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Big Red Sports Network

Meet Big Red Sports Network

Michael Seitz ‘22; Chief Executive Officer
Ashton Jimenez ‘22; President of Creative and Social Media
Rachel Booth ‘22; Documentary Executive Producer
Raphael Chierchio ‘21; President of Blog and Magazine 
Annika Bissinger ‘23; Vice President of Blog and Magazine

Recently, the Big Red Sports Network (BRSN), Cornell's student-led sports media group, released a mini-documentary examining the legacy of Men's Lacrosse's George Boiardi '04. The BRSN team behind this powerful film shared some of their inspiration for the project and how their Cornell experience lead them to create this wonderful piece of Cornell pride for the greater Cornell community. Here is what they had to say:

Michael Seitz:

“I lead BRSN with a goal of empowering athletes to tell their stories beyond the box score. Many of our club leaders compete on varsity athletic teams or are former competitive athletes. I was first inspired to leverage BRSN’s storytelling capacity into telling George’s story after my own participation in this year’s virtual 21 Run - which the men’s lacrosse program usually hosts in-person every year. The Cornell Lacrosse commitment to leadership, service, and teamwork is an example for Cornellians around the globe. George’s impact on the Big Red has been nothing short of exceptional. In our current state of vulnerability caused by the pandemic and its ripple effects, we hope to inspire changemakers and do-gooders throughout the Cornell community by telling a powerful story of leadership born from tragedy.

At Cornell, I serve on five executive boards and work two part time jobs. Currently, I am working as a legal intern through ILR’s Credit Internship program. In addition to my role as Chief Executive Officer of Big Red Sports Network, I serve as the Co-Chair of The Meinig Family Cornell National Scholars (MFCNS) Executive Board, Social and Alumni Relations Chair of Kappa Alpha Pi Pre-Law Professional Fraternity, Alumni Relations Director of Cornell Media Guild / WVBR 93.5 FM, President of Operations of the Cornell ILR Sports Business Society (SBS), Senior Staff Writer for The Cornell Daily Sun. Additionally, I work as an Athletic Supervisor for Cornell Recreational Services and Peer Mentor for the ILR School.

George’s impact on the lacrosse team has been nothing short of exceptional. In our current state of vulnerability caused by the pandemic and its ripple effects, we hope to inspire changemakers and do-gooders throughout the Cornell community by telling a powerful story of leadership born from tragedy.”

Ashton Jimenez:

“As an organization, we are focused on highlighting Big Red sports teams from every aspect. This year, the Creative Department has expanded into creating video features that showcase meaningful and important stories in Cornell athletics. For the Cornell Men's Lacrosse team, George Boiardi has been an inspirational figure that has shaped their team's culture, traditions, and more. The idea for this video first came about a few weeks before the annual 21 Run. We initially wanted to feature the Mario St. George Boiardi Foundation and Cornell Men's Lacrosse involvement. When the interviews started, we realized the story was much larger than that. While this video discusses the foundation, it also shares intimate details about who George was as a person and a player, his impact on the program, and how current men's lacrosse players maintain his legacy. I hope that this video sheds light on George Boiardi's story and reaffirms his importance to the Cornell Men's Lacrosse program.

In addition, this was a great opportunity for the BRSN team to do a longer feature documentary. Rachel Booth put in a lot of hard work to edit and produce this entire video, learning new technologies and editing software. BRSN is constantly working to provide opportunities for students to explore different avenues, gain experience with professional projects, and develop relevant skill-sets, which this project allowed us to do. We are excited to share this video with the Cornell community and I am proud of all the work that every BRSN team member put in to make it happen.
I am a current junior studying communication with minors in business and information science. I am the President of Creative and Social Media for BRSN and lead a team in graphic design, photography, videography, and social media. I am also a Residential Advisor of Mews Hall, the Design Chair for ILR Sports Business Society, and a member of Alpha Phi, Residential Student Congress, and Cornell Admissions Social Media Ambassadors. I am very passionate about sports and entertainment and really enjoy my role with BRSN! Follow us @CornellBRSN on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

I hope that this video sheds light on George Boiardi's story and reaffirms his importance to the Cornell Men's Lacrosse program.

Rachel Booth:

“I joined BRSN this past fall and was really excited with how quickly I was provided the opportunity, tools, and support to film and edit videos I was passionate about. My first project was documenting the Student-Athlete "Our March, Our Campus" organized by WOCA which was also my first taste of more documentary-style video editing. After finishing that project, our head of Visual Design and Social Media, Ashton Jimenez, brought the George Boiardi video idea to me and I was immediately on board. Initially, we were planning to just document the virtual 21 Run this past fall, but after I saw the incredible interviews by other BRSN members I realized it would be impossible to tell BRSN viewers about the 21 Run without sharing George Boiardi's story and impact as well.

This video was a challenge for me to make as I'm still getting comfortable with longer, documentary-like videos, but I really was motivated by wanting to do George's story justice and was also lucky to have amazing support from the rest of the BRSN team. I'm a Junior on the Women's Polo team, and in addition to BRSN I'm also a Video Intern for the Cornell Athletic Communications department. My hope for this film is really to help continue George's legacy. I felt inspired and proud as I learned about his story and impact, and I hope this video can help share that feeling with other members of the Cornell community.”

Raphael Chierchio:

“We believed that making this film highlighted everything that makes sports inspiring. The ability for one man to touch so many lives through sacrifice and buying into a team is the exact kind of story that BRSN exists to cover. I hope that this film reminds the rest of our community that being a part of something bigger than oneself not only helps yourself, but everyone you associate with.

I am a senior studying Communication. I am originally from Staten Island, NY - where I competed in multiple sports growing up and came to Cornell seeking to find a unique sense of team culture. In addition to my work at BRSN, I play on the sprint football team."

Annika Bissinger:

“When choosing our next piece for BRSN, we wanted to focus on community outreach. COVID-19 has forced our Cornell community to rally in a unique, socially-distanced way, and our club wanted to highlight how Big Red athletics programs, while not competing, have still fostered a sense of community and sportsmanship. The men’s lacrosse team and their upcoming fundraiser 5k in honor of George Boiardi proved to be a perfect example, so we set out to tell the story of George and his legacy that lives on to this day. I have high hopes that this film will not only inspire those within our community, but also outside of it. There is not a doubt in my mind that this project will instill a much-needed boost of school spirit, enthusiasm, and inspiration in opposition to the “pause” on life caused by the pandemic.

I have thoroughly enjoyed working on this piece and being involved in BRSN; my place within the written department has been challenging, due to a lack of athletic competition to write about, but exciting, as I have been able to partake in projects that focus on the manifestation of athletics “off the field,” as you will see in this film. Besides BRSN, I am also a part of the varsity women’s cross country and track and field teams, giving me some insight into what it is like to be an athlete here at Cornell.

George Boiardi’s sacrifice for his team is unforgettable. I hope this film sheds some light on the true meaning of a team, or more so of a family.”

Read more about this exciting project in the Ithaca Times.