So, here’s an introduction to me…
I grew up in Keyser, West Virginia, a town of over 5,000 citizens on the Potomac River and the West Virginia-Maryland border.
I was introduced to the great game of soccer by my aunt in the West Virginia mountain town of Elk Garden. I lost my first game of one-on-one to my younger brother. Not the most auspicious start.
Soccer was just starting to catch on in my area when I was little, so I was lucky. I played in the first organized league, in the youngest age group, and I also was on the first-ever high school team at my alma mater of Keyser.
From there, I went on to West Virginia University and began working at the college radio station, WWVU-FM, better now at U92 FM.
I was honored as the rookie of the year in a very competitive class and got my feet wet broadcasting WVU women’s basketball, baseball, and club hockey, sports I continued to call for five years at U92.
In the fall of my sophomore year, I was given the wonderful opportunity of doing color commentary, and some play-by-play for Sunday doubleheaders, of West Virginia men’s and women’s soccer.
As a junior, I took over play-by-play duties and was paired with the fantastic Drew Epperley (you may know him from his work with WVHooligan.com) for two seasons.
After graduating early, I chose to stay around Morgantown for an additional year and the 2007 season. I knew that both WVU teams could be special, and boy, was I right.
The women’s soccer team won its first conference tournament title—on their home field, in penalties, against Notre Dame—and I got to call their run to the Elite Eight, still the best finish in school history as I write this in September of 2015.
They were upended by eventual national champs USC, led by future gold medalist and Women’s World Cup champion Amy Rodriguez, by a 1-0 scoreline on a chilly night in late November, in front of a crowd that easily exceeded the seating capacity of Dick Dlesk Stadium.
The men were darn good, too, getting to the Sweet 16 before also losing to another eventual national champ in Wake Forest.
I also continued my work at U92, rising to the position of sports director. I hosted the station’s award-winning Friday night call-in talk show, the Sportspage, with the irrepressible Sean Merinar. I also had the pleasure of calling the women’s basketball’s run to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, traveling with the team for regular season games and getting to call March Madness with my friend, Eric Little.
After wrapping up the 2007-08 year at WVU, I worked for the W-League West Virginia Illusion as a jack-of-all-trades: PR person, scoreboard operator, PA announcer, practice goalkeeper. You name it, I did it.
I moved back to Keyser in August of 2008 and started as a freelance sports reporter at my hometown paper, the Mineral Daily News Tribune, covering mostly high school football.
The following spring, I was offered the position of sports editor, and have continued in that capacity ever since. I’ve been blessed to cover high-quality high school athletics in my home town and give back to a community that has given me so much.
At the News Tribune, I’ve won awards for writing, photography, and design and produced several glossy magazines on the history of our area, and, specifically, of Keyser football, who commemorated 100 years of play in 2014.
While also working with the News Tribune, I’ve been able to continue my soccer broadcasting career.
I called play-by-play for Comcast SportsNet’s webcasts of the Washington Freedom in Women’s Professional Soccer, a team that featured Abby Wambach, Homare Sawa, Cat Whitehill, and Sonia Bompastor, among others. I was partnered with the talented Sebastian Salazar, who has gone on to great things covering Major League Soccer in Houston and now back in his native Washington, D.C.
After the Freedom moved to Florida and WPS eventually folded, I continued to do some freelance work with WVU.
When the professional game re-launched in 2013 with the National Women’s Soccer League, I again had the honor of calling play-by-play for the D.C franchise, the Washington Spirit, for live webcasts on YouTube.
I’ve again been fortunate to have a great color commentator, former Maryland captain Danielle Malagari. The Spirit, led by USWNT World Cup winners Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris and emerging superstar Crystal Dunn, just completed their second straight trip to the NWSL playoffs.
Our broadcast is consistently one of the most-watched and well-received in the league, earning plaudits from Our Game Magazine, Equalizer Soccer, and fans on social media.
I also called play-by-play for the semifinals and finals of the NCAA Division II Mountain East Conference men’s and women’s soccer tournaments in 2013.
So, where will my next adventure be? It’s hard to say, but I’m so excited to see what the future will hold for me as I continue to do what I love to do!