Daily Press to kick off live varsity football broadcasts

Written by on August 14, 2019

Beginning this week, Grant County will see the advent of livestreaming pregame, play-by-play and postgame coverage of all its high school football games, both home and away, thanks to an effort led by the Daily Press to improve live coverage of area sports. 

“There will be a link on the scdailypress.com homepage beginning Thursday,” said Daily Press Publisher Nick Seibel. “In the future, if sports fans click on the player, they will also find archives of games from the past as those become available.” 

Because the coverage will be broadcast via the internet, Cobre and Silver high school games will be accessible to anyone with an internet connection — anywhere in the world. 

“People who listen to sports on radio won’t see a difference with this — it’s just like a radio sportscast without the radio station,” Seibel said. “You can listen on your computer, your tablet — even your phone.”

Seibel said that the programming, branded as Daily Press Sports Live, will start off by covering Cobre and Silver varsity-level football every Friday night, with, for example, a Cobre “Mi Casita Pregame Show” beginning 15 minutes before kickoff, plus a halftime show and a postgame show. The “Daily Press Live Scoreboard” for both Silver and Cobre games — livestreamed simultaneously on separate “stations” — is sponsored by R&L Service Center. 

“Football is the only sport we’ve committed to covering so far, but if we get the support that I think we will, we’ll continue on into winter and spring sports,” Seibel said. “With the level of support for high school sports in our community, this seemed like a logical place to start, and we might look at covering Western in the future — I’d really like to.”

When the season kicks off with Silver High School’s Thursday night scrimmage against Lordsburg, tune into the “Mi Casita Halftime Sports Show.” Broadcasts will continue Friday night with Cobre’s scrimmage against Tularosa. Pregame shows for both will begin at 5:45, and kickoff is at 6 p.m. Nearly every subsequent Friday night through Nov. 1 will see both a Cobre and a Silver High football game simultaneously livestreamed online — whether the teams are at home or on the road.

That kind of coverage of away games hasn’t been done for years, according to Daily Press senior marketing consultant Matt Runnels — who has decades of broadcasting experience in local radio. 

“The community wanted this,” he said. “When Silver or Cobre went out of town — for years, nobody covered that.”

Seibel said that the livestreaming coverage of away games will also incidentally mean there will be more stories and photos in the Daily Press sports pages, too — since one member of the broadcast team is staff writer and photographer C.P. Thompson. 

“When C.P. originally came to us as an intern, he was an athlete who had played high school sports,” Seibel said. “He’s always had an interest in sports reporting, and this is an opportunity for C.P. to get involved and do sports coverage. And when he is on the road, he will be able to duck away from the microphone and take some photos — this will improve the quality of our sports coverage at the same time as we do the broadcasts.”

In addition to play-by-play broadcasts, the two Daily Press Sports Live channels will simulcast a weekly sports talk program looking ahead to those games.

Known around the newsroom as the “Dean of Sports,” Sports Editor Dean Thompson has been covering sports for 37 years for the Daily Press — and his expertise and knowledge of local sports will be featured on Daily Press Sports Live’s “Food Basket Coaches Show” every Wednesday — broadcast live from Wrangler’s Bar and Grill starting at 7 p.m. He will team up with announcers from the weekly live game coverage to talk all things high school sports. 

In addition to bringing in coaches for the live show, the weekly “Food Basket Coaches Show” will feature the Daily Press Athletes of the Week from the prior week, so that listeners can get to know the student-athletes in both boys’ and girls’ high school sports. Expect recaps and previews of games during the show, as well as surprise guests from inside Wrangler’s Bar and Grill. 

Seibel said he hopes that Daily Press Athletes of the Week will bring along friends and family to the broadcast to show their support, “and take advantage of the Wednesday wings specials.”

Slated to announce the games for Daily Press Sports Live are Chris Marrufo and Randy Villa, who will team up for most Silver High games, and Adam Amador and C.P. Thompson, who will focus on Cobre High. 

Villa and Marrufo bring with them years of experience calling high school games on KNFT and KNFT-FM, as well as KNUW. 

“Finding people with experience in announcing sports — I thought that might be problematic,” Seibel said. “When Dean approached Randy and Chris to do this, they signed on right off the bat. They just said yes! They were ready to go the following week, if I had let them.”

Marrufo said he looks forward to calling games again — and especially looks forward to reuniting with fellow announcer Villa.

“We always had a blast doing games,” Marrufo said. “I missed it. It will be good to get back to it. It’s been three years since I retired, and I wanted to get away from the radio. It was a 17-year run, with over nine state championships called, but radio takes a lot of time — ultimately me and my wife decided I should call it quits. Then Dean asked if I was interested. I had to think about it, but I knew right away I would do it. It will be great to get back together with Randy.

“The great thing about doing it online is we can cover both Cobre and Silver, all the games,” Marrufo continued. “And they both deserve it. That’s a great thing, and it’s long overdue.”

“For 84 years in Grant County, if you wanted to know what’s happening in local sports, you picked up a copy of the Daily Press,” Seibel said. “This is the latest iteration of that. There could not be a more natural tie-in.”

—GEOFFREY PLANT

(Press Staff Photo)  Chris Marrufo, Randy Villa, Adam Amador and C.P. Thompson talk sports at the Daily Press building on Tuesday. The Daily Press will be kicking off live varsity football broadcasts beginning this week.

(Press Staff Photo)
Chris Marrufo, Randy Villa, Adam Amador and C.P. Thompson talk sports at the Daily Press building on Tuesday. The Daily Press will be kicking off live varsity football broadcasts beginning this week.

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