Broadcaster Caparanis shares love of Valley
By Greg Gulas
For five decades, John Caparanis has delivered the local sports angle to area fans on his highly popular “Tip of the Cap” radio program.
He’s also fulfilled play-by-play and color analyst roles on football, baseball and basketball games.
Monday’s speaker for the Curbstone Coaches said that the Mahoning Valley is truly unparalleled when it comes to supporting local teams and athletes.
“We are blessed for over the years we have witnessed some of the very best players and teams in the entire state, all right here in the Mahoning Valley,” Caparanis said. “There have been so many great players, coaches and teams from the tri-county area over the years which have put us on the proverbial sports map, simply because of their superb play.”
Always one to blow the horn of a local product, Caparanis has broadcast nearly 1,000 football contests and more than 1,600 basketball games.
The former voice of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers during their early years, his resume also includes broadcasting more than 500 baseball games as well.
“I have had the best seat in the house at any game that I’ve ever attended,” Caparanis said. “I’ve always had fun whether the game was a blowout or wasn’t decided until the final gun or buzzer had sounded.
“It’s easy to broadcast a game when the outcome isn’t in doubt until the final moments, but making a game interesting when the other team is up big and it isn’t even halftime is when you earn your keep,” he said.
A Steubenville native and 1964 graduate of Warren Harding High School, Caparanis cut his broadcasting teeth at Ohio University when he teamed with Joe Tait in Athens County on WOUB AM-FM.
“I learned a lot from Joe back then and continued to learn from him until his retirement while listening to him broadcast Cleveland Cavaliers and Indians games,” Caparanis said. “To me, he was the ultimate professional in that he was always prepared and could handle any distractions when and if they popped up.”
Caparanis teams with former Warren Harding High School and University of Cincinnati football player Nick Frankos to broadcast high school football games on WHKZ 1440-AM.
“Having just watched the high school playoffs and the Big Ten Conference title game between Ohio State and Michigan State this past weekend, how could you not be proud of our area’s representation?” Caparanis said. “Cardinal Mooney was back in familiar territory, the playoffs.
“Connor Krizancic, whose father Bob starred at Girard and YSU and later coached his alma mater to a state basketball title, started at quarterback for Mentor High School.”
He also cited Michigan State coaches Mark Dantonio (Youngstown State) and Pat Narduzzi (Ursuline, YSU) for their Mahoning Valley connections.
An avid sports researcher, Caparanis was elected to the Ohio Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991.
“Sports teach our youngsters lessons that can be used later in life,” Caparanis said. “They learn at an early age about integrity, teamwork and goal-setting and those that heed the message are the ones most successful later on when their athletic careers are just a fading memory. “