Thursday, April 3, 2008


I want to thank the folks who have told me that they enjoy the blog. I now realize that people are actually reading this and I'm not just talking to myself so as a result I'm going to start cranking out some entries. Here are a few of the working titles I'll be writing about in the coming weeks.

"Camraderie on the Diamond"
"My link with Pete Sampras"
"There's a guy with one arm pitching a no-hitter at Yankee Stadium"

For now, I wanted to take the time to answer some questions I have gotten in the past few weeks. We used to have a forum section on the old website where I rattled off responses on a regular basis. I will try and wrangle questions up every month or so and post the answers here. Feel free to email me at and I'll do my best to try and answer your question. Now on to the mailbag:

Hello,Rick I watch 15 news and I thank you do a great job telling the sports,but would like to ask you why you don't cover Florence Darlington technical College Baseball team,I never hear you say nothing about them.My reason is, my son LA Owens is there he is one of there pitchers. I thank you might remember him from Dillon High School he was one of the wide receivers #3 just wanted to know why you didn't cover FDTC baseball team. - Lucille Owens

I appreicate you getting in touch with us. This is the perfect example of how we put something on the radar and try and cover. We get spread thin during baseball with having to cover the Pelicans, USC, Clemson and CCU. We already did a feature on the FMU baseball team as they are a nationally ranked Division II power and we need to get cracking on high school baseball as the playoffs are right around the corner. I remember LA well on the gridiron playing for Jackie Hayes and I hope that he can use FDTC as a springboard to another opportunity in college baseball. Please keep in touch and while I can't guarantee we'll go out there, I can promise you we'll do a story if he signs to play college baseball at another school.
Has WPDE dropped the Zone Cup incentive they have done for the past three years for high school teams? It's no longer posted, and hasn't been for a 2-3 months.
Has WPDE dropped the Zone Cup incentive they have done for the past three years for high school teams? It's no longer posted, and hasn't been for a 2-3 months.

Has WPDE dropped the Zone Cup incentive they have done for the past three years for high school teams? It's no longer posted, and hasn't been for a 2-3 months. From: Keith

The Zone Cup is alive and well. Our website is set up in such a way that stories have a shelf life of about 3-4 days. We updated the Zone Cup standings after each round of state championships. The last update was right after the high school basketball state championships. I think we need to make the Zone Cup a permanent link on the left side of the sports page and will get cracking on that. I have to navigate through the corporate ladder on our new website so things take a little bit more time, but I will get this to be a permanent fixture on so folks can keep tabs all year long.

Just wondering why on your web pages under sports, you have USC, Clemson... but not Coastal Carolina University. You cover them well on TV, have the David Bennett show etc..
Give us our own little notch.. Thanks.. Jeff Linder

This is another great suggestion. You guys have got me in the mode to keep our web guys busy. I've come up with a small laundry list of things that I will try and get added to in the coming weeks:

1. WPDE Sports Shootout Golf Tournament page
2. Zone Cup Standings
3. CCU News
4. David Bennett Show page
5. Cliff Ellis Show page

Keep an eye out for these things in the next few weeks!

When will the 2008 WPDE Scholarship form be available on-line. Currently the 2007 is loaded. From: Kelly Bridgers


Thanks so much for bringing this to my attention. This is one thing on the list I was able to get crossed off. The scholarship application is updated and is on the link is on the left hand side of the main page. A reminder that any high school senior in the WPDE viewing area is eligible for our $5,000 scholarship. The money we raise from our annual golf tournament goes to the scholarship fund. Our tournament is set for Friday, May 30th at Wachesaw East in Murrells Inlet. We hope that we can continue to raise $15,000 as we have for the past three years. The deadline to get your application in is Friday, May 2nd. We will look through all of the applications and get it narrowed to a top 5-10 right before the golf tournament. Once we figure out how much money we have raised, we will announce the winners in early June.

Why are you guys not giving any coverage to the Southeastern Baseball Classic From: Faile

The Southeastern Baseball Classic is an outstanding annual high school baseball tournament hosted by Hartsville high school. The Red Foxes lost in the finals of this prestigious event. Part of the battle is information. We have many things going on in many sports all year long. If we had a heads up and reminder of the tournament, that would have helped. The other factor was getting scores called in. If either of those two things happened, we would have had a chance to put it on our radar and try and cover it. A lot of times we get information after the fact, and that doesn't help the cause. We are looking forward to covering Hartsville baseball as they make what should be a deep run in the Class 4A playoffs along with Conway.

For Rich Chrampanis: I know that South Carolina touts its 3 sports as football, basketball, and spring football and that WPDE supports this with its End Zone and Hoop Zone awards. But, how about the other "sports" played in local high schools and at CCU? Consider the following:
baseball/softball - diamond zone
wrestling - mat zone
tennis - court zone
track and field - track zone
golf - green zone (not to be confused with an area in
Iraq with the same name)
Well, you get the idea. Let's have some more "zones"! From: Fred Carpenter

Appreciate you checking in. We like to think that we have these sports covered with our Zone Cup program. Like the Sears Cup in NCAA sports, we award points to each high school based on their post-season performance in varsity sports, both boys and girls. Especially in the spring, we try and get to as many spring playoff events as possible as it has a direct impact on the final standings in the Zone Cup race. As I mentioned above, we'll be getting the Zone Cup as a permanent link on the site. Every year, we get the Diamond Zone pitched to us. It's flattering to think that people think enough of our local sports coverage to want even more! It comes down to clock and resources. It's just Hags and me and we have a finite amount of time in each sportscast. Our station goes above and beyond the call of duty to devote an amazing amount of resources to our football and basketball products. That being said, I'm hoping that as the years go by, the Zone Cup catches on and it becomes an award that every high school covets. The Zoneman and Mister and Miss Hoop Zone have prestige in our area thanks to our former winners being in the NFL, NBA and WNBA. The Zone Cup should be on the same level as it is the reflection of an entire school's athletic department. We'll keep putting the spotlight on as many different sports as we can during the school year.

For Rich Chrampanis,
UNC's basketball player is Tyler Hansbrough, not Hansborough. His last name is pronounced Hans-bro. From: Shirley Kirby

I went back and checked the tape, and indeed I turned the ball over with my pronunciation. Roy Williams would have me running the Dean Dome steps for that. I have a ton of admiration for Psycho-T. I do appreciate folks keeping me straight and keeping tabs on me.

Our family relocated to Pawleys Island from the Northeastern part of Ohio (Akron) about three years ago. We are avid sports fans (Cleveland Browns & Cleveland Indians)and I have noticed that when you guys have the sports segment of the daily news you never include any of the northern teams. There are alot of people that live here that are from the north and would like to get game results for their teams (Indians, White Soxes, etc.) and also the football teams. The only ones that you guys ever talk about are the Braves, NY etc. It's bad enough that we can't physically see our teams play regularly but we don't hear about what they are doing. Can you accommodate this? From Kathy Eagan


I'm glad you brought this up as I have had to make this response to many different transplants. First and foremost, I am a transplant as well (like Bruce Springsteen says, I come from somewhere in the swamps of Jersey). I grew up on Warner Wolf (he's the reason I became a sportscaster) and my usual fix of Giants, Jets, Yankees, Mets, Rangers, Islanders and Devils. If there's one thing I've learned is that we have packs of transplants who are passionate about many things. If I had to rank them, here they are and what they want:

1. New York Metro area (Yankees/Mets/Giants/Jets)
2. North Carolina (Tar Heels)
3. West Virginia (Mountaineers)
4. Ohio (Ohio State/Indians/Browns)
5. Philadelphia (Eagles/Phillies)
6. Boston (Red Sox/Patriots)
7. Virginia Tech (Hokies)

The days of covering national sports in a local sportscast are all but gone. I've spoken about this many times, but in this new age of information now, you have to bring a product that is exclusive to the area you live in. In regards to the professional sports, you can get all of those things through ESPN.

The foundation of what we cover is high school sports and three colleges (Coastal Carolina, South Carolina and Clemson). Add to that the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. We have both coaches shows at CCU and we do extensive high school sports coverage because 99 percent of the time, you can't get it anywhere else outside of Myrtle Beach. The same goes for the Gamecocks and Tigers - the fan base of both is very large in our area and quite passionate.

The reason we cover the Atlanta Braves like we do is simple: the Pelicans are the Single "A" affiliate of the Braves and we are at the point as we enter season 10 of the Birds at the Beach that the majority of the Braves lineup has spent some time in Myrtle Beach. Jeff Francouer, Brian McCann and Martin Prado just to name a few. In addition, we are the official local affiliate of the Carolina Panthers.

The next layer of our coverage (and this is where a lot of our national coverage comes in) is following our local products in the pros:

Why did we show Milwaukee Bucks/Washington Wizards highlights last night? Simply because Myrtle Beach's own Ramon Sessions hit the buzzer beater to win the game. The same applies to Raymond Felton (Latta) with the Charlotte Bobcats, Albert Haynseworth (Hartsville) with the Tennessee Titans and the list goes on and on.

Times have changed - we used to show major league baseball scores at 11pm in the break before the sports segment, but that has gone away. Again, the mantra that you can get that kind of information on ESPN or by simply logging on to the internet or getting scores from your favorite team texted to your mobile phone.

The other factor is time. We get 2:45 for each show we do Monday-Friday. That time can go by quickly. Five years ago, I could get anywhere between 3:30 and 4:00 - that gave me more time to do the occasional national sports story. I still try and pick the major national sports stories and give them some time, but local sports is first and foremost every day.

I would love to have the transplants come on to the blog and email me questions/comments or thoughts about their favorite teams. Here I have all the space in the world to talk Tar Heels, Indians, or anything.

Since you're an Ohio fan, I will share this - the best pitching performance I ever saw in Myrtle Beach was when a young CC Sabathia pitched a complete game shutout against the Pelicans. I like the makeup of the Tribe - Travis Hafner is an underrated superstar and Victor Martinez is a top 5 catcher that no one talks about. If Carmona can be anywhere near what he was last year and Joe Borowski can get his ERA under 5.00 (that's a selfish request, since he's on my roti team), the Tribe should be able to challenge Detroit and Minnesota in the AL Central.

duckman said...
You are my favorite station to watch for basketball & football scores & highlights. But it seems that when those two sports are over you take a vacation from high school sports. I would like to see more coverage on high school softball & baseball. You not only have some of the best teams in the state right here in the Pee Dee but also in the country.


I appreciate the kind words. It's funny that you say that, because Hags actually did take a vacation after the high school basketball state championships. We have a small window of opportunities to take time off as we generally work 6 or 7 day weeks during football and basketball season. We spend March and April giving attention to college baseball, spring football and the Pelicans. We will go full out for the high school baseball and softball playoffs and get to as many different games as we can over a four week span. We will spend the next couple of weeks trying to pinpoint which teams we need to keep an eye on. Rest assured, things are going to get cranked up with high school baseball and softball!

Great questions from all -- looking forward to doing this again on a regular basis!

1 comment:

LionsFan1965 said...

Hello, I usually enjoy your sportscast, but PLEASE, The Pelican's player is NOT Miguel Cabrera, as you stated tonight at 11:00! His name is Willie! Freudian slip?? Careful my friend! :)