Category Archives: Interview

Fledderjohann resigns as NK coach

NEW KNOXVILLE – In addition to losing five seniors from this past seasons 9-14 squad, the New Knoxville Rangers Boys Basketball program will be looking for a new Head Coach as Kort Fledderjohann given his resignation to the school this week.

Due to expanding job and family responsibilities, Varsity Boys’ Basketball coach Kort Fledderjohann has tendered his resignation. Coach Fledderjohann served in the basketball program for 13 years, the last 6 as head coach a press release from the school states. In that time he compiled a record of 71 wins and 64 losses. His 2010-2011 team claimed the Midwest Athletic Conference title. “We are grateful for coach Fledderjohann’s loyal service to our school and student-athletes over the years. He served as a positive role model and was a great representative of our community.”

Interested applicants for the position should submit an application (which can be found on the school website www.nk.k12.oh.us) and resume to athletic director, Jerry Vanderhorst at jvanderhorst@nkrangers.org Deadline for applications is April 10th.

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NEO Girls Basketball Combine Showcase

The first ever Northeast Ohio Combine & Showcase took place this past Sunday, September 7th at Tuslaw High School in Massillon, Ohio and was a rousing success according to Rich Harland who operates Hall of Fame Huddle, one of the two organizers of the event:

Jim Dabbelt of the Dabbelt Report, the Dayton girls basketball guru who is hosting his own event in Tipp City on September 21st for young ladies looking to get college exposure also stated he too was more than happy with how well the event went, “I think it went very well and is a great starting point for future events here in Northeast Ohio.”

With many college scouts in attendance, the event got started at 9am with a multitude of skills challenges such as a standing vertical measurement and a lane agility test for all of the 80 young ladies in attendance.

One of the most impressive measurements of the day that I caught a glimpse of was the 74 inch wingspan displayed by Triniti Lee, a Freshman from nearby Massillon Jackson. IMG_0465

Following completion of the measurements and a few drills, the girls were split up into teams to each play a pair of games inside the Tuslaw High School and Middle School gyms.

The first game of the day in the HS gym featured the Purple and Pink teams matching up. Coming into the combine I had heard a lot about a young lady who is the reigning NBC player of the year in Ali Poole, and the Junior from Carrollton lived up to her billing. One of the things I was most impressed with during the course of the two games were the quick hands that Ali showed off as she pilfered a couple of balls and led her team on easy drives to the basket on the opposite end, as she is fantastic with the ball in the open court and as a finisher.

Junior Caitlin Tytler really impressed me underneath the basket in the two games I saw of her as she has a tough personality on the court and is a terrific rebounder with a real nose for the basketball. On one possession in the first game I watched her in awe as she used her body to position herself for three straight offensive boards before being fouled while trying to score one herself.

On the other side of the ball, the pink team had two players jump out at me right away in Karlee Pireu (Junior, Perry) for her high basketball IQ and her quick jumpshot from the perimeter. I’ve got a feeling that Perry is going to be quite good this season between Karlee and teammate Kimmie Borck who is one of the toughest finishers at the rim I saw all day. Gabby Mitchell, a much heralded Freshman who will be plying her trade for the Solon Comets this season also impressed the heck out of me with her great range and ability to hit from deep as she drilled a pair of three pointers with a hand in her face from the wing in the first contest.

#54 Karlee Pireu – SO, Perry
#54 Karlee Pireu – SO, Perry

With each team playing 25 minute halves, it gave the spectators a chance to rotate gyms and check out a couple of games at a time, something I took full advantage of at halftime to catch a half of the Green vs Orange matchup in the much warmer Tuslaw Middle School gym.

Each team featured a handful of players I was looking forward to seeing, but none moreso than Orange’s Taylor Mikesell (Freshman from Jackson) who is already receiving interest from every major college program (Notre Dame, Florida State, Indiana, Iowa) before she even laces up her Nikes for the first time in a high school game, and the Green squad’s Brandie Snow (Junior, Lake) who had impressed me earlier in the morning during the skills portion of the day.

Both players were true warriors for their respective squads and got a real challenge for being the best player on the court from their teammates in the Green team’s aforementioned Gabby Mitchell (Fr, Solon) who is beyond lightning quick in transition, and the Orange’s Bethany Koons (Jr, Tuslaw) who impressed me with her ability to create her own shots and turn those opportunities into chances at the free throw line. I only got to witness the second half of this one, but it held up the rest of the day as one of the best games of the day. A funny moment from it came however when the Orange team hit a 3 point basket to break a 27-27 tie but was then realized by the referee that both teams were going the wrong way to open the second half before the score was changed to reflect the mistake.

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Back in the HS gym it was time for the Red squad to take on the Light Blue squad in what turned out to be quite a physical battle later in the game. Light Blue jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first 3 minutes of the game and kept the Red team scoreless until the 16:06 mark when they dented the scoring column with a 13 foot jumper.

With the whole team full of players who impressed me throughout the day it was hard to pick just a couple of players who stood out, especially for the Light Blue squad. Two of the young ladies that stuck out in the first half of this one were Caitlyn Kroll (JR, Bridgeport) for her ability to read the passing lane on defense and use of her size and Lindsey Baker (JR, Wheeling Central (WV) ) who was one of the days best shooters.

While those two young ladies as well as teammate Cortney Huffman (SR, Sandy Valley) were all impressive to me, it was Hoover Junior Lexi Manos that stole the show. With her astonishing court vision and dribbling skills that the Globetrotters would be envious of, Lexi put her team in a prime position to be up on the scoreboard at all times. It is easy to see that being a part of a Hoover team who made it to the State Championship game has given this young lady worlds of confidence as the leads her team this season.

Team Red has some very nice young scorers on their team that were on display as Camille Adelman (SR, Field) showed off her ballhandling skills with both hands and quick scoring ability on multiple trips down the floor. Camille was joined in throwing in a big performance by Izzy Meese (JR, Garaway) who showed she is a beast to deal with near the rim and will work hard to finish a play at all times.

Caitlyn Kroll (Blue) works against Olivia Belknap (Red)
Caitlyn Kroll (Blue) works against Olivia Belknap (Red)

Destinee Lee (Soph, Jackson) really stood out to me for the Maroon team in the final game of the day in a high scoring contest against the aforementioned Light Blue squad. Her ability to defend and rebound really stood out and helped her team while she was in. Unfortunately for her however, her teammates could not keep up with the frantic and pinpoint rhythm set by Manos and Baker. Jackson is going to have a VERY nice team this year I think because of Destinee and Caitlyn Tytler who both put on solid displays for the scouts in attendance.

Dani Norquest (Blue) working hard under the bucket
Dani Norquest (Blue) working hard under the bucket

If I had to wittle down all of the players I was most impressed with to an “All Combine Team” so to speak it would be these 5:

Lindsey Baker – The Junior from Wheeling Central West Virginia is a nice shooter and all around selfless player.

Taylor Mikesell – I mean come on, there’s a reason BIG schools are after her before her FIRST HIGH SCHOOL GAME.

Ali Poole – I thought she got off to a slow start in the morning but really picked it up and is a fantastic leader/scorer.

Brandie Snow – Lake’s Junior really jumped off the charts at me early in the morning as one of the best all-around players and did nothing to hurt that.

Lexi Manos – There aren’t enough superlatives to describe this young lady. A Magic Johnson-esque touch with the basketball jumps her to the head of the class, schools have to be drooling to get her onto their campus.

A big thank you to all of you for reading this and for Jim and Rich for bringing me in to cover this. If you’d like to send me your thoughts just hit me up on twitter @michaelhirnpbp. Be sure to check out the photo gallery from the event by liking my facebook page at www.facebook.com/michaelhirnpbp

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Kirsten Karbach Interview

I am excited to be able to reach out to great broadcasters and interact with them on both LinkedIn and on twitter (@michaelhirnpbp), and then be able to have them share their stories with you here. Today I am fortunate enough to share the story of a terrific young lady I interact with on twitter by the name of Kirsten Karbach who is currently the PBP voice of the Clearwater Threshers and can be reached on twitter https://twitter.com/Kirsten_Karbach
 
How long have you been in broadcasting?
 
It will be four years since my first broadcast this fall.
 

When did you know it was what you wanted to do?

I started volunteering at Bulls Radio, which is the student-run radio station at the University of South Florida, at the beginning of my sophomore year in college. I was never fully set on a particular career path before that, and I had so much fun working there that a few months later I realized this is something I would love to do for the rest of my life. Before that, broadcasting was something I had never even considered doing.

How much time do you spend preparing for a broadcast?
 
It depends on the day, but at the minimum I will come in four hours before first pitch to compile game notes, prep my scorebook, record any pregame segments or interviews we may air that day, and set up the commercial and intro playlist for the broadcast.
What sports do you currently broadcast?
 
Currently I’m broadcasting baseball exclusively, but I have also done basketball, volleyball, and softball.
Who are/were the people you look/looked up to in broadcasting?
 
I was a Tampa Bay Rays fan growing up, so I enjoyed listening to their radio broadcasters Dave Wills and Andy Freed, as well as Dewayne Staats and company on their TV broadcasts. Staats now works with Brian Anderson and, like Wills and Freed, they seem to have a strong camaraderie. Once you get past the basics, I think that is actually one of the most important aspects in making an enjoyable broadcast.
Do you think it is easier or harder that you are a woman in broadcasting and why?
 
It is a little bit of both at times, but I think overall for me it isn’t necessarily different than it is for others who are trying to learn and to better themselves in broadcasting.
 
Is there anyone you emulate, and if so in what way?
 

I wouldn’t say there is any one particular person, but I am constantly learning from those around me and the broadcasters I’ve had the privilege to work with. I did a few internships before landing my first professional broadcasting job, and I learned an incredible amount from the guys I worked with in the past. Often I notice certain techniques of theirs coming out in my own broadcasts.

What is your favorite on air story you can share with us?

 
Earlier this season my broadcast partner started hiccuping on the air, and did so right in the midst of a home run call. He tried to shake them and keep going, but I ended up having to call the rest of the game by myself. I’ve been fortunate enough to never have that happen to me!
What advice do you have for young broadcasters just starting out?
 
I think the best thing you can do is to get experience any way possible – be willing to do the games and the jobs that no one else wants to. In college we had a lot of new broadcasters who maybe only wanted to work one sport, when the real opportunity for getting on-air experience was in a less popular event. You can only get better by getting the reps in.
 
A big thank you to Kirsten for the interview and thank you to everyone for reading another play by play story here at PBPStories. Be sure to check out Kirsten on Soundcloud to hear some of her great work here: https://soundcloud.com/kirsten_karbach
 
 
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Andy Masur Interview

After a hiatus I am proud to say we are back with another great interview, this time with Andy Masur of the San Diego Padres. You can follow him on twitter: @PadsCast or on his own blog Masur’s Musings here: http://www.andy-masur.blogspot.com/.

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How long have you been in broadcasting?

I have been in professional broadcasting since 1990, doing various things in the industry.  Started out as a top 40 DJ, in Peoria, IL.  I worked the overnight shift from 12midnight-5:30am.  Moved up to night jock, then got out of top 40.  Went home to Chicago and did traffic reports for several different stations in the market.  From there I went on to work for the then One On One sports network, doing updates and hosting a weekend show.  I then became aware of a job opening at WGN radio and I was fortunate to get the gig.  I did Cubs pre/post and some play by play there as well.  Then the opportunity to move to San Diego came up and I’ve been with the Padres since the 2007 season.

 

When did you know it was what you wanted to do?

I knew at a very young age.  My parents tell me stories of me coming at them with an old cassette recorder microphone wanting to interview them at age 3.  They would see me coming and run!  I guess that was the first sign that I would get into this industry.  I listened to a lot of radio growing up.  I would see which out of market stations I could pick up on my radio at night and I would call the stations.  KDKA out of Pittsburgh was one of those stations.  I was just a radio geek.

 

Being from the Chicago area, were you at all influenced to go to Bradley because of Jack Brickhouse who called games for many years with the Cubs?

Jack Brickhouse was really my inspiration for going for it.  I would watch him not just do play-by-play, but do those dugout interviews, with Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and my late friend Ron Santo.  That’s what drew me to the business first, the interviewing style and skill that Brickhouse showed.  Then of course there was his infectious calling of the games and I was hooked.  Jack didn’t influence my decision to go to Bradley, but it was a happy coincidence.  Didn’t hurt that Chick Hearn went there, Vince Lloyd (another former Cubs broadcaster) worked in Peoria and of course now Charlie Steiner is working in MLB along side.  Pretty cool.

 

What was it like to work alongside the legendary broadcaster and icon Dick Enberg?

I don’t work with Dick Enberg much, as a matter of fact, two years ago, I would fill in for him on about 40 broadcasts on TV.  When I did have the chance to work with him, while filling in on Pre/Post telecasts, it was pretty cool.  Thinking all the time, that “this guy called the Bears SuperBowl win over the Patriots in 1986”.  That was pretty cool.

 

 

How much time do you spend preparing for a broadcast?

As the years have rolled on, I’ve had to spend less and less time preparing. I don’t mean that I slack off, but now I’m pretty comfortable in my routine.  Of course getting the lineups and necessary stats are time consuming but you need them.  More of my time “prepping” these days comes by way of talking to players and coaches, getting to know them as people and relating stories about them on the air.  I also want to learn more about the game everyday, so the time I spend with our coaches and manager is very valuable to me.  I always stay on top of what’s going on in the league, so I have some things to bring up during the game.  I like to talk baseball, so to have a bunch of fluff just for sake of having it, is not something I do.  So not to dodge the question but my time varies.  Now with interleague it may take a little more time to prepare for a team we don’t see all that often and with more games in the division I don’t have to spend as much time in prep mode.  I also like to talk to the opposing broadcasters, they have the best insight usually into what’s really going on with their team.

 

In addition to calling games for the Padres you’ve also been the voice of San Diego hoops for the past 4 years, which is your favorite, hoops or baseball to call?

I have been their “voice” for the past 7 seasons.  Prior to coming to San Diego I called Loyola University men’s hoops for 6 years.  I love the difference in the pace of the game and believe it or not, the baseball work prepares me for limited down time in hoops and the hoops prepares me for the limited “action” of a baseball broadcast.  It’s a nice change of pace also to deal with college athletes.  I really enjoy doing both, but I’m a much better student of baseball, so maybe I’ll give the slight edge to baseball.

 

Who are/were the people you look/looked up to in broadcasting?

We mentioned one already, Jack Brickhouse for sure.  Growing up around a big city with all of the major sports covered, I listened a lot to the late Jim Durham doing Bulls basketball.  I still use a couple of his descriptors that just came out “foul line extended left” and “rimming…good”.  He was really talented.  I’d have to say though that my mentor in play-by-play was Pat Hughes.  I learned a lot from him without really even knowing it.  How to work with a partner that’s a legend, how to keep an audience entertained during a tough year on the field.  How to have a good time without getting in the way of the game.  Lessons that a lot of young broadcasters can certainly use.  Pat is a professional, but has a way of not taking himself too seriously and if he makes a mistake (rare as they are) he pokes a little fun at himself.  I really admired that, after all we are not saving lives or splitting the atom in the booth, we are calling a game and he keeps that in great perspective.  Jeff Joniak is another guy I really admire.  He calls Bears football these days and has been doing it for more than a decade.  Jeff gave me my first opportunity to do sports in Chicago.  After pestering him and peppering him with audition tapes, he admired my work ethic, and I guess I passed his test.  He put me on the air and I wound up doing weekends on the old WMAQ 670 for nearly 3 years before moving on in the industry.  I’ve met so many great people in this industry, I know I’m leaving a ton of people out, but there are just too many to mention.

 

Is there anyone you emulate, and if so in what way?

I’ve always said it’s hard enough to be the first Andy Masur, let alone the next, fill in the blanks.  As I mentioned I picked up some phrases from Jim Durham, some nuances from Pat Hughes, but I’ve tried to make them my own.  Tried to make them fit my style and flow.  I don’t consider it stealing from these guys, I feel like they’ve showed me the way, now I’m taking some of those ingredients and mixing them with mine to come up with what I do.  Be yourself, it’s so important. 

 

Other than San Diego what is your favorite baseball stadium to call a game from?

Being a little biased, I love calling games at Wrigley Field.  Having grown up there, it’s always a special occasion for me to be able to call a game there.  I love AT&T Park in San Francisco too.  There’s always a great energy in the building and the setting is just beautiful right on the bay.  PNC Park in Pittsburgh is really nice, except that our booth is above the upper deck, which always makes it interesting, but it’s a great ballpark.  Got to call a game at the old Yankee Stadium and a couple of years ago at Fenway Park, so it’s hard to argue against them as well.

 

What is your favorite on air story you can share with us?

There are far too many to limit to just one.  Remember I worked with Ron Santo who during the national anthem at the old Shea Stadium had his hairpiece catch on fire.  Now I work with Jerry Coleman who always makes things interesting for me in the booth.  Every day in the broadcast booth is a great day, and the best part is, no two days are ever the same.  You’re bound to come to a game and see something you’ve never seen before.  I say it all the time on the air, but it’s one of the best things about my job.  Sorry to dodge that one, but again to be fair there are just too many things to mention.

 

 

 

If there is anything else or any stories you really want to share please feel free to do so.

I just feel very fortunate to have had the career I’ve had so far.  There are many big events that I’ve been around and have called for a living.  So I’d say to those aspiring to join me, don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do it.  It’s going to take some work, some luck and some determination if you want to make it.  Remember, the pay is not what you get into it for it’s the love, the passion for the craft and for sports.  No shortcuts, no half way, jump in with both feet, it’s the only way to succeed. 

 

Thank you Mr. Masur for being a part of the series of interviews here again. Don’t forget if you’d like to see someone interviewed or would like to be interviewed yourself please don’t hesitate to tweet me @michaelhirnpbp

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