PINEDALE – It’s that time of year again when Blake Coble and Duke Edwards feel like getting their gear in order and heading down to the football field. That’s gear as in radio gear – broadcasters’ headsets.
For the third year now, Coble and Edwards are the duo who will do the play-by-play sportscasting of the Pinedale High School Wrangler football games, both home and away, for radio station KPIN, 101.1 on the FM dial. The games will be broadcast live on the radio or on KPIN’s Facebook page, and visitors can also go to the KPIN Facebook site and find a link to the games posted after the fact.
Their season debut will be tonight, Friday, with the Wranglers’ home game against Lyman at 7 p.m.
“The games really flow and we had really good response last year. The Internet feed was a big deal,” said Edwards, who is pastor of Wilderness Church in Pinedale. “A lot of people listen to that and enjoy it. What’s really nice is that they can go back and listen to it whenever they want.”
The two have been dabbling in broadcasting for about four years now, but started getting serious about it two years ago.
Coble, the finance manager for the Castlerock Pinedale, explains that he and Edwards are two independent contractors who pay KPIN to carry the games, working with KPIN owner Bob Rule, who is also instrumental in making it happen.
“He’s in the studio doing the production side,” Coble said.
They do it, they said, for the love of the game.
Coble has already had a career in professional football that adds depth to his sportscasting.
“I retired from arena football four years ago, and I just thought it was a way to help myself stay in the game,” he said. “I was a kicker. As a kicker, you spend a lot of time on the sidelines studying. I was always trying to learn from other coaches and look at schemes. I feel like I can contribute that.”
In all Coble played for about seven different teams in various indoor football leagues, including the Cheyenne Warriors. Between minor league and arena football, he played for about 15 years.
Duke played some football in high school, but it wasn’t his focus.
“Rodeo was more my interest. I was a bull rider, so I kind of pursued that instead,” Edwards said.
Coble points out that Edwards was also a baseball standout as a high school catcher in Aberdeen, Washington, to the point that the Atlanta Braves had drafted him. Edwards chose rodeo over baseball, until an injury eventually ended that.
Those mixed sports backgrounds mesh well at game time, Coble said. Coble does the play by play and Edwards adds the color.
They both know from experience how important broadcasting is for those who love the game – especially if circumstances don’t let someone attend.
“I remember going camping and listening to football games, college and high school games, with my dad,” Edwards said.
And Coble? As a Tennessee native who has lived in Wyoming for 12 years, he remembers listening to the voice of the Wyoming Cowboys, time and again, on trips across the state.
“I listened to Dave Walsh on the radio. He was kind of my inspiration,” Coble said.
Edwards and Coble make a little money for their time by lining up sponsorships for the service, and then they turn around and pay quite a bit of it out.
“We get our own sponsorships, and then we pay Bob a fee to run it on the radio and there’s an Internet fee we pay to be able to broadcast it on the Internet,” Edwards said. “We make a little, but it’s more that we like doing it that we do it. It’s a lot of work. It’s the time involved Friday of doing the games, going and coming, and then during the week we’re making all the 30-second ads that the sponsors are playing and we’re making the promos that are playing the week prior to the games.”
They are also doing prep work by studying the other teams that will be going up against Pinedale, getting rosters and statistics.
“We love to do it. That’s kind of the driving force,” Edwards said. “And it’s good for Pinedale. It’s something the community enjoys, especially the away games. A lot of people can come to the home games but the away games are the ones they struggle with, because nothing is close in Wyoming. It’s good for the community to be able to follow what’s going on with the team.”