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Move over Howie Rose
This sophomore eyes journalism career

Neil A. Carousso is a kid that’s way ahead of the curve. He began announcing games and making play-by-play calls long before there was a microphone in front of him or even a game to call. He also started his own newspaper publication at an age when most kids only pick up the paper to draw mustaches and eye patches.

Carousso, a sophomore at St. Francis Prep, has media aspirations and professional ambitions far exceeding that of most adults. He’s the reporter, announcer and media liaison for his school’s sports program, as well as a contributing reporter for The Queens Courier. As if that’s not enough, he’s also the lead anchor on his school’s Internet news program.

And every so often, he manages to squeeze school work into his daily responsibilities.

“School comes first,” assured Carousso, who’s pulling a 94 average at Prep. “There’s a lot of work in high school, so you have to find a balance. The teachers don’t care if you have other work to do; they want you to show up, take notes and study.”

The sophomore gives his all at school because he knows that anyone who wants to break into broadcasting, or media of any kind, needs to be bright and on top of their game.

“If you’re going to work in this business, you can’t be dumb,” he said. “And you have to be willing to do a lot of extra work.”

That was the attitude Carousso brought with him from Sacred Heart School in Bayside where he successfully started the school paper – while in seventh grade. He was the writer, the editor, the layout designer and total idea-man for the four page paper, which grew to 15 pages by the time he graduated.

Among his many reasons to be proud, Carousso said that getting kids to read the news was perhaps the greatest byproduct of starting a school paper. His hope is that kids learn about the benefits of reading the news – even if that means just focusing on their immediate community.

“Kids don’t really know what’s going on in the world,” he said. “I really think everyone can benefit from knowing about the community around us.”

Carousso spent his early years focusing on the sports community. He would sit in front of the television, honing his announcing and play-by-play skills while watching the Mets from his Bayside home.

Speaking into a recorder, he bolstered his inflections and verbiage by listening closely to the announcing styles of Mets radio and television broadcasters Howie Rose and Gary Cohen.

“I want to have my own identity, but I listen to the pros to see what they talk about,” he said. “It helps me to prepare better – you hear how they discuss certain things and how they depict images. On radio, you have to describe everything that’s happening and [Howie] Rose does a great job of that.”

Carousso loves how radio announcers and play-by-play personalities help the listener to see the field and enhance the listening experience. It is something he tries to improve with every game he calls for Prep.

“The announcer is the narrator of the game. On TV they provide insight and on radio they paint a picture of what’s happening on the field,” he said. “It’s something I’ve always done. Even when I played CYO basketball, I’d be announcing the game in my head.”

Now that he’s doing the announcing out loud and not in his head, Carousso spends hours preparing before games, sometimes arriving at the field four hours before game time. As the media liaison, Carousso is responsible for getting the roster and stat sheets to any media in attendance at Prep games.

Carousso knows that he has a lot of people to thank for his current success and future promise. After praising his family, Carousso mentions St. Francis Athletic Director Sal Fischetti and Assistant Principal Pat McLaughlin for giving him many opportunities and loads of advice and counsel.

He’s grateful for all the school has done for him already – and plans to repay the school with his successes in broadcasting or wherever his talents may take him.

“I have a real passion for St. Francis Prep,” he said. “It’s more than a school. People make things happen here and the teachers are always willing to give help and support. Prep has a great reputation and I want to uphold that reputation as best as I can.”

Photo Courtesy of Neil A. Carousso

Success suits jack-of-all-trades Neil A. Carousso to a tee.

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