Within months of graduation from Goshen College, Dalton Shetler is serving as the host of Michigan State University’s Spartan Network. His primary responsibility is covering basketball.
Shetler’s career started with a recorder, a bench and coaches. Shetler called varsity basketball games for his high school as a freshman and then moved on to broadcasting on ii.com with people from DeKalb County, Indiana. He was calling both football and basketball beginning in his sophomore year.
Shetler arrived at Goshen College in 2012, committed to a career in broadcasting. He estimates that he called well over 100 games during his four years at Goshen.
While basketball is his favorite sport to play and announce, that was not the only sport he broadcasted. At Goshen College, he covered soccer, volleyball, basketball, baseball and softball games.
In his junior year at Goshen College, he became a play-by-play announcer for Regional Radio Sports Network, calling the Mishawaka Penn football games on Friday nights.
By putting in effort and making connections and “being [himself],” he moved from college life to professional life at Spartan Network. This opportunity came at a press conference in Chicago where he had the chance to interview players for Regional Radio Sports Network. He unknowingly met the executive of Spartan Sports Network, Wendy Hart.
“It all started with some technical difficulties with the audio equipment,” Shetler said. “None of the press could get their audio to work. I just went with the flow and started to talk to the woman next to me without knowing who she was.”
Shetler had no idea that anything would come of a chance encounter with a complete stranger.
“The next morning I got back to the office, she was on the phone asking for me,” he said. “It was because I was myself and we had a good talk. I forgot to give her my business card or anything, but she remembered where I worked and my name, so she called at work to find me.”
It was Shetler’s passion and love for his work that brought him to the place he is today.
“I do not think I could have gotten here without realizing that each thing I did to prepare myself for games had a purpose,” he said. “And I thank God that He opened this door for me.”
Spencer Buttermore, a junior and former broadcasting partner of Shetler, spoke highly of the hardworking sportscaster.
Buttermore said Shetler’s accomplishments during college included starting a weekly half-hour sports show called “574,” which was named “Best Sports Show” by the Indiana Association of School Broadcasters.
“He is the hardest worker I have ever seen,” Buttermore said.
Buttermore also commented on Shetler’s professionalism on and off the air, noting that he would always wear a suit to away games, and he took along a briefcase.
“Dalton was always overprepared and never took a timeout,” Buttermore said.
When he heard Buttermore’s comment about how he always went far beyond what was expected of him, Shelter chuckled.
“I took pride in my work, and that really opened my eyes in college,” he said. “Once I found a reason as to why I did things, then everything just clicked.”
Shetler brought so many pregame notes that he could easily shorten a half-hour pregame show to 10 minutes.
“I brought so much prep work that in doing the work I became more and more efficient with my time and knowledge,” Shetler said. “I built a game card for each game so that I had a small cheat sheet.”
Buttermore even talked about how Shetler would always do three to four well-thought-out sports feature packages for the sports side of the Correspondent, the GC TV station. Even with only two weeks in between episodes, Shelter was always working hard. With the Globe and the Correspondent, Shetler has even sacrificed sleep for a few days to be able to juggle all of these responsibilities with schoolwork.
“Well, I take pride in working hard, but unfortunately that results in a lack of sleep,” Shetler said. “It paid off, though. I just thank God for opening this door for me.”