Matthew Levy: The Voice of Byram Hills Sports

By Ben Gordon

Back in February of 2008, the New York Giants faced off against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. This was one of the first sporting events that current BHHS junior Matthew Levy truly remembers, and it was nothing short of transformative. After the infamous Helmet Catch by New York Giant receiver David Tyree and ultimately a Super Bowl win, Levy recalls sharing a “special moment” with his Dad. This page of sports history led him to “fall in love with sports,” and he has never looked back.

After years of surrounding himself with sporting events on TV, Levy decided to take a step-up from just watching the games, finding his true passion in the process: commentating. Once discovering this new-found interest, with years of practice, this hobby became a talent. Over time, many people began to recognize his skills. It was only a matter of time until he would get a chance to show off his knack for sports commentating.

During the winter sports season of his sophomore year, two members of the Bobcat TV Club approached him, offering an opportunity to announce the Boys Varsity Basketball Games, which would be streamed on the Bobcat TV network and their Facebook page. After a recent interview with Levy, he claimed that he was initially “nervous because he had never done anything like [this] before.” Additionally, he thought to himself that “giving [his] true passion to the public would be weird at first…” After some thinking and encouragement from family members and close friends, Levy followed up with Bobcat TV, covered his first game, and “loved it.”

Along with listening to the film of himself from past games, Levy explained a specific process, mainly used for basketball, which he goes through to prepare for the broadcast. He explained that he tries to come prepared with a quick blurb and a story for each player on the Bobcats’ roster. In addition to this routine, Levy emphasizes the importance of watching and “calling” past NBA games and picking up the ways of the best commentators in the industry. While he looks up to many professional sports announcers, the combination of Jim Nantz and Tony Romo (from the NFL on CBS), are his favorites because “Jim [Nantz] speaks very clearly and portrays his ideas well, while Tony [Romo] is a great compliment and knows football very well.”

In addition to praising professional announcers, Levy got an opportunity to work alongside them as he attended Bruce Beck Broadcasting Camp over the summer. He talked about how he met great people at this camp, including New York Knicks radio announcer Ed Cohen. Cohen has served as a mentor for the last couple of months, and when giving feedback to previous basketball games Levy has commentated, Cohen encouraged him to “keep going and continue to work hard.” This was a great chance for Levy to sharpen his skills and to get feedback from professionals in the industry.

This year, Levy is especially looking forward to calling the Boys Varsity Basketball games because of the great atmospheres that the BHHS students create. On the contrary, one thing that will be a challenge for him is continuing to find rhythms in his commentating, having a clear flow at all times. Levy’s first event of the 2018-2019 school year will be on Saturday, 9/22, at 1:30 pm, when the Varsity football team hosts Fox Lane. Then, he plans to cover the homecoming game against Harrison which will be played “under the lights” at 7:00 pm. You can find Levy and the rest of the Bobcat TV crew either at the football games or on the Bobcat TV network and Facebook page during the winter season for home basketball games.

To conclude, Levy gave some advice on how to be successful in this field. He recommends to “just give it a try… [and] continue to work on a constant flow of talking.” Overall, this whole process has “taught him to pursue what you love and see where it takes you.”