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A Look back At 200
Greetings from The Booth!
Well, it’s March, and we’re playing football at Shenandoah University. the Hornets will play the home opener of what is an abbreviated Spring schedule this Friday night (3-5) at Shentel Stadium against ODAC foe Hampden-Sydney. SU fell to Bridgewater on the road last weekend 27-21, in a game that started slowly, but found the Hornets right in the game until the end.
I was doing some math this week and it turns out that Friday night’s game will be my 200th play-by-play broadcast of Shenandoah University football, which is quite a milestone. I have many great memories from the past 20-plus seasons, and thought I’d share a few in this week’s VFB.
We’ll start with the road trips, which began in the late Summer of 2000, with the very first SU game at Bethany (WV) in a “media van,” filled with broadcasters & video crews. Quite a ride, which was highlighted by Rick Ours’ famous “Fries n Bleu” at a stop in Morgantown. There were the endless rides to Fayetteville, NC and Maryville, TN (which always seemed like 3-day excursions), and the many trips in-between. And now we ride in comfort in school-supplied cars! Lots of miles on the odometer.
I must give a nod to the many color commentators who have been by my side over the years. the very first was my late friend Mike Kelly, who I think about often. Dennis Cox would always find a way to Crozet, no matter where that week’s road trip took us. I was fortunate enough to share the booth with Walter Barr, who forgot more football than I’ll ever know. Local great Trey Kern, who had so much energy and passion about football, that it was contagious. And of course, Scott Musa, the king of multi-tasking. Thanks, Scott, for all those stops at the legendary Mac n’ Bob’s in Roanoke & Macado’s in Farmville! We eat pretty well on the road.
At this point I will mention the Hornet head coaches, who I have formed great relationships with over the years. The first was the aforementioned Coach Barr, who started the program, and was so complimentary of my work. An absolute legend! I will always cherish my talks with Coach Paul Barnes, who made me feel like a part of the ’03 & ’04 years by giving me a championship ring. And Coach Scott Yoder, who is so accommodating with his time and knowledge of the “x’s” and “o’s” and is a true family man.
Finally, the teams and players. I have been so blessed to watch players like Rico Wallace, Hayden Bauserman, Anthony Frates, and so many others who have worn the Midnight Blue. There have been ups and downs, but every season had it’s own personality and memories. To broadcast an NCAA playoff game was a great thrill, and something I hope to repeat in the near future.
It’s been a great 200-game ride, one I hope will not end anytime soon. May the next 200 be just as memorable!
Until next time from The Booth…GO HORNETS!