Morgan games come alive on radio

Published 1:33 am Friday, November 6, 2009

SELMA — Mike Reynolds and George Henry have been watching private school football games from scaffolds, on top of pressboxes and even with a bag phone as a microphone for more than 20 years.

Not only do people listen to the Selma duo from WDXX-FM 100.1, but the pair even get fan mail.

Tonight, the duo will be broadcasting the Morgan Academy-Macon-East first-round playoff game, with Reynolds as play-by-play announcer and Henry as color commentator in leading the eight-man crew involved in the broadcast.

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“The big thrill is being able to be involved with the kids,” said Reynolds, who said he tries to be as “real” as he can be to get the listeners. “The emotion transcends through the broadcast.”

In the middle of their 21st year of broadcasting, the two men have seen 10 of Morgan’s 11 state championships. Reynolds said the early broadcasts were exciting.

“In 1989, high school football in the area had a hodgepodge of problems,” Reynolds said. “Morgan and Meadowview (Christian School) produced a considerable amount of support and rivalry.

“There was very little radio time for private schools when we started,” he said. “I feel like the publicity we did in the early years actually helped the schools attract more kids.”

Morgan Academy football coach Brian King said the radio broadcasts have been a tremendous asset for the schools.’

“It’s huge for us,” King said. “Even though we’re not bringing a crowd to the away games, I’ll see people on the street who’ll say, ‘Hey, great game. I heard you on the radio.’

“It surprises you how many people pay attention to what you’re doing,” King said.

Over the years, Reynolds said, “We’ve seen some of the best talent come through the Alabama Independent School Association.”

Among the athletes he included were Reed McMillian, Shane Wasden, Michael Dickinson and Jason King.

Memorable games or seasons Reynolds remembered were the Meadowview-Morgan games of the late 1980s, Morgan’s 2005 season, Meadowview’s rise to the championship game in 2007, the Fog Bowl of 1992, this year’s 21-0 Morgan victory over Bessemer and the Morgan-Glenwood championship game in 1989, which was Robert Gartman’s second state title.

In a tie-in to Friday’s game, Gartman’s son, Jeff, is coaching at Macon-East. was former defensive coordinator at Morgan Academy when his father was head coach.

As for the 2009 Senators, Reynolds said Morgan Academy’s strength going into Friday’s game against Macon-East is the team’s togetherness.

“They have 20 guys at about the same level and everybody contributes,” Reynolds said. “What they have is the ability to play assignment football.”

Keith, Lowndes play first-round games

The Keith Bears of Harry Crum will travel to Reform to meet Pickens County in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs.

Keith is 5-5 on the season, while Pickens County is 9-1 after losing its first game of the season last week to Gordo.

Lowndes Academy also hits the road Friday to Greensboro to meet Southern Academy.