It was a scene out of “Friday Night Lights” as hyper-local Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com), serving Springfield and its surrounding communities in Western Massachusetts, launched its new sports department with live play-by-play coverage of high school football games. Pictured in the press box calling the PBP between the home team Longmeadow High School “Lancers” and visiting Chicopee Comprehensive High School “Colts” is Pioneer Valley Radio sports director Kevin Casey (c) joined by color callers Eddie Garibian (l), a Longmeadow senior, and Graham Topor (r), a Chicopee Comp junior.
Pioneer Valley Radio was launched in 2015 by local resident Michael Harrison and former WHYN, Springfield morning personality Brad Shepard as an experiment in local “personality-oriented, hyper-local public affairs radio.” Since then it has gained tremendous traction and become what Shepard describes as “an important local media platform that is making a difference.” The expressly non-partisan station has expanded its menu to include a wide variety of programs covering local politics, civics, business, education, public health and safety, arts and entertainment and now, sports. According to Casey, “One of the most satisfying aspects of this project is giving local high school students the opportunity to sit in the broadcast press box and call color on the radio. These two great kids, Eddie and Graham, were fantastic! We plan to expand our coverage beyond football to include basketball and other sports and get lots of kids from area schools involved in our broadcasts.” The next scheduled football game to be covered is the annual Thanksgiving classic between Longmeadow and East Longmeadow on Thanksgiving morning. All Pioneer Valley Radio live broadcasts are powered by Boston-based Backbone Networks. Schools interested in having their games broadcast and businesses interested in sponsoring these broadcasts should contact Michael Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org.