Thomas Zatina has received some great opportunities thanks to Portage Collegiate's Channel 1 program.
PCI allows students to get a start in broadcasting through this program, and Zatina got the chance to learn from a pro earlier this month. The Grade 12 student had the opportunity to pick the brain of iconic Winnipeg Jets play-by-play host Dennis Beyak who was the voice of the NHL team for eleven years.
"Just talking with him, that was an experience for me. He was explaining how (being with the Jets) was an experience of a lifetime. He didn't expect to go that far," says Zatina. "He started off in a small town and just grew from there, obviously doing very well for himself."
Zatina really took to heart the advice Beyak gave him.
"He told me that you're going to be your own biggest critic in anything you do in broadcasting, especially play-by-play or colour (commentary). He said to do as many games as possible. The more, the merrier."
The high-school senior is now trying to get into that habit as he did play-by-play for a hockey game just two days ago.
"I did one for the PCI Trojans. They played against the Morden Thunder, and my colour commentator Cody Plett was also involved," Zatina explains. "It was nice to call the game and see them get the win."
Zatina notes PCI Channel 1 does more than just sports broadcasting. They do a monthly newscast regarding things going on at the school, and they have their own YouTube channel where everything is posted.
The Grade 12 student says he loves doing play-by-play but adds he's mainly focused on hockey for the time being.
"I grew up watching it and played it. So, I have a love for the game. I find it very interesting to call the guys, and I find it very exciting."
Zatina will be back in the booth on December 8th to call another Trojans hockey game, which you can view on the PCI Channel 1 YouTube page.