March Madness!! For me nothing is more exciting than being at the RA Facility at SMSU in Marshall this time of year. I have been broadcasting high school basketball games at the RA for years. When that gym is full of people and quality basketball teams are on the floor it doesn’t get much better than that. The best part is I have a front row seat.
The last few weeks at the RA Facility in Marshall have been a roller coaster of emotions for me. From extreme highs to extreme lows. As a broadcaster you get to know the players, coaches, parents and even grandparents very well over the course of the season. You could say I get attached to them and want them to succeed.
Spending time in the RA means spending time with other radio station sports broadcasters. I usually see them during the season, but we are all at the RA at playoff time. It’s fun visiting with them, we sportscasters are like a fraternity. Marshall radio sportscaster Anthony Rohlik has become a good friend. He does amazing work with play by play and keeping stats. It’s always fun to visit with him. Joshua from Marshall radio and I cross paths often as well and he is very professional. I can’t forget my newspaper buddies. Joe Brown from the West Central Tribune in Willmar and Sam Thiel from Marshall. I had the opportunity to spend some time with both of them at the RA this past week. They both are great writers and I read their articles everyday.
One of my favorite moments at the RA Facility was broadcasting the Montevideo girls basketball championship game with my son Brandon Friday night. The Thunder Hawks beat Fairmont to go to the state basketball tournament for the first time in school history. Brandon and I sat right next to the Montevideo bench and the Montevideo fans were sitting behind us cheering loudly. It was a great atmosphere! The postgame show was really fun interviewing the coach and some of the girls. They were so happy to be going to state!.
Earlier that night the Minneota girls punched their way to the state tournament for the 5th year in a row. I know the coaches, players and parents pretty well after covering them year after year. It’s a great school and community. The RA Facility is like a home court for the Vikings and I am really looking forward to covering them this week at Williams Arena.
The Dawson-Boyd Blackjacks and Lac qui Parle Valley Eagles boys played some great games at the RA and it was a blast to broadcast their games. The Eagles played CMC really tough on Thursday and the Blackjacks did the same Saturday. It’s always sad to see the season end for the teams you cover.
The RA Facility over the years sure has some stories to tell. The best high school basketball game I ever broadcast was at the RA when RTR played Ellsworth to go to state. Cody Shilling and his brother Casey played for Ellsworth. They beat the Knights in overtime. Cody now does some refereeing and he did a number of games at the RA this week. The RA is an amazing place, lots of memories there and looking forward to making many more in the years to come.