Memories of WRKL

Memories of WRKL

Paul Dottino
Paul Dottino

January 21st, 2003, 3:09 pm #1

I just stumbled upon your tribute site to WRKL 910 AM and enjoyed paging through it, particularly because I am an alumnus, too. I was the play-by-play announcer for the High School Football Game of the Week from
1986-91. My partner for the first couple of years was Bill Rogan and spots were read live on-site by engineer Bill Collignon. After a couple of years,
both Bills left and Jordan Wortleib became my broadcast partner and we read the spots ourselves.

I guess the most significant game I called was when North Rockland's Derrick Owens broke the county rushing record (He changed his name to Derrick Lassic
and went on to play with the Dallas Cowboys).

We used a Marti transmitter that had to be wired to a portable antenna that microwaved our broadcast back to the station. I remember one game I did with substitute announcer Pete Caldera (then of the Journal News) in a downpour at Pearl River when I actually had to hold the antenna out of the press box window for the entire game.

I also did the play-by-play with partner Bill Rogan for the Dearhead Softball Tournament - and I want to say it was 1987.

During my time as the football announcer, I also pulled several fill-in shifts on the Saturday morning drive newscasts in the off-season.

Hell, it was a great station and if WVNJ 1160 was smart, it would use WRKL as a blueprint for what it should be doing in Bergen County.
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Bill Rogan
Bill Rogan

June 15th, 2003, 2:03 am #2

Wow. Like Paul Dottino, I too found this site by accident.
Reading Paul's message brought back a lot of memories. Broadcasting high school football was a blast and Paul and I prepared for the games as if they were NFL playoff games. However, unlike the NFL, high schools don't provide stats or bio's on the players and coaches. Heck, we were fortunate when we had rosters where the names and numbers were correct. And of course, EVERY game had some kid get in late in a blow out game who had a number but wasn't listed on the roster. I have always felt, if you could broadcast high school sports well, then you could broadcast college or pro sports.
I remember always trying to get more sports on WRKL and Bobbi Lewis would patiently listen and explain that we weren't a sports station but she would consider my ideas. As for Mort Siegal, he wouldn't give me the time of day.
Overall, WRKL was a great training ground. Besides sports, I did news reporting and met some fine people.
Thanks for this site...and a private message to Dottino. Go Giants!
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Norm Van Anden
Norm Van Anden

July 24th, 2005, 4:27 am #3

I just stumbled upon your tribute site to WRKL 910 AM and enjoyed paging through it, particularly because I am an alumnus, too. I was the play-by-play announcer for the High School Football Game of the Week from
1986-91. My partner for the first couple of years was Bill Rogan and spots were read live on-site by engineer Bill Collignon. After a couple of years,
both Bills left and Jordan Wortleib became my broadcast partner and we read the spots ourselves.

I guess the most significant game I called was when North Rockland's Derrick Owens broke the county rushing record (He changed his name to Derrick Lassic
and went on to play with the Dallas Cowboys).

We used a Marti transmitter that had to be wired to a portable antenna that microwaved our broadcast back to the station. I remember one game I did with substitute announcer Pete Caldera (then of the Journal News) in a downpour at Pearl River when I actually had to hold the antenna out of the press box window for the entire game.

I also did the play-by-play with partner Bill Rogan for the Dearhead Softball Tournament - and I want to say it was 1987.

During my time as the football announcer, I also pulled several fill-in shifts on the Saturday morning drive newscasts in the off-season.

Hell, it was a great station and if WVNJ 1160 was smart, it would use WRKL as a blueprint for what it should be doing in Bergen County.
In 1973, Betty Ramey and Matt Ricardi finally let me do the football pbp. AFTER, I had produced a demo tape in the production studio. Of course I jazzed it up with looped crowd noise which rose and fell during the exciting moments of the imaginary gaem. Sayeth Betty, "I never knoew he could sound so excited.
I was partnered with Joe Marsico (ex of the Journal News) and Joe's son. We also used the Marti unit (which was knew back then. Those were busy saturdays, I had to get up early to host the station from 6am to Noon including Agricultural Hotline with Ralph Snodsmith. Then When Steve Possell arrived, I packed the Marti equipment and game paperwork into my VW Beetle and headed for the game. I particularly remember two games.
One was at Nyack when it was horrendously windy. So much so that one kickoff got up in the air, was caught by a teremendous gust and was blown right back at the kicker. It nenver traveled more than two yards on the ground. But the refs let the recovery by the kicking team stand. Joe and I had a great time kidding about rules, enforcement and whether 10 yards airborn fulfilled the kickoff requirements.
The second was at a school that had a significant elevated garssy area across the firld from the main stands. As game time approached there was no power and no word on when it might be turned on. So I took the antenna down from the press box room, grabbed the marti and associated stuff and reinstalled it in my Beetle. Then by driving around to the other side of the field, Joe and I did the broadcast from my car.
By the way, Betty Ramey didn't appreciate it when I turned in a bill for the extra gasoline I burned. But then I had to do some hard negotiating to get the sperate engineering fee that they had paid Barry Cohen to set up the marti the previous season for At Athens.
I must have done OK. They added the alumni game from Ramapo I and a Rockland Warriors playoff game at the end of the season.
Oh, and I filled the halftime gap with news from the studio and an extended tape of my weekly interview with NY Giants coach Jim Garrett (father of future NFLer Jason.)
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Joined: March 16th, 2016, 3:59 pm

March 16th, 2016, 4:05 pm #4

Hi Norm,very interesting article...im interested to know if any audio tapes of the rockland county football game of the week are around...i represent a blog on FB called Rocklands greatest...i have two audio tapes that my parents taped from my football games,that were braoadcasted on game of the week with joe marsico..what a thrill it was to hear it again...and it would be a thrill for many an athlete that view rocklands greatest...i hope this message gets to you,Glenn
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Joined: March 16th, 2016, 3:59 pm

March 16th, 2016, 4:10 pm #5

I just stumbled upon your tribute site to WRKL 910 AM and enjoyed paging through it, particularly because I am an alumnus, too. I was the play-by-play announcer for the High School Football Game of the Week from
1986-91. My partner for the first couple of years was Bill Rogan and spots were read live on-site by engineer Bill Collignon. After a couple of years,
both Bills left and Jordan Wortleib became my broadcast partner and we read the spots ourselves.

I guess the most significant game I called was when North Rockland's Derrick Owens broke the county rushing record (He changed his name to Derrick Lassic
and went on to play with the Dallas Cowboys).

We used a Marti transmitter that had to be wired to a portable antenna that microwaved our broadcast back to the station. I remember one game I did with substitute announcer Pete Caldera (then of the Journal News) in a downpour at Pearl River when I actually had to hold the antenna out of the press box window for the entire game.

I also did the play-by-play with partner Bill Rogan for the Dearhead Softball Tournament - and I want to say it was 1987.

During my time as the football announcer, I also pulled several fill-in shifts on the Saturday morning drive newscasts in the off-season.

Hell, it was a great station and if WVNJ 1160 was smart, it would use WRKL as a blueprint for what it should be doing in Bergen County.
any audio tapes from the game of the week around??would love to hear 1969 -1973
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Joined: March 16th, 2016, 3:59 pm

March 16th, 2016, 5:18 pm #6

In 1973, Betty Ramey and Matt Ricardi finally let me do the football pbp. AFTER, I had produced a demo tape in the production studio. Of course I jazzed it up with looped crowd noise which rose and fell during the exciting moments of the imaginary gaem. Sayeth Betty, "I never knoew he could sound so excited.
I was partnered with Joe Marsico (ex of the Journal News) and Joe's son. We also used the Marti unit (which was knew back then. Those were busy saturdays, I had to get up early to host the station from 6am to Noon including Agricultural Hotline with Ralph Snodsmith. Then When Steve Possell arrived, I packed the Marti equipment and game paperwork into my VW Beetle and headed for the game. I particularly remember two games.
One was at Nyack when it was horrendously windy. So much so that one kickoff got up in the air, was caught by a teremendous gust and was blown right back at the kicker. It nenver traveled more than two yards on the ground. But the refs let the recovery by the kicking team stand. Joe and I had a great time kidding about rules, enforcement and whether 10 yards airborn fulfilled the kickoff requirements.
The second was at a school that had a significant elevated garssy area across the firld from the main stands. As game time approached there was no power and no word on when it might be turned on. So I took the antenna down from the press box room, grabbed the marti and associated stuff and reinstalled it in my Beetle. Then by driving around to the other side of the field, Joe and I did the broadcast from my car.
By the way, Betty Ramey didn't appreciate it when I turned in a bill for the extra gasoline I burned. But then I had to do some hard negotiating to get the sperate engineering fee that they had paid Barry Cohen to set up the marti the previous season for At Athens.
I must have done OK. They added the alumni game from Ramapo I and a Rockland Warriors playoff game at the end of the season.
Oh, and I filled the halftime gap with news from the studio and an extended tape of my weekly interview with NY Giants coach Jim Garrett (father of future NFLer Jason.)
do any of the audio tapes of the high school football game of the week still exist???particularly interested in 1968-1973
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Joined: March 16th, 2016, 3:59 pm

March 17th, 2016, 6:39 pm #7

Wow. Like Paul Dottino, I too found this site by accident.
Reading Paul's message brought back a lot of memories. Broadcasting high school football was a blast and Paul and I prepared for the games as if they were NFL playoff games. However, unlike the NFL, high schools don't provide stats or bio's on the players and coaches. Heck, we were fortunate when we had rosters where the names and numbers were correct. And of course, EVERY game had some kid get in late in a blow out game who had a number but wasn't listed on the roster. I have always felt, if you could broadcast high school sports well, then you could broadcast college or pro sports.
I remember always trying to get more sports on WRKL and Bobbi Lewis would patiently listen and explain that we weren't a sports station but she would consider my ideas. As for Mort Siegal, he wouldn't give me the time of day.
Overall, WRKL was a great training ground. Besides sports, I did news reporting and met some fine people.
Thanks for this site...and a private message to Dottino. Go Giants!
hi Bill do you know if any audio tapes of rockland sporting games exist...it would be fun to share it with the guys and girls from rocklands greatest on fb,thanks Glenn..i hope this message gets to you
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Joined: March 16th, 2016, 3:59 pm

March 19th, 2016, 11:49 am #8

In 1973, Betty Ramey and Matt Ricardi finally let me do the football pbp. AFTER, I had produced a demo tape in the production studio. Of course I jazzed it up with looped crowd noise which rose and fell during the exciting moments of the imaginary gaem. Sayeth Betty, "I never knoew he could sound so excited.
I was partnered with Joe Marsico (ex of the Journal News) and Joe's son. We also used the Marti unit (which was knew back then. Those were busy saturdays, I had to get up early to host the station from 6am to Noon including Agricultural Hotline with Ralph Snodsmith. Then When Steve Possell arrived, I packed the Marti equipment and game paperwork into my VW Beetle and headed for the game. I particularly remember two games.
One was at Nyack when it was horrendously windy. So much so that one kickoff got up in the air, was caught by a teremendous gust and was blown right back at the kicker. It nenver traveled more than two yards on the ground. But the refs let the recovery by the kicking team stand. Joe and I had a great time kidding about rules, enforcement and whether 10 yards airborn fulfilled the kickoff requirements.
The second was at a school that had a significant elevated garssy area across the firld from the main stands. As game time approached there was no power and no word on when it might be turned on. So I took the antenna down from the press box room, grabbed the marti and associated stuff and reinstalled it in my Beetle. Then by driving around to the other side of the field, Joe and I did the broadcast from my car.
By the way, Betty Ramey didn't appreciate it when I turned in a bill for the extra gasoline I burned. But then I had to do some hard negotiating to get the sperate engineering fee that they had paid Barry Cohen to set up the marti the previous season for At Athens.
I must have done OK. They added the alumni game from Ramapo I and a Rockland Warriors playoff game at the end of the season.
Oh, and I filled the halftime gap with news from the studio and an extended tape of my weekly interview with NY Giants coach Jim Garrett (father of future NFLer Jason.)
i have two audio tapes of joe marsico calling HS football games ..i was hoping to find more audio tapes to share with our FB friends on rocklands greatest...hope this message gets out!!!
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