EDITOR’S NOTE: Ericka Galbraith, who joined ESPN in 2000, is a director II, for production and multimedia sponsorship integration. In her role, she is responsible for oversight of men’s and women’s NCAA Lacrosse coverage. As the NCAA Division I Championships unfold on ESPN platforms this weekend, she writes about the challenges and teamwork involved in producing the events.
This lacrosse season is best summed up as a continuous adrenaline rush.
It’s truly like nothing I’ve ever been a part of, and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity. When I joined this team in January, I had no idea how much passion surrounds this sport.
From the beginning, I tried to listen first, learn as much as possible, expand on what’s been done well and find new ways to make our approach and coverage even better with a fresh perspective; all while navigating through a pandemic.
It’s been a crazy evolution to say the least. The sequence of events this season went something like . . .
- Will we have a season?
- Season starts in two weeks!
- 20 games in February, what?! (only one in 2019)
- Talent from home kits installed, check!
- Core production team rolling, check!
- School Control Rooms onboard, check!
- Games cancelled, moved, elevated, swapping opponents, you name it…
- Breathe . . . Have fun . . . What’s next . . .
- Competition heating up and at its best, we’re settled in and at our best. Nothing better!
- Let’s push for a first-ever combined Men’s & Women’s Selection Show, why not?
- Now… back on-site in a small dose/trial run
- Traveling, testing, working in a “traditional broadcast setting”
- Cobwebs cleared, check!
- Let’s take on all women’s tournament game in addition to the men’s games, check!
- Three quarterfinal overtime games, three undefeated teams still in it, seven Tewaaraton Award Finalists playing
- Bring it… Now, we’re ready for the National Championships!
We have incredible momentum heading into the weekend with three undefeated teams; UNC being touted as the best WLAX team of all-time and they’re facing Charlotte North (a Boston College phenom) and potentially undefeated Northwestern who rolled Duke in the quarters, 22-10. On the men’s side, three of the four quarterfinal games went to overtime and Maryland (who beat Notre Dame in overtime to advance) would be the first champion to go unbeaten since UVA in ’06.
We also added our new halftime show, Sound On with Tari and Amari, this season. The perspective each brings to the conversation is incredible. They provide a fresh, passionate and important viewpoint that’s needed in our coverage. The sheer joy they exude when discussing women’s lacrosse is absolutely captivating and they are exactly as self-defined: “Two peas in a LAX pod!” This weekend, they’ll be back for Sound On segments previewing the Tewaaraton Award Finalists.
Our entire lacrosse production team brings passion, a positive attitude, work ethic and teamwork that is unparalleled. From John Kettering leading our Men’s content, Niki Rachal leading our Women’s content, Heather Lee Claggett and Anne Sexton Goff producing and editing Sound On, Ryan Fullam overseeing all graphics, Olivia Mulvihill and Jess Todd supporting all crews, and Trevor Bray, Alex Wheat and Dan Kole managing day-to-day responsibilities . . . our very small team continues to rally around and champion each other – and it’s truly the best.