Aug. 25—TRAVERSE CITY — Big changes abound in the high school football landscape in and around Traverse City.
An 82-year tradition of WTCM AM-580 broadcasting Traverse City Central football games comes to an end after Joel Frank and Tim Brick retired after 25 years of calling games.
The Trojans now move to BOB FM-104.5, with Andrew MacDonald calling play-by-play and former TC Central athletic director Mark Mattson doing color commentary.
The bumps Kingsley off 104.5, but MacDonald Garber Broadcasting kept the Stags on the air by moving Kingsley games to another MacDonald Garber Broadcasting station, WKAD FM-93.7. The Stags keep the same broadcast team, Tim Lueck on play-by-play and color analyst John Zenner.
"Kingsley has been well-received on BOB FM, no doubt about it," MacDonald said. "They did not want to leave Kingsley without coverage."
TC Central basketball will remain on FM-104.5 as well, as has been the case the last two seasons with MacDonald on the microphone.
"It's remarkable Joel Frank and Tim Brick had a 25-year run," MacDonald said. "I don't care if it's high school, college or pro, that's a heckuva road. We'll try to fill their shoes."
MacDonald previously called Cadillac football gams in the 1980s, and also worked many Michigan High School Athletic Association championship events in various broadcast roles. He said Mattson, who was Central's athletic director from 2014018, will provide a lot of insight.
"He has all the local and families knowledge that I do not have," MacDonald said.
It's also the end of an era for Traverse City St. Francis, which partnered with Next-Level Broadcasting to provide live coverage of this year's varsity games.
Regular season games can be streamed in real-time for free at youtube.com/@NextLevelBroadcasting.
That ends a 15-year run on WLJN for the Gladiators, who open the season Friday at 7 p.m. at Charlevoix.
Brian Harcey retired earlier this year from broadcasting after 40 years, the last 32 at WLJN and Good News Media. He was a driving force behind the scenes for TCSF broadcasts, but health concerns forced him to step away.
"Our broadcast team was dedicated and focused on producing a high-quality broadcast every week," Harcey said. "I was blessed to work with Don Wiitala, John Sonnemann, Tom Hardy and all of our support staff behind the scenes. To invest in our local communities in support of high school athletics was a highlight of my career."
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