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“They Like Me, They Really Like Me!”

27 April 2018 Views From The Booth Sports


Winchester PrintersGreetings from The Booth!

And Happy Bloom! Yes, the 91st Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival is underway as of this writing, and just in time, it looks like warmer weather is grabbing a foothold for next week’s events.

A quick congrats to Shenandoah University Head Baseball Coach Kevin Anderson, who earned his 600th win as a collegiate head coach this past week.  An amazing accomplishment, to say the least.  BTW, well over 400 of those victories have come as the “Head Hornet.”

Last Saturday was, as they say, a “Red Letter Day.”  Our radio station, The River 95-3, took home 6 awards from the Associated Press of Virginia & West Virginia, in a ceremony held at the prestigious Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV.  My name was on 2 of those honors, “Outstanding Sports Operation of the Virginias”, and “Best Sports Feature” for the “Sports Dogs After Hours” show that I host with Clint DeHaven every Thursday night.

Unfortunately I did not attend, and as there are no acceptance speeches per se, I thought I would use this forum for a few thank-you’s and memories, and some reflection on people and events that have gotten me to this point in my life & career. I will go on until I hear the proverbial exit music that tells me my time is up…

Thanks to whoever bought me that portable reel-to-reel tape recorder when I was 10 years old. I wish I still had the tapes of the Washington Senators games I used to re-create, using white noise from the TV as my crowd sound effects.  From that point I was hooked on sports play-by-play.

Thanks to the late great Ed Dockney of WEPM in Martinsburg who gave this youngster a tour of the station many years ago and let him (me) record a sample sportscast. I’ll never forget that!

I’ll also always remember the time spent as the public address announcer at Pikeside Field on the nights I wasn’t playing in the Martinsburg Senior Little League. One of my fondest memories was playing Loudoun Wainwright III’s song “Dead Skunk” over the loudspeaker as my “5th inning song.”

I can’t name every play-by-play announcer who influenced me, but I will mention some.  Shelby Whitfield (who did Senators TV with Warner Wolf), Curt Gowdy (Voice of the AFL), and Frank Herzog (who will always be the voice of the Redskins) come immediately to mind.  A nod to Jim Daddysman, who did Alderson-Broaddus College men’s basketball when I was there, and who was incredibly helpful in my attempts at calling AB women’s b-ball.

Speaking of that, the memories come flooding back of all the trips we took to places like Institute, Fairmont and Elkins (WV) broadcasting the Lady Battlers.  Take me home, Country Roads!

Thanks to all the broadcast partners I’ve had over the years, who braved all kinds of venues, technical challenges, and weather conditions. You all share in any kind of recognition I might be lucky enough to receive.

And, thanks to the many great people I’ve met and become friends with at Shenandoah University. Since 1989 you’ve all made me feel like a part of your University and family. Thanks for the faith you have in me to be the public address voice of SU basketball and the 19-year voice of Hornets football.  My goal from day-one was to produce a broadcast that would sound like a major college game to someone tuning in at random on a given Saturday.  According to the AP, we’ve done that.

Well, there’s the exit music.  So until the next “Views From The Booth”, thanks to the Associated Press for the incredible honors, and…GO HORNETS!

RW


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