Schenectady County

Schalmont freshman’s sports talk show gains popularity

Alex Feuz has a direct line to just about every player on the Schalmont varsity football team.
Alex Feuz, 14, of Rotterdam, puts together another sports cast in the dining room of his home Wednesday, November 26, 2014.
Alex Feuz, 14, of Rotterdam, puts together another sports cast in the dining room of his home Wednesday, November 26, 2014.

Alex Feuz has a direct line to just about every player on the Schalmont varsity football team.

The Schalmont High School freshman isn’t a player on the team — which is seeking a state title Sunday at the Carrier Dome against Maine-Endwell — nor is he the water boy.

He’s the host of his own sports talk show, Sports Feuzion, which airs weekdays on YouTube. Feuz films the show in his home using an iPad. He calls the players on his iPhone and puts them on speaker, though he hopes to soon upgrade his studio.

“Christmas is coming up so, you know, I asked for a nice camera,” the Rotterdam teen said.

He said the show started “as a joke” — just him on camera, talking about

professional sports. But he posted it to YouTube and the views started to climb. That first episode is up to about 450 views.

The show’s 79th episode, featuring an interview with Schalmont varsity basketball player Nick Bird, aired Thursday.

“I wanted to create this sports talk show, and I wasn’t going to tell anyone about it, really,” said Feuz, 14, who filmed his first show in June. “And then it kind of got out there and then everyone in the school started watching it, and it started becoming popular in the school, so I kept doing it.”

Now he wants to purse a career in broadcasting — whether it be on SportsCenter or in the booth at Yankee Stadium, announcing the games of his favorite baseball team.

“I would go into this,” he said. “I like doing it, I like talking and I love sports.”

Feuz said he’s never taken a public-speaking class, but he’s always working at improving his speaking skills for the benefit of his hyper-local audience.

“I try to keep going no matter what, and I try to speak clearly and talk slowly, and focus on the camera,” he said.

Feuz said he tries to keep the episodes under six minutes long.

He said the show started to improve in September when he landed his first interview — Nick Gallo, starting quarterback for the undefeated Sabres. He remembers asking Gallo if he wanted to play in the NFL, to which the high school senior said something to the effect of, “It’s a goal, but not really.”

“It’s kind of great that he can come up with these questions by himself with no help and publish this stuff,” Gallo said Tuesday. “That’s pretty remarkable for a young kid.”

Gallo said the show, because it’s on such a small scale, gives players valuable practice answering questions from reporters. “I think just about every one of our players has been on that show,” he said.

Anthony Yezzo, a senior backup quarterback for the Sabres, has become a regular.

“I have the spot every Monday now, I guess,” he said. “That’s one of his goals, to be a sports anchor, and if I can help him in any way, I will gladly help him.”

Talking sports with Feuz is also fun, he said.

“He’s very knowledgeable,” he said. “He knows what he’s talking about.”

As for his thoughts on Sunday’s game, when Schalmont will try to end Maine-Endwell’s 50-game winning streak, Feuz said the undefeated Sabres have the advantage because of the speed of players like senior wideout Devin Higgins, who is also a standout runner in track. The Class B championship game is a rematch of last year, when Maine-Endwell beat Schalmont 22-21.

“You can’t teach speed,” Feuz said.

Feuz’s father, Mark Feuz, said he told his son that if he can find something he loves to do, and can do that professionally, “that’s the way to go.” He said he has watched his son get better at writing questions and at keeping the show — which features interviews with Schalmont athletes and his own commentary on national sports news — flowing.

“He’s working at it. He found something that he really likes to do and he’s getting better at it,” he said. “And he shows enthusiasm for it.”

The senior Feuz, who works as a computer programmer, said his son is persistent at scoring interviews.

“He emails a lot of people,” he said.

Alex Feuz even convinced one of his biggest influences, WNYT Sports Director Rodger Wyland — who announces University at Albany football games — to be on the show a few weeks back.

“It was great,” Alex said. “I had a lot of butterflies. I was really nervous. But I had a lot of fun doing that show.”

He said he also admires the work of New York Yankees radio announcer John Sterling, who is known for the catchphrases he assigns to different home run hitters (El Capitan for Derek Jeter and McCann Can for Brian McCann, for instance).

“I love that guy,” he said. “He’s awesome.”

Feuz said he has watched every Yankees game for the past three years — his love of watching baseball encouraged him to start talking about it on camera.

Sports fandom runs in the family. Mark Feuz, who grew up in Rotterdam, is a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan.

“It’s a crazy household,” Alex Feuz said.

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