Fairfield teen selected for Striv Academy ---CCN
Article Written by Rita Brhel of the Clay County News
For as long as he can remember, Mason Hinrichs has loved working with technology.
The son of a farmer and a travel agent, with two older sisters, the Fairfield teen remembers spending his childhood taking apart and tinkering with electronics. He even rebuilt a laptop when he was 9 years old.
At some point, Sandy Creek teacher Jeremy Borer—whom Hinrichs describes as a second dad—took notice. When Hinrichs was in sixth grade, Borer asked him to help with livestreaming Cougar sports events.
“I thought it’d be an interesting thing to do and tried it out and fell in love with it,” said Hinrichs, who is now a sophomore.
This is his fifth year of helping to man the cameras, sound equipment, and computer dashboard at every boys and girls basketball game as well as the home games for volleyball and football—ensuring that community members unable to attend games in person get in on cheering the Cougars through their wins and losses via Striv livestreaming.
Based in Henderson, Striv partners with public and private high schools across the state to provide livestreaming of their activities to their community members free of charge. Currently, Striv is working with 142 schools including Sandy Creek.
“I didn’t know anything about sports starting out,” Hinrichs said, “but the more games I was at and announcing and filming, the more I learned, and I find I like the sports now.”
Cougar Nation has watched Hinrichs grow into his budding sportscasting career through his livestreaming experiences. He has become a familiar voice with his spontaneous, and typically loud, celebration of scores or bemoaning of a referee’s unfortunate call.
“I’ve been kind of the comedy,” Hinrichs remarked with a smile.
He told of how Borer has been integral in helping him develop into this livestreaming role at Sandy Creek.
“He’s been the biggest influencer on this,” Hinrichs said. “He’s been a great mentor. I’m extremely thankful that he thought of me as one of the kids he wanted to teach. The school has been very supportive, and I’m very thankful for that.”
In September, Borer helped Hinrichs line up an interview with Striv CEO Taylor Siebert and content creator Dante Boelhower with the hope that Hinrichs could join Striv Academy. A highly selective paid internship program for high school media students, Striv Academy is a boon for any student planning on selecting a college major in broadcasting.
“It can also lead to a job at Striv,” Hinrichs said, which is his goal after graduating high school on his way to someday working for the Big 10 Network covering Nebraska Husker games.
In addition to his years of livestreaming experience at Sandy Creek, Hinrichs also brought to the table his animation and video-editing skills cultivated through 74 Creative. This student business is located at Sandy Creek’s main campus near Fairfield.
Hinrichs learned quickly after his Striv meeting that he had been accepted into Striv Academy. His first assignment was working at the State Softball Tournament on Oct. 13-15 in Hastings, where he operated livestream equipment and touched up graphics used during video coverage.
“I’m excited that I’m a part of this team,” Hinrichs said, “and I’m excited for more state tournaments, and I’m thankful for the opportunity.”
He’s also excited for the next Sandy Creek game night.
“I’m not leaving Sandy Creek,” he said, “so people don’t have to worry.”