on Mike Smith
|More than a
voice of the SVC
By Shayne Combs,
In the past few weeks of emptying the inbox, I have had several emails about the recent news concerning Mike Smith
no longer being with iHeartMedia stations in Chillicothe. I was first made aware of the news through a well-written
piece by Derrick Webb and Michael Throne, both of the Chillicothe Gazette, and then later read it straight from Mike
on his personal Facebook page.
Before giving my personal response, I will try to respond to the most common question I am getting at the website:
What do I feel this means for the future of SVC sports? My honest reaction is that I am not sure. I certainly fear the
future of radio coverage for the SVC in terms of number of sports, number of games in those sports, and the quality
in which the games are called. With high school sports already starting this month, I think we will have more answers
soon, but for now I would rather attack this topic from more of a personal perspective to give the proper respect to
someone who has done so much for our area.
My first reaction was disbelief. It is impossible to imagine SVC sports gearing up for another season without Mike
Smith at the head of its radio coverage. Our area has been so spoiled in terms of Mike covering SVC sports for what
has been nearly 40 years. People of his talent in his line of work do not usually land and stay an entire career in a
small market like Chillicothe. I am a sports nut who will listen for anything and everything high school sports, and so
many times I have been out traveling during the high school season and heard a little of everything on the radio. To
put it kindly - so I do not offend people outside our area – I have listened to several games in several sports where it
is hard enough to know the score let alone have a sense of what just happened. Mike has offered the SVC a
professional level of play-by-play, not just for major sports like football and basketball, but his volleyball IQ as well as
all sports has offered great coverage to the entire league.
Mike has a true mastery of the SVC’s entire lifespan. This is why I appreciate him on a broadcast or any sort of talk
show, because he can talk high school sports. Great stories, great understanding of people, great knowledge of SVC
personnel, and a great ability to articulate it to us are all characteristics that make Mike legendary in his field.
His voice is my earliest memory of SVC sports. As he was calling some of SVC’s most magical moments during my
childhood, I can remember dreaming of him calling my name as I worked toward the high school level. Following my
playing days, I began coaching and had the privilege of working with Mike as he covered the league. Over the past
eight years, I have started to study Mike in a different way as I began to do the website and eventually get involved in
what now has been over 150 podcast shows of SVC Sports Talk and several attempts at calling some play-by-play of
SVC games. This has only increased my respect for his incredible work.
All totaled to me, Mike Smith has been the voice, a respected ambassador of SVC sports, a mentor, and a good
friend. I know I speak for the entire league when I say thank you, and you will truly be missed.