Hickory, N.C. - On Saturdays, many college football fans choose to see the game through the words of their local radio broadcasters.
Often these men range from seasoned professionals to reporters to former players to coaches to students looking for work.
Almost without exception these broadcasters are men whose objectivity sometimes gives way to their passion for the home team.
At Lenoir-Rhyne, the team of Davey Crockett, Jack Huss and JuJu Phillips fit the aforementioned description: proving that good things also come in three’s.
That passion and other intangibles is not lost on the man who put the trio together.
“I consider them a great team,” says Lenoir-Rhyne Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Neill McGeachy.
It was McGeachy who coaxed Huss, a close friend and teammate to don the headsets nine years ago as a part-time color analyst.
Having enjoyed the experience, Huss went full-time a few years later and pushed Phillips to the sideline where he was more comfortable.
Four years ago when L-R moved its flagship station to WKVS (Kicks 103.3 FM) out of Lenoir, N.C., Crockett was named play-by-play announcer completing what McGeachy believes is a radio team as good as anyone heard on the dial these days.
“The guys tell a fabulous story,” McGeachy says. “They are unique personalities who like each other on and off the air. They bring a real chemistry and savvy to the mix.”
Crockett, a 15-year broadcast veteran, anchors the play-by play action. He hosts the pre-game and post-game shows that airs one hour before and after each game. Crockett is also Program Director and morning co-host for the Foothills Radio Group.
Huss and Phillips provide an ample dose of opinions, humor, knowledge and story telling that is unique to an NCAA Division II school like L-R. Crockett admits he sometimes feels like a conductor but the chemistry the three have developed is real and genuine.
"I’ve learned so much,” said Crockett. “It’s a pleasure working with Jack (Huss) and JuJu (Phillips). I work hard to be prepared so I can contribute. Their knowledge of the game and the history of L-R Football is amazing.”
Huss, an Lenoir-Rhyne Hall of Famer and former head coach, confesses his love for his alma mater occasionally comes through. But his main purpose is quite simple.
“I like to analyze the X’s and O’s,” said Huss. “From a coaching standpoint, I just want to tell the listeners what tendencies I see happen and what might happen on the next play.”
His colleagues, though, disagree on Huss’ importance to the success of the each broadcast.
“Jack’s knowledge of football strategy and history of college football and Lenoir-Rhyne, I think, is unparallel,” says Crockett.
“Jack is a mad scientist who can decipher a game plan or a particular play and talk about it better than anyone I’ve ever worked with," said Phillips.
Phillips, who was recruited and played for Huss, has been covering or broadcasting L-R games on the radio since 1983.
Prior to becoming a teacher ten years ago, he was a sportscaster/reporter in the Hickory and Charlotte areas for 15 years. He says he can’t imagine doing another team’s games.
“I’ve been fortunate to be around and work with some fine broadcasters,” said Phillips. “I can’t imagine having any more fun than with Davey (Crockett) and Jack (Huss). At heart, I’m a fan with a microphone. I whine, exaggerate and root hard for the Bears. All three of us do.”
Lenoir-Rhyne fans wouldn’t want it any other way.