As unlikely as it may seem, there are two people named Lance Stewart based in the Charlotte area who operate cameras in sports arenas and venues across the country for outfits like Raycom, FOX and ESPN.
But only one of the two is from Henderson. And “our” Lance Stewart chatted with George Hoyle, John C. Rose and Bill Harris Thursday on Sports Talk as he made his way to his next assignment.
Stewart is a 1988 graduate of Vance Senior High, where he snapped photos for the school yearbook and newspaper. His interest in both sports and photography continued in his college years at Elon, and it’s there that he developed (pun intended!) an interest in video production.
He hung around Elon for awhile after he graduated in 1992, making his way as a free-lancer until he took a buddy up on his suggestion of moving to Charlotte.
He has a vivid memory of that time: “The day I went down to look for an apartment, they announced the franchise,” Stewart recalled, referring to the Carolina Panthers.
He’d been a Houston Oilers fan, but they’d moved to Tennessee, so he hitched his wagon to this new North Carolina team. And just a couple of years later, he found himself working the games.
“I’ve been fortunate to work their preseason team since they’ve been a team,” Stewart said.
Whether it’s the Panthers or the Hornets in Charlotte, the ‘Canes at PNC in Raleigh or the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA, chances are Stewart is there, working his magic with the cameras to capture all the action.
He does this as a freelancer, which means he depends on others to pick up the phone and call him about jobs.
That’s exactly how he got to check off one of his “bucket list” gigs: working the Little League World Series.
“Growing up, watching it,” Stewart said of the international competition, he said he remembers thinking, “that is really cool, I would really love to do that someday.” That someday came a couple of years ago when he got a message from a business contact asking him what he had going on in August. When he learned that it was doing camera work for the Little League World Series, he had just two words: “I’m in.”
“It’s something that I really look forward to every year. The Little League (World Series) is amazing because you’ve got all these kids from different countries…and the excitement they have” is something to see.
Stewart gets to see a lot of the action through the cameras he uses.
It’s work, to be sure, but he said he feels so fortunate to be one of those people who gets to do what they love and love what they do.
“Even if it’s back-to-back Hornets games,” he said, “no two days are the same.
He puts in a lot of miles traveling by car during basketball season, and he’s flying just about every weekend to work during football season, but you’ll not hear Stewart complain one bit.
“I get to cover the teams that I love – the Panthers, Hornets, and occasionally the Hurricanes – I’m getting paid to see my favorite teams play,” he said. “I’m very blessed and very fortunate.” And although it was a radio interview, odds are he had a great big smile on his face.