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Southern Sports Network Staff

Chris Dodson, Executive Director

I attended Spartan School of Aeronautics to obtain my commercial instrument rating as a pilot and then attended Cameron University as a Communications Major specializing in Radio and T.V. Broadcasting. I have served as a public address announcer at many levels, including collegiate sports. In addition to my time in the Pac-12, I was a replay official for the American Athletic Conference and Conference USA.

I am originally from Lawton, Oklahoma, and now live in Claremore, OK. Previous to my move, I lived in Bentonville, AR where the Southern Sports Network was born. I also resided in the Seattle, Washington area where I enjoyed my time with the Pac-12 in football and volleyball replay as well as creating the Majorly Minor Show, a weekly internet-based broadcast covering semi-professional football across a four-state region.

I am also the president of Zoning Consulting Resources LLC, a zoning compliance and due diligence company.

Steven Blackiston, Operations Director

I am a graduate of the University of Arkansas with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. I am currently pursuing a Master of Education in recreation and sports management at the University of Arkansas as well. My passion for broadcasting started in high school when I got the opportunity to interview the nightly keynote speakers at Missouri Boy’s State. Since then I’ve been involved with UATV, Razorback Sports Network and the local NPR affiliate, KUAF.

My role for SSN is quite a large one. Chris and I work constantly on the next thing! Whether that’s booking games to broadcast, coming up with social media content, or creating crew lists. Where you’ll mainly see me is behind the mic during our numerous broadcasts!

When I’m not working, I like to explore the beauty of the Ozarks while listening to anything from George Strait to Pink Floyd or attending a Razorback sporting event and spending time with my beautiful girlfriend Lizzy Lankford. 

Carson Smallwood, Director of Sales & Enablement

I am a current member of the United States Army National Guard and have attended Northeastern State University where I pursued a Bachelor degree in Education where I competed in Football as a running back.

Originally form Pryor, Oklahoma, I qualified for State in Track 3 straight years and have won both conference and state awards, including 15 records at Pryor H.S. in Football.

As a Minority Owner of the Southern Sports Network, I’m excited for the future because of the hard work, dedication and creative minds.

I have a wonderful wife Sarah and two amazing daughters, Serenity and Lexa whom love spending time with and enjoying life.

Adam Annaratone, Producer

I’m a native of Memphis, TN, and received my Bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Memphis in 2013. I’ve also received a Master’s degree from Sacred Heart University in Sports Communication and Media in 2016.

Prior to joining SSN, I was a Creative Services Assistant with the Bowling Green Hot Rods, the Single-A Affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. I’ve also worked as a Production Intern for One World Sports and a Production Assistant with Bellator MMA. I have also spent time working for the Sacred Heart University Athletic Department and the NEC Network to help broadcast basketball and volleyball games.

I’m blessed to be married to his beautiful wife Brianna, together they are raising their wonderful son Emmett and making sure their dog June isn’t getting into trouble.

In my free time, my hobbies include spending time with my family, playing video games, fishing, and watching sports.

Nick Bravo, Producer & Camera Operator

I’m a University of Arkansas graduate with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. I worked with J.B. Hunt for a year doing Video Production before joining The Southern Sports Network team. I’ve helped in a control and broadcast booth starting my Freshman year of high school, all the way through where I am now. I worked in a radio booth during high school covering the Heritage War Eagles and being on the sidelines with a camera during college covering the Arkansas Razorbacks. I’m an avid bowler and enjoy the outdoors whether it be playing sports or going on a bike ride.

Matt Edwards, On-Air Talent

I am a current member of the United States Army National Guard and a lineman for AEP/PSO. I enjoy commentating any and all sports and look forward to new and challenging aspects of commentary.

Tyler McCurdy, Camera Operator

My role at the Southern Sports Network is the main field camera operator and have captured numerous events from football, basketball and pro-wrestling.

I am also the Offense and Defensive line coach for the Tulsa Gators Semi-professional football team.

Drew Watzke, On-Air Talent

I began my broadcasting career in 2017 as a play-by-play and color commentator for Broken Arrow High School’s men’s and women’s basketball teams at ArrowVision. After enrolling at the University of Arkansas, I started “Razor(back) On-Air,” a weekly Arkansas sports talk show on KXUA 88.3. I also served as the sports section editor at Arkansas’s school newspaper “The Traveler” in 2019-20. I currently work in the Arkansas Athletics communication office helping with the Razorback baseball and women’s basketball teams.

Jackson McAfee, On-Air Talent

I am a sophomore at The University of Arkansas and working toward my degree in Broadcast Journalism. I attended Gentry High School where I was the football and basketball videographer for four years. I am currently a sports anchor for UATV as well as a sports journalist for the “Arkansas Traveler.” I joined the Southern Sports Network in the fall of 2019 and am very excited about this opportunity. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, watching and playing sports as well as being active in my church community.