Dustyn Stortzum (right) with Spencer Vanbuskirk (left).

From Stortzum to ‘StortzCenter’

Featuring Twin River High School Senior, Dustyn Stortzum

Dustyn Stortzum has always loved sports. It is in his blood to love it, his dad had been a top high school baseball player in the state of Colorado and his mom, an athlete as well. Dustyn and his sister, Cady were destined to be athletes. However, something Dustyn didn’t inherit was size. He loves basketball, and not that size always matters, but he understood that his role maybe wasn’t to be the all-star on the court; maybe his role was to be an all-star elsewhere. As we talked with Striv’s featured student, Dustyn Stortzum, we know we are witnessing a great future unfold for a promising Twin River high school senior.

Dustyn spent his first few years of life in St. Louis. Even with all the pro teams to call his ‘team’ around the area, he stuck with his dad in being ‘die hard Colorado Buffs fans’. It had to be a tough team to stick with when the Stortzum’s moved to Nebraska to be closer to where his mom grew up and to be closer to family. It still has to be a tough pill to swallow for his mother, an obvious ‘die hard Husker fan’, as Dustyn and his dad continue to declare the Buffalo love.

As Dustyn adjusted to life in Silver Creek, Nebraska and attending Twin River high school in Genoa, he decided his future endeavors may include studying Law. As junior high turned into high school for Dustyn and his love for sports continued to grow, he still would compete on the court and field, but his Law fate may have taken a detour when he was approached by two of his classmates and friends (who happened to be the actual basketball stars) and they tried to persuade him to take on being the voice for their games. They could see that his stardom could very well lie behind the mic as a broadcaster. Dustyn was up for the challenge.

He would like to tell you that it was history from there, but in actuality he speaks of his first broadcasting experience a little left of perfect. “I’m pretty sure I may not have spoken for the first three full minutes of the game.” as he laughs through his words. As Dustyn continues to be modest through his interview, it was pretty apparent he has been a quick learner to becoming something pretty special as the voice of the Titans. He quickly started receiving compliments from parents, fellow students and the players themselves. Dustyn has a maturity level in his broadcast presence beyond his years. He, not only, runs a great broadcast, but also follows up on the social media side and stays current with updates and tweets. His twitter handle: @stortzcenter, ironically enough.

By his sophomore year, Dustyn had helped to create what is now the Twin River Broadcast Club. They create, develop and better their craft of sharing the school’s story. The Club does everything from play by play and color commentary to commercial development, senior spotlights, preseason videos and they even throw in some really great, witty skits. They enjoy what they are doing and Dustyn continues to genuinely understand the talent of his peers and has numerous compliments for what each individual brings to the table for the Club. He also knows that ‘it just wouldn’t be possible without the school’s support’.

“Mr. Tracy and Mr. Morris support what we want to do and with the administration’s support, funding was raised to created a media room and new lighting for the Club.”

Dustyn says he is grateful for what broadcasting has put in front of his future. “Through Striv, I have been given opportunities to broadcast events like the semi final football games, the Striv All-Star game last year and the State Softball Championships.” When he was asked what his next step after graduation, he is quick to understand his passion and act on it. He wants to pursue TV, Radio and look into a Communication Major. He says, “I fell in love with commentating over sports.” He isn’t the only one who understands the potential he possesses. He has been approached by multiple schools regarding his commitment choice. He considered Hastings College, but after talking with people at Norfolk, he sees a lot of opportunity for himself there. From there, a transfer to UNK or Hastings is a thought.

Things are falling into place nicely for Dustyn. He not only has his personal future in sight, he also speaks of the future for the Twin River Broadcast Club. He states that, ‘things are looking good for the Broadcast Club in the future.” He mentions Ryan Range, who is a sophomore and cameraman for the Club, and says “he’s such a professional at it…I don’t know how he does it, but he does and he’s great.” He talks about Jon Laska and Justin Mohrmann who are junior announcers as well as his fellow color commentary counterpart, Spencer Vanbuskirk. Dustyn has nothing but respect for his club members.

“I don’t think those guys get enough credit for all they do.”

We parted by asking Dustyn what advice he can give for anyone that may see the same passion and direction he has seen. He smiles and says ‘go for it, you might be speechless at first, but it will get better’. He encourages fellow broadcast pursuers with advantages that come and the opportunities that arise. “I have gotten to meet new broadcasters and learn more about it and about the sports each time.” So, if you love sports, like Dustyn, and although he is a baseball player, he understood he may not have the calling of ‘athlete superstar’, he learned that his role as superstar may just be held elsewhere. Dustyn will take his talent and @stortzcenter to the next level next year. Good luck and thank you for giving us your time and helping share the Twin River Titan story!

Interested in learning more about how your school can share their story with Striv? Go here.

Written by Jessica Siebert (StrivU Director)