Last night, Corey called the very first collegiate football game of 2018 — Evangel vs. SAGU — on ESPN3. Evangel won. Before he heads to the office to finish preparing to direct and produce the first high school football game of the season — Central vs. Parkview — he agreed to a game of catch.
At the Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park, just in front of the pond, we played catch in the freshly mowed and incredibly wet grass.
“This was my son’s favorite park when he was younger.”
Simply put, Corey produces, directs, and announces sporting events across southwest Missouri. Mediacom and ESPN3 and the Missouri State Bears Radio Network and the track announcer at Lucas Oil Speedway and calling the MSHSAA state championship games in football, basketball, and softball and all of Evangel’s home football games.
“My wife is very understanding. And I work with the best crew.”
He’s been with Mediacom for 20 years, though working in TV wasn’t his first dream.
“I went to Missouri State on a nursing track wanting to be an anesthesiologist, a CRNA. I finished the two years of pre-requirements and at the end of the first year of nursing school, I quit the program. I was working in the catalog call center at Bass Pro when one of my friends came to town from Chicago and told me what I should have been doing the whole time. ‘It’s time for you to get in broadcasting.’ He was right. I started at Mediacom with a summer internship my senior year and was in charge of the department at 29.”
Corey loves the story part of sports just like I do.
“There is always a story to tell. I love shining a light on the high school kids who have hit the weight room and put in the work, watching them grind on the field.”
As producer and director, he wrestles trying to decide which games to cover. “It’s not always about picking the best game in town, but putting as many different kids on TV over the course of the season. Other teams and programs need and deserve the exposure.”
As an announcer, he always strives for perfection. “I die a little inside whenever I mispronounce a kid’s name.”
Corey’s my age, so I made sure his arm and shoulder and glove hand were feeling fine as the catch playing continued through several stories. I didn’t get quite as much stretching in this morning as I would have liked and tried to incorporate some of my stretches into the first throws, like Eli (Day #198) taught me.
“My son’s now 13. When he practiced his pitching, it helped toughen up my glove-hand. Although, I did have to wear sunglasses the first time I saw him pitch.”
At the age of 4, Corey’s son, Carter, was diagnosed with autism.
“He went to kindergarten and only knew a half dozen or so words. He was incredibly emotional, but not very verbal. My wife stayed home with him and took him to all of his therapy sessions.”
A rightfully proud dad, Corey wore sunglasses, then, to hide the tears. “I just couldn’t believe how far he’d come. I couldn’t believe he was pitching considering where he started. It’s just incredible.”
Carter has played baseball and soccer and now runs cross country. He’s in the National Honor Society and plays in the band and won’t stop doing play-by-play whenever he plays Fortnite.
“I can’t blame him. He comes by it honestly.”
In his 20 years in front of and behind the camera, learning and calling and producing virtually every sport, the most important thing Corey’s learned can be summed up in four words.
“It’s all about relationships.”
Just like a good game of catch.
Congrats to Lindsey and Skylar (Day #224)!!
Sky’s High Dreams is a #1 New Release on Amazon.