This winter, hundreds of Islanders tuned in every week to follow the varsity MVRHS boys and girls hockey and basketball teams, live, on Facebook and YouTube.
On the ice, the boys made it all the way to the quarterfinals in the MIAA Division IV tournament, with a thrilling home finale versus Stoneham in the Sweet 16; and the girls went on a historic winning streak across the second half of the season, including victories over Barnstable, Falmouth, and Nantucket.
Meanwhile, on the hardwood, the girls tripled their win column from last year, featuring a season sweep over Nantucket, and the boys were Cape and Islands League champions, finishing the regular season with a dominant 17-3 record.
So who’s behind the scenes broadcasting these games, serving up a polished product with commentary for all those who have Vineyard Pride, wherever they may be watching from?
Meet Anne Carmichael-Whiting and Jevon Rego.
Anybody who’s been around Martha’s Vineyard sports for awhile knows Anne Carmichael-Whiting (formerly Lemenager) is a vet at what she does. Chairperson at MVTV, Anne has broadcast all home high school basketball games live since 2005, also picking up field hockey, soccer, boys lacrosse, and the Island Cup (on demand) along the way. Recently, she added YouTube to her repertoire, simultaneously hotwiring the basketball games to the MVRHS Sports YouTube channel as well as to MVTV’s channel on cable.
“I love sports,” she said. “[And the high school] is the only game in town.”
As for Jevon, he represents the newer generation of Islanders getting involved with broadcasting MVRHS sports. Alongside fellow parent Joe Mikos, the duo went to nearly all home and away ice hockey games this season, streaming the games on Facebook live for everyone to tune into. Together, the pair made a fantastic combination, with Joe doing a lot of the play-by-play, and Jevon serving as a de facto color commentator.
Coach Matt Mincone recruited Jevon and Joe to broadcast the games during the height of the pandemic, when fans weren’t allowed to attend the games. “To be involved on a daily basis was awesome … what the hell else am I doing during the winter?” he joked. “I’m a hockey guy.”
But when speaking with Carmichael-Whiting and Rego last week, it was evident that they aren’t doing it just for themselves.
Anne has been involved with youth development on-Island for many years, serving as the high school’s field hockey coach for 19 seasons, the athletic director for five, assistant principal for four years, and health and phys. ed. teacher for 30.
With roots as a sportswriter with the Vineyard Gazette, Anne originally recruited her students to learn the ins and outs of sports broadcasting at the Pachico Gym, helping her run the cameras and switches, and even serving as co-commentators, in suits and ties.
“It was fun [broadcasting] with teenagers; they were really into it,” she said. According to her, many of her former recruits have gone on to pursue broadcasting careers in college and beyond.
Retiring as a teacher in 2010, Carmichael-Whiting says she isn’t as familiar with all the high schoolers these days, but is definitely fond of the Vineyarders she commentates on (occasionally one of the players will join her on the mics), and of her former students who show up at the Pachico Gym now and again. She can be seen catching up with them in between quarters and after games, exchanging hugs and hellos.
And even though Jevon’s son Nick (ice hockey co-captain; All-Star) is graduating this spring, Rego has no plans to call off his new part-time role as volunteer sportscaster. “I love the hockey community,” he said. “Sports on the Island is a microcosm of what makes us want to be here.”
Besides, the hockey community might not even let him and Joe stop doing what they do. He said that throughout the past couple of seasons, fans have become increasingly grateful, as well as spoiled.
“Numerous people were approaching us and thanking us this winter … [but] we might catch a lot of s___ if we missed a game,” he laughed. “We had 200 people watching on Facebook during the playoffs; I had family members from Colorado asking about the stream … It developed into something more than you realized it would.”
For now, though, Carmichael-Whiting and Rego will enjoy the off-season, before hopping on the mics and cameras again next year.