SPOTSWOOD, NJ - Spotswood High School’s Joe Mazzella keeps students and local residents updated on the ins and outs of the current National Hockey League season with his radio show, NHL Talk. The junior is a student in the high school’s TV Production III class, which is taught by Business, Vocational and Technology teacher Andrew Zaborney.
Mazzella, along with his 11 classmates, work together under the guidance of Zaborney to provide the content for the Spotswood Public Schools Network, SPSN and WSHS, along with students in the TV Production II class and participants in the schools TV/Radio Club. The student-run network produces programming that includes sports, news, community announcements and other entertaining ventures like the popular Mr. Spotswood broadcast. Mazzella hosts NHL Talk while Benjamin Milburn and Vincent Maselli anchor their own radio sports show. Both shows run in a radio format and can be heard on SPSN behind message boards when a show is not currently airing.
“I do pretty much the broadcast of the NHL games,” Mazzella explained prior to his March 8 taping of NHL Talk. “I will update everyone on the games from the previous night.”
Typically, Mazzella will tape a show four to five times a week. His broadcasts range from 15 to 25 minutes, depending on how busy the professional hockey world was the night before.
In addition to the winners and losers in the NHL, the hockey player also tries to educate his listening audience on the nuances of the game.
“I give a little bit of feedback on how the game is played,” Mazzella continued. “I know a lot of people don’t really understand hockey because it’s not the biggest sport.”
While increasing in popularity, hockey usually ranks behind football, baseball and basketball when it comes to notoriety in America.
The teen has covered hockey-related topics such as the off-side rules, penalties, salary caps and trade deadlines in past shows. In his March 8 taping, Mazzella highlighted the major trades from the week before following the NHL’s March 1 trade freeze in addition to the games played on March 7.
“I talk as if I have a constant audience listening,” Mazzella said. “I try to make the show as understandable and informative as possible while also being entertaining.”
Mazzella researches the games he’s discussing online and prepares his content prior to the broadcast. He even uploads his own music that accompanies each show.
After recording the broadcast, Mazzella uploads the show behind the power point slide that depicts the logo for NHL Talk.
NHL Talk can be heard throughout the school year on SPSN, which airs on cable channel 26 for Comcast and Xfinity viewers and on cable channel 43 for FiOS.