By Jared Greenleaf
Sports Editor, @CDTjared
Posted May 14, 2020 at 12:12 PM
Q: Is there a certain game you’ve called that’s always stuck with you?
Grisdale: I have had the privilege of broadcasting hundreds of high school games. What I enjoy most about it is that you never know what you are going to see that night. It might be an upset, there might be an unbelievable play, or a record breaking individual performance. I can say I witnessed two of the proudest moments in Cheboygan High School sports history, when Chiefs football appeared at the Silverdome for the state finals in 1991, and when Cheboygan played for the boys basketball state finals in 1999. However, the most exciting games I broadcast would have been the two games that got them to those finals. At the football semifinals held at Alma College in 1991, when Cheboygan beat Three Rivers, 35-26. It was a culmination of not only an exciting season, but also certified the tradition surrounding the all that the Cheboygan football program had become. The 43-game winning streak, years of going undefeated but not qualifying for the playoffs, a near miss in the 1986 semis in overtime, and finally going to the Dome! And the same for the boys basketball team, beating Coldwater in the Class B semis with Bubba Looman hitting those three straight 3-pointers in the first quarter and moving on to play River Rouge in the state finals. The excitement of being part of such a historic moment was just awesome.
Q: You call football in the fall, and have done basketball and also hockey in the past. Is there one you enjoy calling more than the others?
Grisdale: Each has a different rhythm. I have enjoyed each when it’s a close contest, a heated rivalry and the fans are into it. Lots of great memories.
Q: I didn’t get here until 2010, but did you call baseball or softball before?
Grisdale: WCBY used to do some baseball and softball games, but that was hard to pull off at the time. Baseball was at the old Western Avenue Field (where the football practice field is now) and didn’t have a facility conducive to doing a broadcast. Girls softball was over by the rec center complex. Then, the schools were forced to make several cuts to the athletic program. When the programs were restored, I do remember helping coordinate some district games on the radio. When high school soccer became part of the high school sports program, we did have a regular schedule of boys and girls games on the air. I helped with some of those, thanks to George Clark and Greg Steiner teaching me the rules and terms! Eventually, we were able to enlist George Lewis as our soccer announcer when Cheboygan had some very competitive teams.
Q: How much preparation goes into calling these games? During football, especially, is there a certain amount of time you put into each week?
Grisdale: Unfortunately, broadcasting high school sports is not my full-time job, but I do take it seriously and like to be as prepared as I can. My routine includes keeping in contact with the coaches and athletic director, reading newspaper articles, reviewing MHSAA information, and making sure all the equipment and commercials are ready to go. Football is different than basketball. We have a half-hour pre-game show for Chief football that includes interviews, a preview of the other team and a round-up of other fall high school sports, along with more advertisers. Plus, we coordinate a crew of at least three or four, along with a board operator back at the studio. And, football broadcasts usually last three hours. For basketball, many times it is just me at the gym and our pre-game is usually less than 10 minutes. High school basketball broadcasts normally run about 90 minutes. At the game, the goal is to check on player injuries, starting line-ups and pronunciations.
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