Monday, December 13, 2010

Remembering Don Stahl

Former WFTM play-by-play announcer Don Stahl died Sunday. Don was my mentor. He gave a 19 year old wet behind the ears announcer an opportunity to call games for his hometown station. I was a bit intimidated by working with Don. I had grown up listening to him broadcast Maysville, St. Patrick and Mason County basketball games. Don was a professional. His precise description of the games was second to none including Cawood Ledford. Before I ever went on the air, Don had me practice calling games with a tape recorder. He critiqued my tapes and gave me suggestions for getting better. I still have a sheet of his suggestions. He stressed giving details of the game and never criticizing the officials. Even now after calling hundreds of games, I rely on the fundamentals Don taught me. When the Ledger-Independent did a feature on me a few years I ago I mentioned Don's influence on my career. He told me I had given him too much credit. That was not true. He deserves a world of credit, and I am forever grateful. Don called many big games for WFTM including Ronnie Lyons' 60-point performance at Bourbon County, Maysville's upset win over Louisville Central in the 1972 state tournament, the Maysville Bulldogs football games and the first two seasons of Mason County football. Don was a part of the Morehead State University broadcast team in the 1970s and early 1980s. He was there when Phil Simms was the Eagles' quarterback. Don left WFTM in 1981 to work in public relations for Dayton Power and Light. I am saddened by Don's passing and send my condolences to his family.

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