Erin Summers

sports broadcaster



COVID shutdown: One year later

It’s been a year since I worked my last event pre-COVID and to say this past year hasn’t been easy would be an understatement.

This week alone I had 12 events wiped from my schedule due to COVID-19 related cancelations or (yes, a year later) pre-cautions. I can’t even begin to count all of the lost opportunities I have had and at times it’s been flat out heartbreaking.

This year has made me stronger, has taught me to fight harder and forced me to endure more than I thought possible — and still, there are so so many more that have had to deal with so much worse.

In regards to the sports world, I feel for the athletes, the athletic programs, the fans, college students and coaches. There is no road map for what they have all endured this past year and my only hope is that everyone can find some light, some strength at the end of it all.


When everything shut down last March I was a full-time freelancer, earning a living from my on-air sports broadcasting work. I never thought I’d have to work another non-on-air job again.

SHEW was I wrong.

As my canceled summer baseball job bled into canceled football seasons and sideline reporting going to the wayside, I had to pivot quickly.

An old contact reached out about helping create content for a canceled summer league baseball season, through some networking I was brought on as an Associate Director for Game Time with Boomer Esiason and I got to cover Army Football for a service academy football show. I worked in production as a camera operator, running audio or heck this weekend I’m working as the red-hat* for a Dog Show. (*that’s the person who signals when we’re back from commercial so the game can start again, or competition in this sense)

I started my own podcast and did a few ‘shows’ from my apartment to work on my craft. A mentor of mine (bless you Jill Montgomery) pushed me to try working as a color analyst since sideline reporters weren’t being used, and I was lucky enough to find some schools that would give me a shot.

Is any of it what I wanted to be doing? Not exactly. But it paid the bills, it keep me close to the game and pushed me out of my comfort zone (the whole color analyst thing? it’s actually really fun).

While I’m ready for it all to be ‘normal’ again, I’ve realized, this industry, it isn’t ever easy, normal or not. My advice to any aspiring broadcasting out there is to be kind, work hard and don’t be too proud to say yes to something you may feel is beneath you. (And that one is hard, especially when you’re doing games on TV one day and serving breakfast at a restaurant the next — shout out to my time at The Flying Biscuit).

It may look lucrative from the outside, but that’s just not always the case.

At times I’ve had to make ends meet working at restaurants, bars, gyms and in areas of sports I didn’t necessarily want to be in. However I learned a lot from my experiences working behind the scenes. I’ve made a lot of good contacts, and friends, who have helped me down the road.


This past year has given me a lot of time to reflect on why I’m working in this industry, and through each hardship is still a burning passion for covering some incredible teams, telling great stories and witnessing unbelievable moments. I may not know what is next, but I’m going to be grateful for the experiences I’ve had, keep working hard and be ready to pivot if need be!

Side Note: Props to the aspiring journalists who have reached out over the past year, I can’t imagine how hard it’s been to break in at this time and I’m always here if you need me!

SUMMERS SPORTS REPORT: Rivalry week for UNC, NC State

In this week’s Summers Sports Report it’s all about UNC vs. NC State — the series history, highlights from recent match-ups and a preview of this Saturday’s showdown.

SUMMERS SPORTS REPORT: Fox Sports’ Shannon Spake on NFL, NASCAR action

It’s a busy time for professional sports right now — NBA, MLB, NFL, NASCAR, a ton of soccer and golf — so we’re going pro this week with FOX Sports anchor and reporter Shannon Spake. 

We talk about Spake’s upcoming game in Pittsburgh, her thoughts on the NFC South and Michael Jordan joining NASCAR. Here’s our conversation.

SUMMERS SPORTS REPORT: Breaking down NC State football

Fall is in full swing, there is a ton happening in the sports world however here it’s all about college football in North Carolina. 

99.9 The Fan ESPN Radio host and long-time NC State beat reporter Joe Giglio is on-hand to talk Wolfpack ball, North Carolina is finally getting back on the field and we’ll cap things off with a lil Friday night lights action as Campbell heads to Wake Forest. 


The Wolfpack faithful enjoyed a comeback win over Wake Forest in game one, game two this past weekend wasn’t anything to cheer about. For that I’m going to the NC State guru Joe Giglio — watch the video below for the full interview. 


UNC head football coach Mack Brown got out his calculator this week and told the media the amount of days between the Tar Heels game against Syracuse and their upcoming matchup at Boston College is the longest in history since 1952 — that’s 68 years ago and it was a three-week hiatus due to polio outbreaks. Which sounds oddly familiar. 

For Brown the game at BC is like starting the season over — here’s my favorite bite from coach this week. 

“I’m just excited to see how we are, I think we’ve got a chance to be good. This will be a great test for us. Virginia Tech looked really good, we’ve got them next weekend. We’re about to jump back into it, we’ve been talked about and bragged on enough, it’s time for us to prove something.


Campbell has made the most of the four games the Big South allowed them to play this Fall — the FCS member opted to face off against four FBS schools. That’s four straight weeks against teams that have 18 more scholarships and a heck of a lot more staff and resources. 

Friday night the Camels are at Wake Forest for their first-ever game against a Power 5 school, however the Camels, they have a secret weapon —  6’7” 345 pound offensive lineman Mike Edwards, who started his college career at Wake.

“Wake Forest is simple man, they are going to be exactly what you think they’re going to be,” said Campbell head football coach Mike Minter. “It’s really about, when you have a #9 on your defense [Wake Forest defensive lineman Carlos Basham], he’s good, can’t do anything about it. We have some big ol’ boys too and one of them played with him. So he knows #9 real good. When I know you, then I’m not as afraid of you as someone who doesn’t know you — you just have a name in front of you. Big Mike can tell everybody else how these people really are, so it’s not ‘Wake Forest Defense’ it’s ‘nah that guy right there, you can get him, he’s not really that tough.’ That’s the type of intel that you really need about these players and Big Mike was able to give us that information.”

That’s not the only person coach Minter is getting intel from. On Sunday he got on the phone with NC State nickels coach Freddie Autry-Lindsay who used to coach at Campbell with Minter, and asked him what he’d do differently if the Wolfpack had the chance to play Wake Forest again. Minter acknowledged the Camels wouldn’t be able to do everything Autry-Lindsay recommended, they would give some things a try.


We are in week three of the ACC football season and there are still teams that are gearing up for their first game action. 

Duke head coach David Cutcliffe is not thrilled with how the Blue Devils schedule has shaped up due to COVID-19 changes, the ACC Network’s own Wes Durham discusses all things ACC football and NC State heads to Virginia Tech.


The Blue Devils are coming off a surprising 26-6 loss to Boston College – surprising as Duke was favored by nearly a touchdown. Head coach David Cutcliffe took the blame for the team not playing as well as they did in week one against Notre Dame. This week Duke is at Virginia. The Cavaliers are one of two teams, the other being Virginia Tech, who have yet to play this season. That’s three straight games Duke has played against team’s who are opening their season and Cutcliffe isn’t happy about it. 

“I don’t like openers, period,” Cutcliffe said Monday. “I think it’s the craziest thing I’ve ever been through. I doubt this has ever happened in college football where a team had three openers three games you play where you have no film to study. We know a lot about Virginia but you’re still not looking at the 2020 version of Virginia. Any changes that they’ve made, we don’t know exactly what they’re going to be. It’s been challenging. Our players are a little irritable about it to be real honest with you. It’s a unique setting. It’s what we’ve been given. We have to deal with it and just move forward.”

It is definitely a unique setting and to break down the first few weeks of ACC play, watch the video below with the ACC Network’s Wes Durham. 


NC State also finds themselves in another “opening game” scenario as they head to Virginia Tech. The Hokies have yet to play and are still dealing with a depleted roster due to a flurry of positive COVID earlier this month. 

“It’s a little bit like trying to solve a Rubik’s cube and a new layer of the Rubik’s cute gets added every single day,” Fuente said Monday. “Trying to figure out who’s available and who can get work and bring the team together, all the things that come with this.”

The biggest question for the Hokies will be at the quarterback position, do they go with redshirt junior Hendon Hooker, who made 8 starts and led the team in total offense last season, or back-up Braxton Burmeister, an Oregon transfer who had to sit last season. Fuente said he plans on playing both but wouldn’t say how the reps will shake out.

The Wolfpack will again go with back-up quarterback Bailey Hockman, starter Devin Leary was able to go against Wake however after missing 20 practices due to quarantine for contact tracing, coach Doeren said he just wasn’t ready to play. Hockman, a redshirt junior, completed 70 percent of his throws, had 191 yards passing and a touchdown as he led NC State to a 45-42 win over Wake Forest last week. 

This will be the 50th meeting between NC State and Virginia Tech with the Hokies winning 4 out of the last 5 since joining the ACC in 2004.

SUMMERS SPORTS REPORT: College football in the Carolinas

This week it’s all about college football in the Carolinas.

Breaking news out of Charlotte leads to a canceled game, longtime voice of Boston College Jon Meterparel joins me to talk the Eagles matchup at Duke, NC State is finally taking the field and why Campbell was trending nationally over the weekend. 


Last Saturday North Carolina defeated Syracuse 31-6 — this weekend the Heels were set to face the Charlotte 49ers, until ONE positive COVID test Thursday. 

Out of 200 tests taken Monday, Charlotte had an offensive lineman test positive. Through contact tracing the entire offensive line had to be quarantined and the 49ers were forced to cancel their game at UNC Saturday. North Carolina is looking for an opponent to add during their open date Sept. 26.


Duke fell 27-13 to No. 10 Notre Dame last week, this Saturday they look to bounce back against Boston College. The last time Duke’s home opener was against an ACC school was Sept 10, 2005 — it was a 45-0 Virginia Tech win so we aren’t going to spend anymore time talking about that. Boston College however has yet to play a game this season. Watch the episode below to hear longtime voice of the Eagles Jon Meterparel give the scoop on BC.


NC State is finally back on the gridiron and against familiar foe Wake Forest. It’s the third longest series being played in college football, the two teams have played every single year since 1910. Over the past 25, the teams have each won 12 times. The most recent a 44-10 Wolfpack loss at Wake Forest.

While the NC State team will look different under 1st year offensive coordinator Tim Beck, and there will be a lot of new faces in Carter-Finley.

“It will be unique playing in an empty stadium,” NC State head coach Dave Doeren said Wednesday. “We do have some pretty sweet cutouts over there, I saw Zach Galifinakas’ face and Bill Cowher was in the crowd yesterday during our mock game, so there’s some comedy relief in the stands right now.”

For those that don’t know, Zach Galifinakas is an NC State grad. 


Campbell football was trending nationally last weekend after nearly beating Georgia Southern on a missed 2-point conversion. The 27-26 loss was a huge showing for the FCS team in their first nationally televised game. Head coach Mike Minter said he had 200 text messages when he got on the bus after the game. Social media was blowing up as college football fans found out about Campbell and their mascot the Fighting Camels.

Campbell QB Hajj Malik Williams told coach Minter earlier this week he was having a hard time focusing on football amidst all the social media messages and mentions. The two decided Williams should get off social media altogether, at least for the week.

This Friday the Camels are back in the limelight — in ESPN’s primetime game as they face Coastal Carolina at 7:30. By the way that’s the Coastal Carolina team that just upset Kansas 38-23. It’s another big game on a big stage.

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