TERRE HAUTE — If you’ve tried to listen to any Vigo County or Northview high school athletic teams on the radio these last several months, well, you probably struck out — to use a baseball metaphor.
So veteran announcer John Brush decided to offer an alternative.
“I think it’s unfortunate [that there was little to no radio coverage of Vigo County/Northview sporting events in the last year] because there’s a lot of good talent here that needs to be promoted,” he told the Tribune-Star.
Last year, the 47-year-old Brush and a silent partner started wabashvalleysports.com, where fans can follow their favorite squads from anywhere with Internet access by clicking on a link when games are being broadcast.
On Monday, spectators at the Class 4A Terre Haute South baseball sectional could see Brush calling the semifinal and championship action from behind the fence near home plate.
He believes this is the “only dedicated broadcast sports website in Terre Haute” for live events.
“It’s an Internet sports broadcasting website that’s dedicated to promoting high school-age kids in their athletic endeavors,” Brush continued. “We have high school football, high school basketball, high school baseball, high school softball and American Legion baseball. And we’d like to get into some racing maybe — sprint-car racing on the local level. But that has not been finalized yet.”
Brush, who recently worked in Wabash Valley radio for five years at two different stations, didn’t come from a broadcasting background.
Married with two daughters and a 1984 graduate of Brazil High School (where he played football, basketball and baseball), he earned a bachelor’s degree in sports studies from Indiana State University in 1990 but ended up working for the Indiana Department of Corrections for roughly 23 years.
But after John Sherman persuaded Brush into helping broadcast Northview games for the old WSDX station as a side gig a few years ago, he became hooked on describing the successes — and sometimes failures — of local athletes.
Brush, who calls himself the co-owner, manager and chief announcer of wabashvalleysports.com, said the site’s emergence “has been a great opportunity for me to get back at it.”
Brush said his site temporarily partnered with hcsnsportsradio.com and its owner, Keith Myers of Indianapolis, to carry Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic high school basketball games from Terre Haute South last December. He also mentioned Jimmy Kendall and Walter Gordon as two of his occasional announcing partners.
Someday, Brush hopes there will be expansion for the site.
“As I look to the future, I’d like to stream video coverage along with the audio and I’d like to do that fairly soon, actually,” said Brush, who hopes to make money or at least break even off the site by selling advertisements.
“I’d also like to start a separate channel where we can spread to different parts of the Wabash Valley. But my main goal of the whole thing is to promote these kids as they try to move on to the next level.”
Brush’s next endeavor for the site is to carry all home and several road games for the Wayne Newton Post 346 American Legion baseball team. The first will be Monday night at Danville, Ill.
Post 346 manager John Hayes, for one, appreciates Brush’s efforts.
“It’s good for our program if we can get that out to people who can’t make it to our ballgames, especially elderly people who prefer not to go outside when it’s hot,” Hayes said.
“If they can get that on the computer, they can at least listen to the game and be able to follow their friends and family members playing baseball.”