The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

July 23, 2013

A Don McCormack column: WFUN sets its playbook

By DON McCORMACK - donmac@suite224.net
Sports Editor

— While we are in the midst of what little summer we get to enjoy in these parts, believe it or not, the opening night of the 2013 high school football season is roughly only six weeks away.

So it was no surprise late last week when my inbox lit up with an announcement that the 2013 broadcast schedule ESPN 970 WFUN had been released.

Without further ado, the station’s schedule is as follows:

David Hatfield, operations manager for the station’s parent company, Media One Group, ace color guy Brad Ellis — the former Geneva boys basketball coach and a member of the Ashtabula County Basketball Foundation Hall of Fame — spotter Dale “Iron Gut” Milano and spotter Cody Slaybaugh will handle the broadcasts.

“I’m very excited about how this season has shaped up for us,” Hatfield said. “It’s difficult to get local matchups with all the teams being in different leagues, but many are still playing each other in non-conference games, which makes the beginning of the season really interesting.

“The end of the season features conference battles and rivalries with possible playoff implications. We are really excited to see how the teams come together this season.

“Geneva comes in more experienced, Edgewood and Lakeside both have new coaches and new attitudes and Jefferson will get a chance to see what some of their younger players can do.”

Hatfield, who assumed the position as play-by-play man for the station’s sports broadcasts with the passing of the late-great Joe “Pigskin” Pete, is pleased to have the “band” return this fall.

“We’re happy to have the ESPN 970 Sports Team back in the booth,” he said. “I’ll handle play-by-play duties. Coach Ellis brings unique insight into what’s going on in the locker room and on the sidelines. He also brings his extensive knowledge of our local student-athletes to the broadcast booth.  

“Sports Report host Cody Slaybaugh will be joining us to record stats, and Dale ‘Iron Gut’ Milano is back as our spotter.

“I can’t thank these three enough for all their help. Without them, none of this would be possible.”

Pregame shows will kick off each Friday at 6:30 p.m., following The Sports Report, which airs on the station, Monday through Friday, from 4-6 p.m.

McCormack is the sports editor of the Star Beacon. Reach him at donmac@suite224.net.