Small-town sports commentator from USU stays optimistic despite 8-season losing streak

Local News

Robinson Miles

LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 – USU Student report) – Robinson Miles, a journalism student at Utah State University, brings new insight to the art of optimism, having spent the previous two years commentating for the high school football team of Kemmerer, Wyoming: a team with one of the longest losing streaks in Wyoming football.

According to Max Preps records, the 2A football team had an impressive string of wins back in 2007-2009. But after switching to a new stadium and a new coach, a few years later, the team began losing its momentum. With the exception of one win in 2017 and three in 2018, the Kemmerer Rangers lost all of their games for eight seasons straight, with their most recent season keeping that streak.

Miles became the commentator for the Rangers back in 2019 through a hometown connection. Having grown up in Star Valley, Wyoming, the owners of Star Valley’s radio station were old family friends. Upon hearing that Miles was studying broadcasting, they quickly contacted him.

“Without seeing me in over a decade they offered me the position to do all the athletic broadcasting out of Kemmerer,” said Miles. “It was kind of weird thing that I stumbled into, but it was just too good of an opportunity. So, every time there is a game, I drive the two hours down, I cover it, and I drive the two hours back.”

Even before knowing the Rangers would be entering a new string of losses, Miles committed to bring as much ethusiasm as he could to each broadcast. He works to keep energy high even in particularly rough games, such as when Kemmerer when the team was mercy ruled within two minutes of halftime.

“There can be times where it is really difficult,” said Miles, “I’ve watched games where almost the entire second half [the opposing team will] just runs it right up the middle over and over and over…and I have to consciously do what I can to make it interesting and still fun to listen to, because it would be really easy to settle into autopilot of ‘there they go again’ and again and again.”

When asked how he keeps a failing game interesting, Miles explained one of his main tactics is looking at the whole field and paying attention to all the different pieces.

“Even though the same running back is running up the middle every time, you keep half an eye on the sideline, you watch the crowd’s enthusiasm level, you can talk about what different positions are doing on the floor or how they’re looking on the field,” said Miles. “You can’t have blinders on and just watch how many yards the one player with the ball ran, you have to see more stuff…and that can be hard, but it is a sort of skill you learn to develop.”

Along with giving him an opportunity to improve his broadcasting skills, commentating for the Rangers has also affected how Miles looks at setbacks in his everyday life.

“I already felt I was an optimistic person, but I have seen, because of that experience that living your life [optimistically] can only happen very deliberately,” said Miles. “It’s been evidence to me that you can still find positivity and you can still find reasons to be happy and energetic and optimistic because that comes from you.”

Miles plans to graduate with a bachelor’s this coming May and find more work in broadcasting while his wife attends graduate school. They plan to go wherever the covid-19 adjusted winds may take them.

“Anything more specific than that we don’t really have. I wish I had more of a concrete plan, but I think the idea right now is just to get to graduation and then get up and go somewhere,” said Miles. “We’re both just excited to get out and experience wherever we can.”

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