Hadn't Thought About It Until Asked

by Carey Meitzler

Three weeks ago, a member of the Maroon Tide Nation asked me the following question: “Carey, how many Maroon Tide

football broadcasts have you done?”  I replied that I wasn't sure, but somewhere around 125 or so if I had to guess. After a couple

of days, I got to thinking about it and I decided to go back and look at it so I will know what the tally is at thus far.  I found a solid

web site (http://www.ece.msstate.edu/~jcf54/HSFootball/ ) to use as a reference point to back up some of the notes and programs

from games I have collected over the past 14 seasons.

Over the years, I have had a lot of memories. I have been blessed to have the opportunity I have had to spend time with the guys

I worked with on these broadcasts. Barry Harper, Geri Grubbs, Jason Baker, Jason Pigott, Clay Sweet, and Donald Balch are

all great people. They all have a great love of what we do, work hard preparing, and always give their best each Friday.

The players, in some cases brothers, are numerous.  The Nicks at Night (Wash, Woodson, Wilkes), Carter, Stogner, Feaster aka

"The Undertaker", Gouget, Braddy, Breeland, Magee, Stewart, Riser, McGirt, Cole, Dunn, Imhoff, Bales, Raiford, Hart, Oliver,

Chambers,Donel Smith, Hillary, Slaydon, the Griffith cousins, Richard, Richards/Brown,Gonzalez, Hickman, Brady, Meitzler,

Whitfield, Robbins, Hoffman, Spiers, Hobgood, Acker, Mitchell, Lee, Kellar, Stockstill, Nixon, Porter, Martinez, Barr,Marble,

Newbold, Billips,Flowers, and on and on and on.  I know I left out more than I named, but what great memories these names stir

up: The Waffle House trip with Sam's ghost, the Wayne County tree house in '94, the Two Between the Bricks at Laurel, Meridian

in the rain (Stewart takes off bad feet and all), Imhoff's 3-handed catch against Laurel (in Picayune), a near perfect freshman

placekicker (thank goodness we play soccer), a frozen Gator at Oak Grove in the semis, and Friday Night Fries with Rob &

Michelle. And many more.

Early on ('94 thru '97), we would do a couple of other games in the area. In 1998, we started doing all of the Maroon Tide games.

During that span, I missed two games due to being out of town for work. Jason Pigott filled for one of the Jesuit games I missed,

and Barry Harper says he attempted play by play for the South Jones game I missed. There's a an explanation in there because

Barry said this past week on the Sam Adkins Morning After Show that he didn't like that play by play gig because you have to

talk too much, you can't watch the fans and cheerleaders, and you can't eat a hot dog or two while the game is going on.

Barry and I worked together side by side in the booth for 7 years ('94 through 2000) and we are still working together on the

Sam Adkins Morning After, now in its 8th season. We re-named the show after Sam's death in 2000.

In 2001 & 2002, Geri Grubbs, who was our sideline reporter for the three previous years, moved to the booth to do the color

commentary. In 2003, Jason Pigott came to the booth in the same capacity, and Clay Sweet joined us on the sidelines. Jason

has had to miss a few games and when that happens, we move Clay to the booth with me and Donald Balch jumps in to take

the sidelines. Jason Baker has filled in on the sidelines a couple of times as well and Barry came back to do one game

in 2003 when both Jason and Clay were unavailable. I hope all that shuffling didn't get you confused.  It took me a few minutes

to get it right myself.

John Pigott (owner of WRJW 1320 AM) and Delores Wood (Station Manager) have given me a lot of freedom on the

broadcasts over the years. The sponsors of the broadcasts, the fans in the Nation, the players, and the coaches have all been

so nice to me over the years. John Pigott has also made streaming over the internet a weekly thing since late 2003; that alone

has allowed so many people to listen who otherwise would not be able to do so.

I have met some real good people that I consider friends as well; Rob Sigler (formerly of the Picayune Item and now editor

of Laurel Leader Call), Robbie Hamilton (voice of CoLin CC and McComb High), Russ Robinson (host of the Friday Night

Under the Lights scoreboard show), Phil Keane (Wayne County News), Larry Holder (Sun Herald), Rodney Billingsley

(WLOX-TV13 camera man), and many others.  A lot of coaches too, including the two who meet this Friday.

This week's Moss Point game is my 150th time to call a Maroon Tide football game. Since 1994, Picayune has played

161 football games. I missed two (as mentioned above) due to work and we did 10 other games over the first three years.

Other than PRC/Picayune games, I have called more Moss Point/Picayune games than any other series, so it's ironic that

number 150 will be another Tiger/Tide clash, especially with so much on the line for each team.

Yes, I get excited every once in a while; ok, about every week. It's hard not to get excited when you love Maroon Tide sports.

At times, I am overwhelmed with the emails, notes, and phone calls I have received.   Over the years, I have come to

understand how important the game is to them. I got an email tonight like many we've received over the years that make

this all the more important to do it.  Here it is:

To Mr. Carey and the radio crew,

On behalf of me and my friends out of town, I would like to thank you on their behalf for you and the crew 

calling the games every friday. I have people every friday that tune in to your show. Recently my grandmother 

was in the hospital and she tuned in for the first time and she said it felt like she was at the game. I just wanted

to thank you before the year was over.

Sincerely, The Freeman family