Football through the lens

Junior Michael Ray uses his passion for video to showcase the football team


Carter Bryant

Junior Michael Ray has a unique view of the gridiron: through the lens of a video camera.

It’s Friday night. The student section is packed full of cheering fans, the players are on the field with sweat on their faces trying to take the win, and junior Michael Ray is on the sidelines capturing the whole thing.

“I started making videos about two years ago, so freshmen year,” Ray said. “I was on the football team and I’d see Garron Weeks’ videos and I guess he kind of inspired me. I did one and I showed it to [former head coach Ryan] Cox, and he loved it and so I got the job to do those videos there, and I just kept on doing them and getting better week by week”

Ray’s process begins with getting some inspiration.

“It probably starts off with me watching other videos, that’s all I do on YouTube,” Ray said. “I watch other people’s videos on so I can get ideas on what to do and that tells me what to film during pregame, what to do during the game, what to do post-game, what to film so I can have proper shots to put into my editing or put into my video.“

When the filming is all said and done Ray starts editing. The first step is finding the right, school-appropriate song.

“I pick the songs based off of what I think the players are gonna like and what they are gonna get excited for to see what they did the last Friday night,” Ray said. “After I choose that I build my video around the song. Like big bass drops go with big hits or passes and stuff like that.”

For junior Chase Van Wagoner, Ray’s videos are more than just an overview the previous week’s game.

“Michael’s videos get the team pumped up and excited to play that night,” Van Wagoner said. “For me, the videos help visualize what I want and expect to happen in the game and make the school day seem super long because I’m so eager to play.”

Ray wants to continue learning video production at Oklahoma State University and then go to work for the National Football League and hopefully “continue making videos for the rest of [his] life.”

“[OSU has] one of the best media programs so I would like to go there,” Ray said. “During college I would make the videos for the football team. I would probably major in media or media relations. And after college, I would like to have a paying job to make these video at a college probably, but working for an NFL team is the main goal.”

Ray also makes individual highlight videos for junior Chase Van Wagoner, junior Bumper Pool, senior Blake Pfaff and senior Chase Broussard for them to send to prospective colleges and for other reasons.

Ray gets to be on the field at games as press to shoot his videos.
Carter Bryant
Ray gets to be on the field at games as press to shoot his videos.

“I send it to my family who can’t watch me play and hopefully one day I will be able to show my kids,” Broussard said.

Along with the weekly highlight videos and the individual highlight videos, Ray also makes time to film little league football teams.

“My uncle offered me a job to film his little league games for a certain amount of money every week,” Ray said. “Other teams saw my film that was getting uploaded to hudl for them and just team after team came to me just asking for me to film their games. That’s basically my whole Saturday now.”

Making these videos has given football a different perspective for Ray.

“Before I made the videos I saw football as a football player but now that I don’t play football, making the videos has given me a different view of the game,” Ray said. “Now I don’t just look at ‘Oh my God, he scored an 80-yard touchdown,’ I see the little things I can put into my videos to make them better.”

Ray said he loves making videos, even though “there is stress and it comes with challenges.”

“My favorite part of making videos is seeing the end product,” Ray said. “Although during the season I sometimes feel like I am repeating myself or repeating a video just with different songs and different plays, and I have to rearrange stuff and to not make it seem like it is the same as a previous video. A lot of times when I make a video I just have to start completely over. I want to make sure I only put my best work out.”