When Pete Grigsby’s Jag TV crew won its second consecutive All-Missouri Broadcast Award at last year’s University of Missouri Journalism Day, the longtime Blue Springs South High School broadcast instructor thought his team had reached the top rung of the journalism ladder.
He didn’t know what to expect this year as all but two members of last year’s team graduated. But the newcomers defied the odds this year and won the award for the third year in a row.
“It is such an honor to win a first award, and then, when you win it for a second time, you prove how special your program really is,” Grigsby said.
“But to win the award three years in a row is amazing – amazing! I am so proud of our kids. Not many schools win the award once. I thought it couldn’t get any better than winning it two years in a row, and now, we’ve won it three years in a row with basically a new group of students.”
“And most of them are going to be back next year, so who knows? We’re working hard to have the best newscast in the state every year.”
The news crew also won three individual All-Missouri Awards – Evan Cook for a dramatic public service announcement on distracted driving, Reese Betts for a feature on a blood drive at the high school, and Grant Wall for a heartwarming story on the school’s Adopt-A-Family program.
“We set lofty goals in this program,” Grigsby said, “and this year we exceeded all of them.”
Cook wrote, produced, shot, edited and starred in his PSA that featured a high school couple going to prom. Cook, who is driving his date, his distracted by a test and the spot ends with him near her gravestone in a cemetery.
“It all started with a story board, then I had some friends help out and we shot it and edited it and then, I won the award,” Cook said. “It was amazing, and none of it would have happened without all the great, creative people I work with at Jag TV and Mr. Grigsby.”
“He is always inspiring us to do great things.”
Betts, who is also active in speech and debate and the drama department, had her blood drawn as part of her award-winning story.
“I can remember every minute of (Journalism Day) and how exciting it was for all of us,” Betts said. “We spend so much time in here working on our (weekly) newscasts, and to get that type of recognition is really special for all of us and Mr. Grigsby.”
“When you really work hard – like we do every week – it’s nice to get recognition for our program. We love it here – we’re a family!”
Student Evan Cook is starting his own production company (evanjcook.com) and has produced many of the commercials that can be seen on Jag TV:
The team’s winning news program is at: