How many years have you done play-by-play?
About eight years. I provided color commentary for a few years before doing play-by-play.
How long did it take you to get the hang of it?
My first game doing play by play was October 18, 2013, Lumberjack football vs. Coeur d’Alene JV. I was nervous, to say the least, but I had a great mentor in Bill Anderson. I’m sure it took a bit to get into the swing of things and try to develop a style. It’s the same every year, and even when you go from one season to another it takes a minute to get into a flow.
What is your favorite/least favorite sport to broadcast?
I don’t really have a favorite or a least favorite. I enjoy getting to give athletes a voice on the radio so fans that can’t make games can still follow along. If I had to choose – basketball is nice since it’s inside and you don’t have to deal with weather. We don’t always have a booth for football.
Which sport is the most difficult to call, and why?
Basketball, due to the pace, trying to enter stats into a tablet while keeping an eye on the action can be tough sometimes. I either don’t get every stat, or I miss a shot or a rebound. Football isn’t bad as it typically has a good pace. Baseball and softball can be slow so you have to fill some airtime. This year we started doing soccer and volleyball, so learning how to call new sports was interesting.
Which game has been the most memorable for you?
The 2016 state championship football game, for obvious reasons. Second would be the boys state basketball championship game in 2019. It was an exciting overtime game, we just came out on the wrong side of that one. Third would be girls softball state in 2017-18. The first day of the tournament was in Pocatello and at the end of the day a huge rainstorm came through and made the fields unplayable, so the next day it was moved to Minico. The girls played two games, losing the first to Melba 5-2 but they bounced back and I believe they won the third place game 14-4 over Declo.
What is something people don’t understand about play-by-play?
It’s not just as easy as talking. You have to learn rosters, it’s not difficult to learn the Lumberjack roster by heart, but trying to memorize opposing teams rosters. Being a small station it’s usually just me keeping track of stats and calling the game, and that can get crazy. We are not ESPN, I don’t have three or four people helping, handing me stats or information.
Who is the best player you’ve seen in person?
I can’t just name one. There have been so many athletes from St. Maries that have been so fun to watch them come up through the program, and different sports. I enjoy watching all of them play. I always like walking into practice or a game and having the kids waving and saying hi. Also when they ask if I’m going to a particular game or state.
What is the best/worst venue you’ve called games at?
The Kibbie Dome, Holt Arena, Idaho Center, Capital High School. Most of the state tournament gyms are nice. It’s not really a “worst” venue, but we played at Freeman High School a long time ago, and I had to climb a little ladder up to the roof of their announcer booth. That was before I decided it was fun to sit with the fans at home games.
What kind of preparations do you make before calling a game?
I usually spend several hours putting together my stats and notes. Typing out a pre-game template to follow to stay on track. Sometimes it’s difficult to find information and stats on opponents, so you do what you can to find info. I will spend some time watching game film of opponents if I can find any to see what they do and who their key players are.