GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Football season at Grand Valley State University means go time for Elio Benitez and Miguel Esparza.
You can find them in the broadcasting booth above the stands, putting on their headsets, gathering their notes and going live on the radio, but there is something different about their broadcast.
“I love it. I love the experience, everything about it,” Esparza said.
They are the first-ever broadcasting team to call GVSU’s home games in Spanish, and the university said they are the first-ever Spanish-language broadcasters in the nation to call games for a Division II football team.
“We’re just regular people that are beyond blessed and have the opportunity to bring the sport to everyone out there,” Esparza said.
The pair grew up in Chicago and currently commute from the city for every GVSU home game.
“This has just become one of these situations where when we don’t have to come in on a given weekend, we’re kind of disappointed. We’re happy to make the drive and we’re happy to be here,” Benitez said.
They both call games for other teams but say the atmosphere at GVSU is different.
“It extends beyond just calling a game. It really extends to being able to express to a community that this is truly an experience,” Benitez said.
Esparza and Benitez hope their achievement can help pave the way for future Spanish broadcasters in this division.
“If you really want to do something like what we do, that discipline is first and foremost, so you have to have that, and you have to know that when you’re in, you’re all in,” Esparza said.
You can listen to their broadcast on La Poderosa 93.3 FM and 810 AM in Grand Rapids. If you live in the Midland or Lansing areas, you can get their broadcast on 103.1 FM and 1080 AM.