One of my favorite things about attending the annual high school football playoff meetings at the WVSSAC office on W.Va. 2 on Sundays isn't getting to meet, and talk with, the coaches of the teams that have survived the regular season and have made it as one of the 16-finalists in their respective divisions.
It's getting an opportunity to talk to people like Fred Persinger.
Fred who? You ask.
Persinger is better known as the voice of MetroNews' Friday Night Football Scoreboard show. The approximately two-hour program allows fans of the sport to hear the scores from every game played in the Mountain State that night as well as receive an opportunity to listen to those either covering the games, or coaching them.
"Being a statewide radio network, there are very few things tha are as important to the state as high school football," Persinger said between interviews with the 24-head coaches who met on Sunday. "I think we need to be involved in it. That's the main reason we are involved in baseball, basketball and football."
The show is in its 12th year with as many as 45 stations carrying the broadcast on a weekly basis.
"It's hard to believe it will be our 12th yeaer when we wrap things up at the Super Six," Persinger added. "That's been mine and Dave's (Jacklin) baby if you will. It's just a show that we love to do. The audio and video is streamed statewide on MetroNews.
"It's been a really, really good program for the network."
But, it is far from a one-man show.
"When I get somebody good, I'm not going to let them go," continued the announcer. "I have a crew together on football where we know exactly what each of us is going to do. What our jobs are. It is a true team. It really is.
"I know it sounds like coach talk, but we have a real good team put together."
One that witnessed the group call every championship game during the Super Six at Wheeling Island Stadium.
"Wow, how long have we been doing it (the Super Six)? 1986. That was our first year when the games were being played at Laidley Field."
And, Persinger and his 'team' have been putting on quite a show since then.
"As far as play-by-play goes, I do the Class AAA games, Travis Jones does the Class AA and Dave does the Class A. For all three games our sideline reporter is Chris Lawrence."
And, it doesn't end there for Persinger and his team as Jones has become the voice of the Bridgeport Indians while Persinger makes the long trip to Greenbrier East to handle the play-by-play for the Spartans' basketball teams.
"There's no doubt about it," said Persinger. "I don't know what I'd do if I didn't do this."
And, fans around the Mountain State are happy you do Fred.
Contact Jim Butta at firstname.lastname@example.org