BCHS Announcers Story

VETERAN BCHS BROADCAST CREW GOES BEYOND THE GAME by Barry Currin The new relationship between Talk 101.3 The Buzz and the Bradley Central High School broadcast team represents a shared responsibility to deliver a show appealing both to football fans and Bradley Countians in general. Corky Whitlock, Earl Rowan and Gary Ownbey comprise the veteran crew. Whitlock recently recalled how their relationship with station owner Steve Hartline began. “We had a meeting at my house and we were talking about local stuff. I guess if we took the local out of it, I’d lose heart. I would lose interest,” Whitlock said. “People know they’re going to hear something locally about Bradley High School. Then before you know it you’ve got people out there listening because it’s local.” It’s a formula that works. Whitlock – the namesake of the BCHS press box — has called Bradley games for 52 years. Rowan has been with him full time for 42 years, while Ownbey will begin his 23 “I think he spotted both of us have the gift of gab,” according to Rowan. “He saw that I worked pretty well on the stats, and he liked that. And then he found after 10 years or so that I was never going to pick up on the technology so he needed Gary.” Ownbey said, “What astounds me is the people you don’t think about who listen to a broadcast. I mean you’ll have little old ladies who say, ‘I heard you say something about my grandson or my granddaughter, my niece Delivering a live broadcast comes with challenges. Ownbey recalled one from several years ago. “At a (basketball) tournament in another county, they cut our phone lines on a Friday night. South Central Bell has already gone home, and we’re scrambling….” Laughing, Whitlock said, “That brings up the fact that he’s color blind. I asked him to put those wires back together. And I didn’t know that he didn’t know the difference between green, yellow and orange, but I found out But the show went on, just like it did once when the electricity failed. “During the early part of the ballgame, the press box lights went out and I was at a loss,” Rowan said. “Here I was keeping stats, and Corky said, ‘Earl, I’ve got a flashlight.’ So I went and got it and kept stats for the rest of the game in the dark.” The stories and memories are endless from this veteran crew. But regardless of what happens next, it will certainly be delivered with a local angle.