In the cold and empty hallways of Jefferson Township High School, I walked toward the library with my classmate, senior Peter Fifoot. Wearing his varsity jacket, Peter was eager to start the interview. I knew he had a passion for sports, but did not imagine it would lead to his current commitment to being a sports broadcaster. We talked about his remarkable day with the New Jersey Devils ice hockey team, made possible by the Washington Capitals.
Peter had been interviewed by NBC Washington during a pregame show, and became a fan favorite with more than 100,000 views in the first week. He told The Jefferson Chronicle that the Capitals then invited him to an early morning skate in Washington, where he could interview the players. Although awed by the opportunity, he declined in order to avoid missing school days and cross country practice. “I was hoping that they would contact me again,” he admitted.
In fact, the Capitals did give Peter another shot – this time when they were playing the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center. He was invited to meet with the team to experience what happens behind the scenes before professional hockey games and to attend the game that night. Heading to Newark to watch the early skate session, Peter was unsure of what to expect. “I was not nervous; I was excited,” he told The Chronicle.
Peter was given a tour of “The Rock,” including meeting the players in the locker room and seeing the truck that controls all the TV camera angles. As an aspiring sports broadcaster, he was especially smitten with the broadcast booth, where he heard a voice he had listened to for 10 years: Joe Beninati, the-play-by play announcer for the Washington Capitals.
“I tried to conceal [being starstruck] to seem professional,” Peter confessed. Beninati invited Peter to sit in the booth during the game, and provided some tips on sports broadcasting. “There are many career options in the industry. Try to keep your options open,” he advised. Peter acknowledged that he “was not able to go crazy” during the game because of being in the booth. The “epic game” ended in a 4-3 Devils victory, with a game-winning goal in overtime from Taylor Hall.
The trip strengthened the passionate young sports broadcaster’s career plan and increased his motivation to achieve his goals. Peter told The Chronicle that he didn’t expect the video to take him this far. “No, not at all. I wanted to make an impression, and sound knowledgeable.”