Jeff Bray, one of the founding partners on ScoresBroadcast.com from 2007-2010, returns to this unique online service on Friday night and provides play-by-play of the Sidney Yellow Jackets in action against Fairborn.
Bray begins the on-air webcast at 6:35 p.m. from Sidney Memorial Stadium/30 and 0 Field.
A 1981 Sidney graduate, Bray served as the color announcer and engineer during the early years of SCORES, the Shelby County Online Radio Entertainment System. He teamed with Jack Kramer, who has been the play-by-play voice of SCORES since its inception over a dozen years ago.
Chuck McBee of Piqua then assumed Bray’s role when he moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Bray said he is “looking forward” to being back in Shelby County for several days so he can pinch hit for Kramer during coverage of Friday’s Miami Valley League gridiron battle.
“We were way ahead of the curve in 2006 and 2007 when the planning the SCORES concept,” he noted, pointing out that he listens regularly from South Carolina to Jack and Chuck as they follow the Yellow Jackets and other area teams.
“Over the years, this webcast technology has been greatly improved in sound quality and in ease of operation for both the listener and the provider.”
He beamed when he stated, “I am excited to once again be an active participant in the play-by-play service that several of us created years ago by working closely together for 24 months or so.”
The team of Bray and Kramer, along with Mike Wick and Mark Jordan, both of Sidney, had a collective passion to sustain and expand high school sports coverage in the upper Miami Valley. But the group wasn’t sure how quickly the audience would transition from the radio to the computer,
In fact, Bray is known for his statement, “We launched on a ‘lark’ on the world wide web.” The rest as they say is history.
Today, SCORES webcasts are connected concurrently by an average of about 1500-1600 IP addresses at some point in the second half of most games. Sixty-five addresses joined Bray and Kramer for their first online webcast of Shelby County high school basketball in 2007.
“It has become the radio on your phone for high school sports in the upper Miami Valley,” said Bray, who joins SCORES frequently while strolling along the beaches near his home in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina.
From 2002 to 2007 and prior to SCORES inception, Bray and Kramer together covered high school sports on WMVR-FM in Sidney. When the local radio station broke five decades of tradition and cut out local sports coverage, the duo took their audience with them to the Internet.
A key founding sponsor was Lacal Equipment in Jackson Center, which was soon followed by Barker Insurance, US Bank, and what is known today as Wilson Health Sports Medicine. At this time, 25 area businesses and organizations offer the online service the necessary support it needs to continue its annual coverage of high school sports in the region.
This Friday night, Bray is joined by Wick, whose computer and Internet knowledge was critical to SCORES initial development. He engineers and produces Friday’s webcast with Bray. Wick and Matt Zircher of Sidney have filled in this fall for McBee, Kramer’s ten-year sidekick, who is recovering from knee replacement surgery.
In Friday’s pregame segment, Kramer provides digitally recorded interviews with Sidney head coach Adam Doenges and Fairborn head coach Randy Kerns. Bray introduces the webcast and then calls the opening kick-off and play-by-play at 7 PM.
“It’s also a special night for me because I’m covering my Sidney High School alma mater,” Bray noted. He said that during his 1978 sophomore year his Yellow Jackets rolled to an 8-1-1 season, beating both Fairborn Baker and Fairborn Park Hills.
“Outstanding back Derik Hines, who had one terrific run after another and galloped for over 1100 yards on the year, injured his leg versus Park Hills in the ninth game. But we pulled it out, 15-14, at Julia Lamb Stadium.”
He detailed further, “Then Howard Daniel snared four picks to lead a rout of Miamisburg in the season finale, also at Julia Lamb.”
The 2019 Jackets are due for a breakout game this Friday. You can bet that Bray hopes to call a few exciting plays like those he saw from the 1978 team when he was a student at Sidney High.