Simi Olurin ’19
If you live in the state of Delaware and the phrase “student athlete” means more than just an amusing meme in your mind, then there is a very good chance that you know the work of Sean Greene. The sportscaster who works at Delaware Sports Zone has cultivated an impressive status among high school athletes throughout the state of Delaware. In a slight role reversal for Greene, I had the pleasure of interviewing the legendary man behind the camera:
Which season is your favorite season of sports and why?
“I really like the spring because there’s 11 different sports going on, so it’s a different sport every day. It really mixes things up more than in the fall, where it’s only 5 sports or winter, when it’s pretty much just basketball or wrestling. In the spring I’m doing soccer one day, then baseball, then I’ll have a lacrosse game. It keeps it fresh and exciting every day”
Does this mean that the spring sports are the most hectic to work out?
“Yes it does. There are 11 sports, but a couple of those sports get broken down into division, so it’s more like 14 championships are going to be handed out. So over a course of 3 weeks, 14 different tournaments are going on, and I only have so many bodies. It can be very challenging to get my staff and myself to as many games as possible.
Tournament time is a hectic period for all sports across all seasons. Do you prefer working during the state tournament or during the regular season?
“The sports director side of me goes a little crazy because I have to make sure that I have enough staffing at all of the major games. But there’s nothing better than a state championship game in any sport because they tend to be very good teams and very good games. It’s the highest quality of whatever it is. In terms of being a sports fan and doing my job, I love it, but the logistics are certainly a challenge, specifically in the spring when there are so many titles at one time”
What is your opinion on schools requiring students to play 3 sports?
“Well that wasn’t something that we had at Newark. I think it’s an interesting way of doing physical education in the fact that it makes you really learn a sport. You’re really focused, and you get the team aspects and the positive side of being on a team. Even if you’re not a key player, you’re rooting for your teammates and your senior teammates during practices and games. I think it’s positive because it forces you to learn a sport, and hopefully it’s a sport that you can take beyond what you’re doing in high school and maybe become something that you enjoy in college.
Every high school athlete in Delaware knows the name “Sean Greene.” What is the craziest story that has come with your celebrity?
“The craziest story was when DMA won their first girl’s volleyball championship in 2015. After the game, they celebrated after winning the final point on the court, and then they raced over to their student section, where students were dressed in their military outfits for the match. It made for a really great picture, so I was getting out my camera as they chanted ‘DMA!’ and once I get my camera out and pointed it at them they start chanting ‘Sean Greene!’ over and over again. Parents are looking at me like “who are you, why are you here, and how do they know who you are, and we don’t?” So that was the strangest for me.”
Have you been a fan of the attention that has come with your job, or do you prefer to do your job under the radar?
“I never got into this for the attention. I got into it because I love sports and the competition. I’ll put it this way, I never got that chance when I was in high school.”
“I’m a fan of the attention because, when I’m in this business, I get paid by the amount of people viewing my stuff. I’ve been doing these highlights for 11 years, and I went from being a general reporter to focusing on high school about 3 years ago, so I spent about 8 years doing highlight packages, and generally people didn’t know who I was. But through the combination of doing more games and Twitter, which has been very important in the fact that people are able to locate my stuff, the attention has been great. But I’m generally not the most outgoing person in the world, so the attention is certainly a little weird as well. It’s not necessarily something I crave; really, I want people to see my stories and videos, and if I’m going to be out having a long day, I want people to enjoy my work”
What made you realize that you wanted a career in sportscasting?
“I’ve only wanted to be 3 things in my life: a meteorologist, a game show host, and a sportscaster. I’ve managed to do all 3 things. My first ever job was an online trivia host back when I was in high school. I covered hurricane Sandy down at the coast; I actually covered a college football game down in Alabama, got off the plane, then went down to a shelter down near Indian River high school to cover the storm. While reports from my football game were still coming up, I was filing reports down at the beach. The sportscasting started when I was in high school. I was asked to be a substitute talk show host on a sports talk show, and I did that show from that week until I graduated college in 2003, and that’s where I got my passion. In college I also did play-by-play of every sport you can think of, from lacrosse to basketball to ice hockey. At least five out of seven days of the week, I was calling a game, and I just loved it.”
Do you ever feel, as you’re watching games, that you could effectively coach a sport?
“No. I’m lucky to work with a few very good analysts and those analysts know the sport themselves so much better than I do. I can describe the basics of what’s going on, but the nuances of how to run a zone defense in football and how to fix it is just not my element.”
What do you find to be the most difficult aspect of covering Delaware sports?
“Geography. While Delaware is small, I don’t get to cover certain conferences as much as others. The state becomes a lot bigger when tasked with covering all schools and sports when there are about 45 high schools in the state”
“My favorite sport to watch is boy’s lacrosse. There’s hard hitting, there’s a lot of running, and it just combines the best of many sports. The running is fast paced; you can get some of the most exciting goals when the players are diving around, and the hitting is as hard as football. It’s a sport that’s under appreciated, and it’s just a great sport to watch.”
As a small school like Tower Hill, how impressive is it that we are able to do so well in the tournaments as well as have a few athletes a year commit to play at the college level?
“It speaks to the quality of the student athlete that Tower Hill is able to attract. Good athletes see the success that Tower Hill has had in multiple sports and realize that it’s a good fit for what they want to do athletically, and it certainly fits into what they want to do on the athletic side. You don’t necessarily need to have a lot of sports if you’re able to attract some of the top level athletes in whatever sport you’re talking about, and Tower Hill has done a really nice job in several sports of getting those good athletes in. It certainly shows in the success they’ve had in lacrosse, field hockey, soccer, and several other sports. Even if they don’t have a team that has the best record, they usually do have a few members that are contenders for first or second team all state.”