Voice of Vashon has been broadcasting Vashon High School baseball, football and basketball games live on its web radio station this year. Kevin Linnell and John Yates are currently announcing basketball games, with JoJo Weller providing statistics.
Linnell, who handles color commentary, said he and Yates have wished for some time that VoV would broadcast high school sports.
“We traveled to state tournaments to watch Vashon teams play, and many small communities were broadcasting the games to their hometowns,” Linnell said. “We thought why not do this for Vashon.”
Last summer they got their chance when VHS football coach Andy Sears asked if they would consider announcing fall games.
“We said yes right away because we really wanted to do this to generate community support for our local sports teams,” Linnell said.
Yates, who owns Vashon True Value, and Linnell, who manages the store, felt so strongly about announcing the games that they purchased their own broadcast-quality headsets.
Islander Preben Martin, who has been a sports broadcast director with ESPN since 1997, also headed the effort and was instrumental in creating a team of volunteers to make the broadcasts possible. The first games to be broadcast were VHS baseball games last spring, with Jeff Hoyt and Lance Morgan announcing.
Preben said he envisions including more sporting events such as women’s soccer and volleyball in the future and creating a mentorship program where students can learn from broadcast professionals.
“We tried play-by-play some years ago but it was a challenge to get going,” he said. “Now I’m excited about the potential to make it happen because there’s a better structure in place and a lot of talented people involved.”
Tune in to live broadcasts at www.voiceofvashon.org.