Delano local puts spotlight on the community through sports media

February 15, 2024 /

By Luis-Angel Gonzalez

Despite high school sports garnering a wide audience, smaller agriculture-based communities like Kern County tend to be underrepresented. Many schools with well-funded athletic programs often have more college scouts in attendance can gain the attention of different colleges and universities.

They are given the latest equipment and technology and most have specialists to keep athletes in peak physical condition. However, these small-town student-athletes aren’t given that same exposure.

Aidan Garaygordobil, Delano local and creator of Delano Sports Media has helped give these students a platform. Delano Sports Media, a page on Instagram originally started as a portfolio, but has gained a huge following for its sports photography for Delano High, Kennedy, and Cesar Chavez and even has a separate page dedicated to McFarland sports.

“I got hired to work for athletics at Fresno State, so I saw firsthand what it took to run social media pages for these big programs. And I’m like okay well I can take some elements of that and start something. So when it came time, I only expected it to be a few hundred followers at the time, and then suddenly I think a lot of people just liked the work that was going on so then they started following more,” stated Garaygordobil.

DSM covers most athletics like football, basketball, baseball, and track. There have been many cases where student athletes have been able to showcase their talents and athletic ability, yet, they don’t make it to the next level. This is even more prevalent in small towns like Delano.

Delano Sports Media has been able to give these athletes a platform to show off their skills.

“A lot of it has to do with recruiting and how the coaches are marketing their players,” Garaygordobil explains. “Ever since we started Delano Sports Media, at least at the JUCO level, I do have those colleges following and messaging me asking for clips of players that I’ve sent to them. So, it definitely has helped at least at the local levels to give them exposure.”

There are a lot of factors that play into getting looked at by colleges. Whether it has to do with the location or the lack of funding in school athletic programs, it is hard to deny that there is some talent in these small communities.

It is especially important for these small towns to have strong athletics because it gives students a chance to be a part of something bigger than themselves. These high school kids are often seen as a product of their environment. Most of their parents are field workers, some even working in the fields themselves. Often they don’t see a reason to seek a college education and is considered out of the realm of possibility. Athletics not only puts a spotlight on the athlete but the town as well.

“Originally the goal of it was to show off the portfolio but then once I switched it to Delano Sports Media, I knew the moment I made it about the city instead of myself, it was going to be about the city moving forward. And the whole point of it was at first it was to get kids photos of themselves and stuff that they can remember. But what happened is that doing that inspired other students and other people to start doing their own photos.” says Garaygordobil.

DSM’s mission to give these student-athletes a platform not only promotes high school athletics but has also gotten other people involved in sports media and created their own platforms. These media pages multiplying just puts more eyes on these communities and sheds a positive light.

The importance of these members of the community creating something positive is that it allows people to stray away from all the violence and crime.

“The community investing a lot of money into their athletic programs helps not only the city gain revenue back from those programs but also it helps the kids that are in them, which especially in Delano with the gang culture and everything. The more kids you get in athletics, the more you get off the streets.” Garaygordobil added.

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