Record audience enjoys volleyball on SCORES

Russia meets New Bremen on SCORES on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

A record number of more than 2,100 IP addresses had joined by 8:45 p.m. on Thursday night and, for the most part, remained connected to the finish of the superbly played volleyball match between Russia and Fort Loramie.

The audience was at least the second highest ever for a volleyball tilt covered by the online service since its inception in 2006-2007.

Close to 2,200 computers and various mobile devices participated in coverage of the Jackson Center state semifinal in 2015 when the Tigers roared back from a 2-1 set deficit to nip Monroeville, taking the final pair of sets, 25-17 and 16-14. Coach Kim Metz’ squad went on to garner its first state championship. The powerhouse Tigers were unbeaten the following season and earned a second straight title in 2016.

Jack Kramer of SCORES, the Shelby County Online Radio Entertainment System, was on the microphone for WMVR-FM when Anna won the state title in 2006 and was also at courtside as Fort Loramie earned the crown in 2014. In addition, he announced the Lehman Catholic state triumphs in 2005 and 2010.

“Just like all of those state tourney matches, the contest two nights ago was also a broadcaster’s delight,” said Jack.

“The volleyball performances by the Raiders and Redskins were outstanding. The two teams were evenly matched. The biggest leads of the night were five points on a couple occasions and six once. It was so enjoyable for Mike Wick and I to be a small part of it.”

He laughed when saying the five-set thrilling victory by Russia outlasted his voice.

“I was croaky at the close,” said Jack, who pumped excitement into his call of every single point. “I kept saying to myself all night long: ‘Don’t get too ramped up too early. Save your voice. This could go five.’”

It did. Russia notched the fifth set, 15-10.

Christian Netcast in Virginia, which performs the hosting and serving for SCORES, reported the very large listenership totals to the online service late Thursday night. Similar audience data could result on Saturday when Russia meets New Bremen at 2 p.m. for the regional championship.

New Bremen, ranked among the top three schools in Division IV all season, won the state title last year, nipping Fort Loramie. New Bremen also took the state crown in 2017. The Cardinals finished second two years ago.

The Raiders, who are in their fourth straight regional tournament, reached the region finals last November.

Saturday’s SCORES webcast begins at 1:30. Kramer and Chuck McBee describe the action.

According to Christian Netcast, the online program is perhaps the only such service in the country that is free of charge to all users, provides archived webcasts for the listeners’ use at anytime, and is dedicated solely to live high school coverage preceded by interviews with coaches.

More than two dozen sponsors are supporting this week’s volleyball matches on SCORES, including numerous ones from Russia and Fort Loramie which make the coverage possible.

Such organizations located in these communities are American Architectural Glass (AAG); Bruckens; Custom Foam Products; Dan Eilerman Construction; Francis-Shulze Company; Gaier’s Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Ram; M & A Muffler and Tires; Jewelry Barn; Pinnacle Sports Therapy; Risse Meiring and Company CPA’s and Business Consultants; Superior Aluminum; and Tom and Jerry’s Plumbing, Electric, Heating and Air Conditioning. Securcom in Minster began participating in coverage this past week. Regal Trophy and Awards, owned by Jerry Wehrman of Fort Loramie, started its SCORES partnership last spring.

SCORES anchor sponsors span AAG, Lacal Equipment in Jackson Center, US Bank, Barker Insurance, and Dickman Electrical and Industrial Supplies.

The winner of Saturday’s Russia-New Bremen match tangles with the Newark Catholic-South Webster winner in a state semifinal at Vandalia-Butler on Nov. 14 at 10 a.m.
Russia meets New Bremen on SCORES on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.