People ask me all the time why do you broadcast cross country, tennis, golf, track and dance? KLQP Radio Sports to my knowledge is the only radio station around that cover these sports on the radio and are at the actual events broadcasting. I am proud of that and let me explain why I cover these sports.
My first year broadcasting high school sports for KLQP radio was 1992, I enjoyed broadcasting football, basketball and baseball. I remember adding volleyball and softball soon after I started broadcasting. So I covered what most people would call the major high school sports. I hate that term major sport.
You can thank my son Brandon for getting me started in broadcasting cross country and dance, tennis and golf. He opened my eyes to the “minor” sports, and I hate that term also. Brandon graduated from LQPV high school in 2002, when he was in seventh, eighth and ninth grade he played football, then the beginning of his sophomore year he came home and said that he was quitting football and going out for cross country. I said “No you’re not! I was not happy about his decision, but eventually agreed to let him try it.
My very first cross country meet was when Brandon ran in Milbank, South Dakota. It was a Saturday and I didn’t know what to expect. I knew nothing about cross country. I didn’t know how they scored points, I didn’t have any idea how far they ran, or how many runners ran. We watched the start of the race and Brandon and the other boys ran by us and I saw on their faces how hard they were working. Brandon isn’t a natural runner, if that’s a thing natural runner. Raymos aren’t runners. Carrie Tollefson is a natural runner to me. We saw Brandon and the other boys about half way through the run and I realized he was running more than a mile. I remember asking someone next to me, how far do they run? He said 5000 meters. That meant nothing to me. I later found out it’s three miles! My wife and I were at the finish line watching the runners come in. Brandon was struggling as he finished, but he crossed the finish line and I remember saying out loud “my son just ran 3 miles”! I have never been so proud of him.
In fact as I said earlier, I wasn’t very happy with his decision to run cross country and it wasn’t very pleasant in our house between us. Then I saw for the first time in Milbank how hard he and the other kids were working at cross country. They were putting their heart and soul into this sport. After I saw him finish his three miles and being so proud of him I went behind a tree and shed a few tears. I felt terrible about how I had treated him since he said he wasn’t going out for football. When Brandon got home I told him I was sorry, I was wrong and apologized for being upset he hadn’t gone out for football and let him know just how proud I was of him today in Milbank.
Since that Saturday in Milbank, I said to myself, these cross country kids are working just as hard as football players. They practice just as hard if not harder. I said to Maynard my boss at the radio station, we need to recognize these kids in cross country. We need to cover them like we do football. Maynard agreed with me. Since then we have expanded to the other sports of dance team, track and field, golf and tennis. We don’t broadcast play by play, but we cover them in other ways with interviews and giving results on the radio and on our social media sites.
Covering these sports has been so much fun and over the years I have learned so much about each sport. I have been blessed to cover area schools that have gone onto state for golf, tennis, cross country and dance. I get many thank you’s from coaches, student athletes, parents and grandparents for being at the golf course or tennis court broadcasting on the radio. Many memories have been made over the years covering these sports.
I am glad I was at Pebble Creek when the LQPV girls golf team won a state championship. I have been watching LQPV’s Rachel Halvorson at state since she has been in 7th grade and winning a state title. LQPV/DB Shadows dance team winning two state titles in 2019. The state cross country meet at St. Olaf is a great experience. I have watched and interviewed some of the best runners in the state. LQPV/D/B cross country teams have been a treat to follow. I can go on with a list of memories over these years covering tennis, cross country, track and field, golf and dance. Its been a fun ride and I look forward to seeing you on the golf course next spring or at state dance next February.