Tuesday, November 25, 2008
By Greg Gulas
Jim Campbell is preparing to broadcast his eighth high school title game.
BOARDMAN — When Jim Campbell makes the trek to the Massillon press box on Saturday to broadcast the Division V state championship football game between Ursuline and Findlay’s Liberty-Benton, it will be his eighth title tilt.
Speaking to the Curbstone Coaches Monday at the Blue Wolf Banquet Center, Campbell said that he still gets a rush preparing for the contest.
“Radio has been very fulfilling for me because I am now doing what I like to do most,” Campbell said. “We broadcast a lot of games so I pretty much feel it’s like getting a good meal with two desserts.
As the sports director for Clear Channel, he noted that three stations this past fall combined to broadcast 28 games.
“High school football is very popular here in the Valley come Friday night,” Campbell said. “The real kick for me is to jump behind the microphone and do the games.
It’s been 11 years since WKBN dissolved their radio and television group, but Campbell has no regrets about where he has landed.
“Television was changing while I was there but I have no regrets about where I am today,” said Campbell, the former sports director for WKBN Channel 27. ¶While the games that I broadcast remain most important to me, I have become more focused on the things that I need to do on a daily basis.
“I have filled in for some of our on-air talk show hosts so I feel like I have become more rounded in areas outside the sports arena,” he said.
Campbell is in his fourth season as the voice of the YSU women’s basketball team’s games, calling first-year head coach Cindy Martin “a very intense, driven coach.
”She has a plan and she knows what she wants to do,” Campbell said. “She’s never been involved with a team that had a losing record, but that mark could be challenged this year.”
Campbell admits that it will take some time before YSU fans see some results.
“The players play hard, but they lack size and shooting has been a problem in the early going,” Campbell said. “Once the team adjusts to her system, fans should notice a difference in their play.”
Campbell said that Ursuline will have its hands full Saturday, but if they play their game then they should be alright.
“Ursuline is a really talented football team but they’re also playing a very talented football team as well,” Campbell said. “Their opponent has the co-offensive and defensive Players of the Year from their area and with seven shutouts to their credit, remain a concern on both sides of the football.
“Up until six years ago Liberty-Benton had never made the playoffs, but now has made it to postseason play the last six consecutive seasons,” Campbell said. “I expect a relatively low-scoring game, hoping that they can put it all together and come home with another state crown,” Campbell said.
Bill Castrovince, Channel 33 sports director, will speak at the next Curbstone meeting on Dec. 8.