QU senior makes a difference, impacts students

By Jay Hammel

Will Conerly stepped out of his comfort zone sophomore year of college, and is now developing a career in play-by-play sports announcing.

The Webster Groves, Missouri, native is a senior student-athlete at Quincy University and is majoring in sports management with a minor in communications.

The 6’5″ southpaw has been a four year member of the Quincy Hawks baseball team and has always had a passion for athletics.

Students having the ability to call games caught his eye and this was the commencement of something new.

“I saw it was offered at the school for students to do so I just decided to try it out. But my initial impression first came from watching sports as a kid,” Conerly said.

After exploring this pleasurable pastime, little did he know this is what he wanted to do with his life.

In addition to the Great Lakes Valley Conference Sports Network, Conerly was the play-by-play voice for high school football for WTAD, a local radio station in Quincy this past fall.

Conerly has also called games under the ESPN umbrella of networks when he called games at the Norm Stewart Classic last December on ESPN3 in Columbia, Missouri.

“To entertain and inform the audience at the same time,” Conerly said when asked about what he enjoys most about calling games.

While the goal of broadcasting is to be entertaining, fans can be only be informed if in depth research is conducted prior to the game.

The groundwork for each game can be time consuming, but the preparation pays dividends in improving the broadcast.

“It depends on the sport for preparation,” Conerly said. “It’s always researching the rosters, statistics, match-up history, and information about each school and coaches. It could end up being a handful of hours a night or close to 20 hours a week for any specific game.”

This is an example of Will Conerly’s preparation work for one of Quincy University Hawks men’s basketball games.

Conerly has also started to mentor others who have the same aspirations as himself.

Shane Hulsey, a junior communication major, credits Conerly’s approach for his development into a sports broadcaster.

“He really helped me get comfortable behind the mic,” Hulsey said. “I was kind of nervous starting out, but his welcoming and encouraging personality helped me gain more confidence and pushed me to be a better broadcaster because I know that’s what he expects. He expects me to be as prepared, if not more prepared, as he is.”

Despite polarizing personalities, the two have worked together for years behind the microphone and enjoy engaging in conversation during games.

“We complement each other well. He has a very helpful and generous personality,” Hulsey said. “He’ll give up his time to make your life just a little easier. He’s been a very encouraging friend and companion as I’ve grown in broadcasting over these last few years.”

Jack Widhalm, GLVCSN broadcaster, says calling games with Conerly is just ‘different’.

“Will does a really good job on including the color analyst and making sure their thoughts are heard throughout the game,” Widhalm said.

Conerly, who plans to graduate this May, has left his impact of leading by example according to Hulsey.

“He’s going to bring his best every time he gets on the mic, in anything he does, really,” Hulsey said. “He’s a likable guy who doesn’t have a lot of enemies. I think just the person he is and how he treats people are the things people at QU will remember most about him.”

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