hopefully this is just the beginning of what I can do with Flux Media. I guess you could say that since things didn’t go exactly as planned, Flux is still just a “side project”. These high school games are mostly on the weekends so I am still looking for that right opportunity full time during the week. I’m still doing some voice over and web design work, but that’s only so much. Whether it’s in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, or even California or New York, I know that my ideas are worth a shot, and I look forward to one day seeing them change the way we view media forever.

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Jon Lunceford is a sports media broadcaster and digital professional. Jon is a graduate of the University of Alabama school of journalism, and played football at Birmingham-Southern College. He has also won two AHSAA Football State Championships while at Homewood High School and was a two-time World Cyber Games Team USA representative. He currently hosts Primetime on WJOX 94.5 and runs the high school athletics site JoxPreps.