PLENTY OF ACTIVITY IN THE KOMETS PRESS BOX
Most hockey fans know what is happening on the ice, but a lot of them don’t know what happens during a Komet game in the press box. I didn’t know so I thought someday I’d write a story about what happens in the press box.
I picked the Wednesday, January 23, 2002 game between The Komets and The Port Huron Border Cats.
It all started with me arriving at The Coliseum at about 7pm with Peggy a 10-year usher veteran letting me in through the press-pass gate. Then came the long walk up the mountain of stairs to the press box. Upon reaching my destination I made contact with Chuck Bailey (Director of Communications) and Angel North (Press Box Assistant) who at one time worked for The Waynedale News.
Angel introduced me to the 15 people already in the press box ready for the game to start.
Glenn Lecour, visiting broadcaster for Port Huron WHLS AM 1450, is set up and ready to go. Because of the broadcast of The Indiana – Penn State basketball game The Komet game wasn’t on the air. Bob Chase was however in the press box.
Don Detter, Team Statistician, as well as League Statisticians, Stan Bradtmueller, John Cains, and Don Cains have on headphones with lots of paper forms in front of them. Anne Cains, part of the family also a league statistician was located on the lower level. The League Statisticians are volunteers. They enjoy being a part of Komet Hockey. Much of the information they collect ends up in the leagues main office.
The Time Keeper, Ken Rehrs has 32 years with The Komets. Before him was Jack Deturk, a baseball umpire. Larry Schmitt, the P A Announcer with 4 years experience is busy continually. Shane Albahrani is the Video Cameraman with all Komet games being put on tape. There is of course Blake Sebring (News Sentinel) and Justin Conn (Journal Gazette) sports writers with lap top computers ready for action.
The game starts after the National Anthem with everybody assuming their respective duties.
The Time Keeper has to start and stop the game clock as the game progresses. He also keeps track of the shots on goal that is then transferred to lighted digital signs several places around the arena. The announcer is continually busy placing advertisements and announcements from his computer to the scoreboard. He also makes many announcements before the game starts.
Your league statisticians are continually writing on printed forms. When a goal is scored a form is quickly made out which states the number of the player scoring the goal with usually two assists. And this league statistician hands this to the announcer. This information is given over the P A System plus it also appears on the scoreboard.
When Komets scored their second goal I walked over to Bob Chase and said, “It looks like a 5-0 game.” Bob stated, “It looks more like 7-3.” The game ended 7-2.
Some announcements about other league games are posted in the press box. The one that caught my eye was The Flint-Binghamton game. It was rescheduled because of bad ice.
During the period intermissions everybody except the announcer take a break by eating sandwiches and drinking Pepsi furnished by The Komets.
Two of the Franke’s, Mike and David were in the press box. I asked Mike what he thought about The Komet exhibit at the downtown public library. He stated it was fabulous and he agreed with me that a permanent all sports museum should be located in The Coliseum.
During the intermission, Charity Richardson (Promotions) delivered some up-to-date announcements for the announcer. I even had a chance to talk to an old bowling buddy, Earl Stritmatter who was a goal judge for many years. Scott Sprout, Executive V. P. Sales and Marketing was also in the press box.
The game ends and there is now a relaxed atmosphere. The sportwriters, Blake and Justin go to the pressroom where they and the TV stations interview Komet Coach, Greg Puhalski. Blake goes back to The News Sentinel and completes his article that takes about one and one-half hours while Justin completes his before leaving The Coliseum.
It was certainly an interesting experience for me seeing the many people involved in press box activities. That’s the way I saw it.
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