Meet the Team
Veteran sportscaster Tom Nieman is one of the play-by-play voices and faces of Midco Sports Network. He also creates new shows and puts together the viewing schedule in his role as Programming Manager. Nieman grew up in Kansas and eventually landed in Huron, SD, graduating from Huron High where he was voted Most Likely to Work Someday at a TV Sports Network. He played basketball for the South Dakota State Jackrabbits and earned his Broadcast Journalism degree from SDSU in 1990. Nieman started his TV career as sports anchor and reporter for KELO-TV in Sioux Falls and since 2008 has been the play-by-play announcer for Midcontinent Communications (now Midco Sports Network). Nieman is a die-hard Kansas Jayhawks fan and a fair-weather follower of the Chiefs and the Royals.
Jay Elsen joined the Midco Sports Network team in 2010 as an Announcer/Programming Assistant calling the action for your hometown team. He grew up playing just about everything in his hometown of Sparta, WI, but soccer was always his true passion. Jay went on to play goalkeeper for Northwestern College in Saint Paul where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Broadcasting/Electronic Media. After beginning his career at KEYC-TV in Mankato, Elsen made his way to South Dakota in 2005. He was at KELO-TV in Sioux Falls for five years. In addition to high school and small college sports, he’s had the privilege of covering NFL training camp and regular season, the NBA playoffs, three NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournaments and the 2004 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships. Elsen enjoys cheering on all things Wisconsin, especially the Badgers, Brewers and Packers. He lists the Packers’ Super Bowl victories (XXXI, XLV) and the University of Wisconsin’s surprising run to the 2000 Final Four as his greatest sports memories.
Dan Hammer joined Midco Sports Network in August of 2012 as On Air Talent and Host. He provides play by play for all University of North Dakota events on Midco Sports Network and produces and hosts UND Sports Extra, a half hour program seen weekly on Midco Sports Network for forty weeks a year.
Dan is a 31 year veteran of Television and Radio Broadcasting. He served as Sports Director of KVLY-TV in Fargo, ND for twenty one years. He also served as Sports Director for Radio Fargo Moorhead. Dan has provided play by play for University of North Dakota football and hockey, College Hockey’s Frozen Four, North Dakota State University football, North Dakota High School State football, basketball and hockey championships, Fargo Moorhead Redhawks baseball and the Fargo Moorhead Icesharks and Fargo Force United States Hockey League teams. Dan has also produced and hosted a number of feature length television programs including Vikings Extra, One on One with Erv Inniger, High School Sports Weekly and The Bison Football Pre-Game Show. In addition he’s had the opportunity to report from the World Series, The Final Four, and several NFC Championship games.
Sports is also a favorite past time of Dan’s. He’s an avid fan of the Vikings, Twins and Wild and loves returning to his roots in northeastern South Dakota to fish the waters of the Glacial Lakes where he chases walleyes and pan fish.Dan is a native of Sisseton, South Dakota. He has a Daughter, Molly.
Jason Andera brings enthusiasm and experience to Midco Sports Net as the high school sports expert. Jason is a native of Sioux Falls, SD and graduated from Lincoln high school in 1993. He went on to the University of South Dakota and earned a degree in Mass Communication. Andera has covered high school sports in South Dakota since 1998 as the project manager for the 'KSFY Pigskin Preview' and 'KSFY Basketball Preview' magazines. In 2005 Jason launched his own high school football website that covered everything from pre-season through the title games in South Dakota. From 2007-2010 Jason has done on-air work for KSFY-TV in Sioux Falls, giving analysis and predictions for their high school football coverage. You'll find Jason cheering on his favorite college team, the Michigan Wolverines, and his favorite pro teams, the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Twins, and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Joey Beltrame joined the Midco Sports Network staff in 2010 as a Resident On-Air Announcer/Programming Assistant. He considers himself a utility man because one day he could be announcing or sideline reporting and the next day he could be running a camera or helping with graphics. Joe worked for the Iowa Cubs and the Iowa Barnstormers Arena football organization. A native of Des Moines, Joe was a three-sport athlete in high school and played quarterback at Winona State University in Minnesota. He later transferred to Grand View University to earn his Broadcasting Degree. The Chicago Cubs have been his favorite team since he first heard announcers Harry Caray and Steve Stone on WGN. He is a passionate Bears fan, even when they had to put up with Rex Grossman. Joe feels the Bulls and Michael Jordan during the 1990s were the greatest spectacle in sports history and he also loved watching the Blackhawks win Lord Stanley’s Cup in 2010. His favorite sports moments both happened in 1998; on May 6th, Joe witnessed Kerry Wood strike out 20 Astro batters. Then on September 13th, he watched his favorite player of all time, Mark Grace, hit a game-winning home run in the bottom of the 10th inning vs. the Brewers on "Gracie the Swan Beanie Baby Day."
Laura Anderson joined Midco Sports Network in 2012 as the Network Support Specialist. Laura was born and raised in Sioux Falls, graduating from Lincoln High School in 2004. She went on to Concordia College in Moorhead, MN where she graduated in 2008 with a degree in communications. Laura helps keep the MidcoSN office running smoothly. She works on travel arrangements, the iGuide, and social media. Laura is known to frequent Lincoln High School sporting events and cheer on the Minnesota Vikings and the Iowa State Cyclones.
Terry Hunter is responsible for Business Development for Midco Sports Network. Being a part of MidcoSN gives Terry the chance to work with local schools and businesses where he knows there is a strong fanbase for high school and college sports in the viewing area. A Sioux Falls native, Terry graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1994, then went on to play football at the University of South Dakota where he received his degree in Marketing and Advertising in 1998. After college Terry worked for Scheels Sports for seven years before taking on a Sales Representative position for Reebok and Adidas, covering the Midwest. Having worked with the Minnesota Vikings, Wild, Timberwolves, and Twins, Terry brings a passion and respect for the sports world with expertise in the business side as well. He is a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fan during the NFL season and is an avid fan of the NBA. Terry’s favorite sports icon of all time is Michael Jordan, the most decorated player in NBA history. Terry lives by the quote, "You never get a second chance at a first impression."
Nate Burdine is a Sioux Falls native and serves as a Executive Producer for Midco Sports Network. He’s a South Dakota State University graduate but also spent a year at the University of Nebraska. He has more than 11 years experience working in sports, news and advertising. For him, the best part about working with Midco Sports Network is traveling to different places to experience game day atmospheres. Nate is also dedicated to figuring out which town has the best local pizza (so far, it’s Aberdeen). Nate’s favorite pro teams are the Minnesota Twins and the Green Bay Packers.
Dan Aspan is a Producer for Midco Sports Network and joined the team after working for the Miami Dolphins. He is responsible for shooting, editing, and writing pieces for broadcast. Everything from exclusive interviews to producing opening segments and feature stories are part of his workload. Dan is the producer for our live broadcasts and works with Nate and the rest of the production team to produce taped shows as well. A native of the Philadelphia suburbs, Dan attended American University in Washington, DC and received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. He then became a multimedia producer with the Miami Dolphins Internet and Publications department. Though still far from home, Dan will always remain a die-hard Philadelphia sports fan, naming the Phillies as his favorite team. Dan was at Game 4 of the 2008 World Series, which the Phillies won 10-2 over Tampa Bay. The Phillies then went on to win the series in five games and became world champions. Dan is an avid traveler and has plans to tour Brazil during the 2014 World Cup.
Nathan Aamodt joined the Midco Sports Network team in 2011 as a Producer. He serves as a producer, statistician and camera operator for our live broadcasts. A native of Horace, N.D; Nathan graduated from Minnesota State University-Moorhead with a Mass Communications Degree (Broadcast Journalism emphasis). Nathan worked as a sports writer for the Grand Forks Herald, as well as a Sports Reporter/Photographer for the ABC and FOX affiliates in Fargo. Nathan’s been lucky enough to cover exciting sports events such as Minnesota Vikings Training Camp, NDSU’s run to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in 2009 and the 2010 NFL Divisional Playoffs (Dallas Cowboys vs Minnesota Vikings). Nathan is a die-hard Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Twins fan. In fact, Nathan would have gone to the Super Bowl for work if not for the ever-depressing 12 men in a huddle and Brett Favre’s errant cross-body throw (not that he’s bitter or anything).
As a Grand Forks, ND native, Mike Derman grew up following University of North Dakota sports and working in local television. He's now combined these two interests into his current position as Coordinating Producer for Midco Sports Network in Grand Forks.
Mike currently oversees the production of all UND sports telecasts and the weekly ‘UND Sports Extra’. He coordinates crew, communicates with the facilities, and also serves as game-day director.
His television career began at WDAZ-TV in Grand Forks while he was still in high school. For nearly 35 years, Mike worked in all aspects of the station's production department. He also served as the Director/Producer for the Fighting Sioux Sports Network from 2001 - 2012.
Mike's freelance experiences include stints with ESPN, Victory Sports and Fox Sports North where he has covered everything from hockey to baseball. His live sports telecasts have also been seen on ESPNU, The NHL Network and Fox College Sports.
His favorite sports experience was directing three games in two states, all within a 24-hour period. He also traveled twice to Arkansas to televise the UND women’s basketball team as they won back-to-back national titles. His favorite pro teams are the Minnesota Vikings and Twins. He also enjoys watching former UND athletes now playing in the NHL.
When he's not working behind-the-scenes, Mike and his wife, Kim, enjoy spending time with their three children and new grandson.
Darren joined Midco Sports Network in 2012 when the team headed north to Grand Forks to cover the University of North Dakota. As a part of the production team, Darren helps produce UND Sports Extra and also is a part of Midco Sports Network’s live broadcasts of UND sports. He grew up in Devils Lake, ND and graduated from the University of North Dakota in 2007 with a major in Communication. Darren worked for the Grand Forks ABC news affiliate as a director, sports photographer and creative writer for their advertising department. He enjoys watching all sports, but baseball is far and away his favorite. He plays city-league basketball and led his softball team in pop outs for the fifth straight season. Darren is thrilled to be able to follow his alma mater and is excited for the upcoming seasons with Midco Sports Network.
Jordon Weideman is a native of Columbia SD, and serves as Motion Graphics Artist for Midco Sports Network. He is a 1999 graduate of South Dakota State University with a degree in Graphic Design. Jordon has more than 14 years of experience creating 2D and 3D motion graphics, video editing and art direction for professional and collegiate teams and major commercial customers. He has produced content for the Texas Rangers, Washington Redskins, Iowa State Cyclones and Coca-Cola among others. For him, the best part about working at Midco Sports Network is the fun fast-paced environment and being able to create cool sports graphics every day. Jordon’s favorite sports teams include the Washington Redskins, Minnesota Twins, San Antonio Spurs and the SDSU Jackrabbits
A native of Sturgis, SD, Ron Peterson is the Chief Engineer for Midco Sports Network. He is the go-to guy for all engineering needs in the studio and on the road. He keeps all the cameras, tape decks, audio and computers functioning smoothly each season and throughout the year. Ron’s favorite part about working with Midco Sports Network is the challenges that arise with the ever-changing technology. Just recently, he managed the task of switching the studio over to four separate high definition feeds and is looking forward to many more challenges. During the games, you will most likely find Ron looking for better camera angles or shots to bring all the edge-of- your-seat excitement right to your TV.
Toby J. McDonald has been a part of MidcoSN from it's inception in 2007. Toby was the Technical Director for the very first game that was broadcast on MidcoSN which aired from the DakotaDome at the University of South Dakota. Toby has freelanced the past six years and was hired full time in August 2012.
Toby started his career in 1984 working at KELO-TV as a projectionist. He later advanced his career becoming a technical director and then in 1997 was promoted to the role as a director. During his tenure at KELO Toby directed KELOLAND This Morning, Midday in KELOLAND, KELOLAND News at 5, 6 & 10. Toby also directed many live events including the Children's Miracle Network Telethon for over 20 years, the Live Doppler Weather Specials, and a host of live sports programming including rodeo, hockey, football, basketball, soccer and sprint car racing.
While at KELO-TV he received a Regional Emmy, for the market size of 21 – 140 for breaking news coverage. He also had the privilege of directing the two Honor Flight Specials which also received an Honorable Mention award.
Toby is a lifelong resident of Sioux Falls where he lives with his wife and 3 children. Toby is a huge fan of hockey and is looking forward to the opportunity to work on some of the UND hockey games on MidcoSN.
Originally from Rhode Island, Adam joined Midco Sports Network as Master Control Room Operator in 2011, coming from a career in New York. His previous work includes NBC, ESPN PPV/espn360, YES, NBAtv, NHL Network, NFL Network, CBS College Sports, A&E, History Channel, Telemundo, CNBC, and CBS. He has worked live events including the 2008 Summer Olympics and 2010 FIFA World, NHL Stanley Cup and the WNBA finals. His favorite teams are the New Orleans Saints, the Celtics, the Bruins, and Louisiana State football.
Jasen Lenz is a native resident of Ellsworth, MN. As broadcast engineer for Midco Sports Network, most of his duties are computer related. He has 23 years of computer schooling, experience, and training. You may find him occasionally watching the Minnesota Twins.
Darrel is a veteran broadcast engineer at Midco Sports Network. He was born in Canby, MN but was raised across the border in Sisseton, SD. He began his television career at KEVN-TV in Rapid City and recently spent close to thirty years at KSFY-TV in Sioux Falls, highlighted by the last five years as their Chief Engineer. Darrel’s favorite pro team to follow is the Minnesota Vikings.