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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Letter to the editor: Remembering Dave Martin

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Friday, March 03, 2017 05:01 am
I am saddened by the passing of Dave Martin, our WIFF radio high school sportscaster from the 1970s. Dave and Corky Fries of Leo, also recently passed, worked DeKalb games together, with Corky also doing Leo games for a year or two. This was in the era before corporate multi-ownership destroyed most truly local broadcasting, and high school sports was a primary way of getting your audience and, along with it, sponsorship revenues.

Most stations now consider sports as a ratings-killer (remember when WOWO tried to drop Komet hockey broadcasts?). Dave called the state championship game for Garrett’s football team in 1974. An IHSAA spokesman requested extra copies of our broadcast, “so we can let other guys hear how we’d like our tourneys to be covered.”

I once sat in either the DeKalb or East Noble gym and listened on a portable radio, and stations did not use any kind of delay back then. Dave’s call on many occasions came so quickly, I realized he had to have seen the play developing and was ready to call it before it happened. I dialed over to the other team’s station for a while, and their guy was calling the plays after they happened. I’ve never heard any other announcer at any level do what Dave could do in that vein.

I noticed the same thing when Fort Wayne stations covered our teams in the regionals. (Fred Innniger with EN sports and Shane Albahrani doing Komet hockey are as close to the old-school style that you can hear anywhere around here anymore.). Those were days when the PBP guy knew his job was to tell the audience what was happening, not holler, cheer, pontificate and analyze constantly and once in a while tell us the score like so many ESPN-wannabe’s do these days.

In my few meager attempts at PBP, I knew from watching Dave that the key was to prepare in advance; most importantly, get to the gym or field in time to ask the opposing coach about the correct pronunciation of players’ names because their families would be listening (something PA announcers and broadcasters doing my nephew’s high school and college games routinely ignore. How many different ways are there to say “Haberkorn?” Just be a ballplayer and you’ll find out.)

And for those of us who knew him, Notre Dame never had a more loyal fan than Dave Martin.

Philip Haberkorn



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