The WRJW Radio Crew
Carey Meitzler has been the "Voice of Maroon Tide" on WRJW 1320 AM since the 1994 season.
Carey was encouraged to do Maroon Tide broadcasts by the late Sam Adkins, a fixture at WRJW and Picayune Junior High School
where he taught English. Sam had decided to concentrate on doing the Public Address for Picayune home games and wanted to pass
the baton to someone else. He talked to John Pigott, owner of WRJW, about Carey and Barry Harper taking over so he (Sam) could
focus more time on other radio station and personal interests. That's how Carey came on at WRJW. Barry had worked on the Maroon
Tide broadcasts with Sam the previous year.
Sam has been and still is an inspiration to Carey and all of those who knew Sam. Carey did basketball games on WRJW with Sam for
two (2) seasons and they umpired summer baseball together for many years.
On Sam, Carey says, "He was Sam. Didn't want to be anybody but himself. He wasn't afraid to tell you what he thought, whether
he thought you would like it or not. Sam was a great educator, in and out of the classroom. He loved the Lord, which is the most
important thing anyone can do. I miss him a lot. Picayune misses him a lot. He was a special person to so many of us. Every time
I think of Sam, I smile because he wouldn't want it any other way."
Over the years, Carey has had the pleasure of working the broadcast booth with some of his closest friends.
Barry Harper (color commentator) for seven (7) seasons (1994 - 2000), and co-hosted the Sam Adkins Morning After with Carey
Geri "Grubby"Grubbs who worked the sideline for three (3) years before replacing Barry in the booth for two (2) years (2001-2002).
Grubby served as the Public Address announcer for Maroon Tide home games (football and basketball) until 2004 before handing the
reins to David Windham. Geri returned to public address announcer during the 2011 season.
In 2003, Carey was joined by Jason "Gator" Pigott as color commentator for Maroon Tide football broadcasts. Jason also fills in for Carey
on play-by-play for Maroon Tide basketball on WRJW 1320 AM when needed. Jason worked with Carey through the 2007 season.
Clay Sweet joined the crew as the sideline reporter during the 2002 football season and worked with the broadcasts through the 2005
season. Clay also works as color analyst on Maroon Tide basketball and baseball as well as the Pearl River Community College football
broadcasts where he teams with another Picayune native, Jason Baker.
Jeff Robbins joined the team for the 2006 season as the sideline reporter.
In 2008, Barry Harper returned to the booth and Donald Balch . took over on the sidelines
In 2010, Tommy Upton took over the color commentary for mid-season and worked through the 2011 season.
In 2012 Todd Meitzler, who filled in for Tommy for two games in 2011, took over as color commentator..
Says Carey on the crew, "God has truly blessed me to be able to work with this fine group of Christians over the years. They all have
unique talents, tendencies, and perspectives that have made me a better person and a better broadcaster. Most of all, I am grateful
to John (Pigott) and Delores (Wood) at WRJW for letting me do what is truly the best job in this world. "
Over the years, the crew has strived to paint the picture for the audience by making sure the listeners know "who's lined up where" and
"down and distance". Says Carey "We have tried to give them a true visual of what is going on. We are their eyes. If they (listeners)
can imagine what a formation, a play, or a tackle made on the field looks like, then we've done our job. There is nothing more
important than the listener and what they envision based on what you describe."
A fixture on a Maroon Tide broadcast is statistics passed on to the listener as they are accumulated rather than only at the end of the game.
Carey said Barry Harper instituted that in their first season when a running back was having a great game and Barry did not know how many
yards the youngster had as the game progressed. Barry asked Carey (the brains of the operation at that time) to come up with a sheet to track
the stats. And so he did.
The "Hello List" always precedes the kickoff for every Maroon Tide football game broadcast on WRJW 1320.
Says Carey, "There are a lot of people who love Maroon Tide sports just as much as we do. If they can't attend a game for any reason,
they want people to know they are still pulling for the Maroon Tide".
Barry Harper came up with the idea during the '95 season when a friend of his was going to be at home bedridden on a particular Friday
night and he (the friend) wanted people to know he was still rooting on the Tide.
Barry claims that Jack Cristil once said hello to him when Barry's brother Mike was playing at Mississippi State.
Carey never has believed him to this day. Barry stands by his story. The topic has been a long running discussion.
"I guess it's just nice to tell people you appreciate them spending a Friday evening with you, hanging their every emotion and feeling
on the words that you use to describe the actions of teenagers that you and they have come to love like a family member. Some of our
listeners listen very close and from time to time will either tell us about a chuckle they got from something we said or the enjoyment
of how a particular play was described or correct us on something we said they didn't exactly agree with. All in all, it is their team
you are trying to give insight to on a weekly basis, and you want them to feel like they are a part of the whole thing."
Every broadcast includes a football trivia question with the listeners unable to attend the game given the chance to call in and win a prize
from a local business by providing the correct answer to a trivia question. The question is always read at the end of the first quarter.
Over the years, the competition to win has grown to be a very competitive event from the listeners.
Carey always strives to get interviews just before kickoff from the opposing coach and from Maroon Tide Head Coach Dodd Lee.
Carey commends the coaches for being so gracious at a critical time.
On opposing coaches, "Only twice have I been turned down by an opposing coach. Once the guy was 0-7 and said he didn't have anything
good to say about his team. I moved on. The other time, the coach said he was afraid I would let the other coach hear what he said."
Can you figure that out ?
On Coach Dodd Lee, "Coach Lee has never refused to grant an interview before a game and when I can get there, after a game either.
Dodd always tells it like it is. I respect that immensely since he probably has a thousand things running through his mind an hour
before kickoff or after a game. He is always accessible and honest."