What do a high school volleyball coach from Seymour, a full-time mom from Hartford, and a computer guru at Yale have in common? All three are participants in this week’s “Sportscaster Wannabes” segment of the FOX 61 “News at Ten.”
Louis Rinaldi, 26, of Wallingford, is a Unix Systems Administrator at Information Technology Services at Yale. Appearing third in this week’s lineup of five aspiring sportscasters, Rinaldi showcased his sportscasting skills Tuesday night.
After being introduced by FOX 61 sportscaster Rich Coppola, Rinaldi admitted that he has always dreamed of working in the sports broadcasting field. However, Yale’s newest television personality quickly downplayed his sportscasting ambitions.
“It’s a great job, but I should be careful what I say — my boss might be watching,” Rinaldi said during the broadcast.
Rinaldi was contacted after the show but could not be reached for comment.
Coppola, a six-time Connecticut Sportscaster of the Year, handed the stage over to Rinaldi, who started with a lively recap of the UConn-St. John’s game. After smoothly announcing the NCAA and NBA scoreboards, Rinaldi moved on to NHL news before finishing with the latest news from Major League Baseball. Rinaldi was on the air for a total of 4-5 minutes.
Rinaldi’s segment was well received by the FOX team. Coppola praised Rinaldi’s “nice pace,” while anchor Susan Christensen warned Coppola about the up-and-coming sportscaster.
“He’s got great pipes,” Christensen said. “Rich, beware.”
Aspiring sportscasters from all around Connecticut sent in audition tapes. They were reviewed by the FOX 61 Sports Department — Coppola, Tony Terzi, Bob Rumbold and producer Tim Lammers — who eventually selected the finalists.
The five “Sportscaster Wannabes” are all Connecticut residents, but the similarities end there.
Doug Harrell of Torrington, the only Wannabe currently working in the media, co-hosts the “Doug and Pony Show” at WKZE radio in Sharon. He was the first of the Wannabes this week, appearing on Monday night.
Joyce Gibson, Wednesday night’s pretender, is a full time homemaker from Hartford. She officiates high school basketball games in her free time, and caught the eye of FOX 61 with a lullaby sportscast for her baby daughter on her audition tape.
Jay Edwards of Seymour teaches social studies and coaches softball and volleyball at Newtown Middle School and Newtown High School. A graduate of the Connecticut School of Broadcasting, Edwards is a public address announcer for the high school, and will flaunt his sportscasting talents tonight.
Jason Swols, the final Wannabe, is a spiky-haired high school student from Windsor Locks. According to FOX, he told the current “News at Ten” sports team on his audition that he would give them a run for their money.
From Tuesday’s performance, it seemed that Rinaldi might be the one someday making a run at a prime time sportscasting job.
“He’s got great inflection and excellent voice,” Coppola said.
So will Louis Rinaldi be the next Chris Berman? Maybe some day. For now, he’s still working his day job here at Yale.