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Behind the Lights: Radio crew prepares for games

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Posted: Friday, October 22, 2010 12:00 pm | Updated: 9:13 am, Thu Aug 16, 2012.

By Alex Byington

Killeen Daily Herald

The preparation starts hours before the first snap, sometimes even hours.

Whether its gathering background information on the two teams set to square off on any given Friday night, or the not-so-simple task of trying to memorize the rosters, putting on the KNCT-FM 93.1 radio coverage of each Killeen Independent School District high school football game at Leo Buckley Stadium is more than just speaking into a microphone.

"Honestly, we have the best show in the Central Texas area, I'll put that out there against anybody," KNCT sideline reporter Christopher Winbush said.

Just like the players on the field, it takes a total team effort to put on a good show, involving as many as six different people on any given game.

Based out of Central Texas College, the KNCT radio and television station serves as a non-commercial educational source for each and every prep game played at the KISD football stadium.

"I love it, I live for Friday night, and Thursday night," said KNCT-FM program director Dan Hull.

As the only paid employee on the program, Hull has been doing play-by-play for schools in KISD for 15 years. Originally covering just Ellison games, the program is mostly made up of a team of volunteers that have been with Hull for much of that time.

Hull's regular team includes Winbush, color commentator Bruce Vasbinder, designated stats compiler Tony Gonzales, along with his own wife, Monica, who helps with the scoreboard. Back in the CTC studio is board operator Michelle Flores, a student employee.

"It is a big family, because there are family members involved, my wife and my brother (Jim Hull), Bruce is someone I've known since high school, so he's like family, and I've known Chris for 15 years now," Dan Hull said. "So, we all work really well together."

With equipment stored and set up in their own, personal press box room, the set-up doesn't take as long.

Nevertheless, putting on a show isn't a simple endeavor.

"The hardest part for me is that since I didn't have any experience going into this (when he started 15 years ago), I don't know if I'm doing a good job or a bad job," Vasbinder said. "So I just do, what I do and hope it comes across that way."

Winbush, the brother of former Ellison and University of Kansas tailback David Winbush, roams the sidelines throughout the game gathering information and providing his own personal insight into the game. He also does the KISD-TV post-game interview with the hometown coaches, working side-by-side with student workers from CTC.

"I have a unique position because I get to train some of the kids that work at KISD-TV in front of the camera, along with doing the sideline comments," said 12-year veteran Winbush. "They'll come down and say, 'Hey Chris, what'd you see on that play?' And I give them my perspective."

Of course, with so many different personalities, there are the occasional drawbacks.

"There's never enough time to talk," Winbush joked. "We all want to talk."

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