LONGMONT — When Les Haber took over as general manager at KRCN 1060 AM in July, one of the first things he noticed about the station’s programming was that there was no prep football.
“I said, ‘Why?'” Haber said Thursday. “What I was told was nobody really cared, and I couldn’t believe that. So we’re doing it.”
Beginning with Longmont High’s Aug. 30 season opener against Ralston Valley, KRCN will broadcast 17 games from Everly-Montgomery Field this fall, covering most of the home games for Longmont, Skyline, Niwot and Silver Creek.
Haber, 68 — but going on 46, he says — came to Colorado from Miami, where he spent several years in the radio business in one of America’s prep football hotbeds.
KRCN features mostly business programming, but Haber said it’s fairly common around the country for business stations to carry a decent dose of sports programming on the weekend.
Haber admits that with his summer arrival that he got a late start in marketing the prep football coverage to advertisers. He’s hoping the venture will take off once it’s tangible to listeners and advertisers. And the station is moving full-speed ahead this fall.
“There’s a huge need for it, and we’re really excited about doing it,” Haber said. “We know it will grow.”
KRCN, owned by Indiana-based Pilgrim Communications, hasn’t carried prep football in 13 years, since its KLMO days.
Former Colorado State baseball standout Mark Knudson, who finished his professional playing career with the Colorado Rockies in 1993, was manager of the station then.
Ironically, it was Knudson — owner of Elevations Sports Network — who Haber called to serve as a programming consultant for KRCN’s football coverage.
“The mindset of small-town radio, you want to serve the community, and there’s no better way to do that than broadcast a high school football game,” Knudson said.
Jason Alvine, the voice of University of Northern Colorado women’s basketball, will handle play-by-play duties for KRCN, with the station’s Jim Turner providing color commentary.
Coverage will begin shortly before kickoff on gamedays at the end of KRCN’s Main Street show, which runs from 6-7 p.m. on weekdays. There will also be a short postgame show.
Haber said he’s hoping to add coaches shows to the mix down the road.
“Hopefully it’s the first of many (seasons) and we’ll just continue to do it,” Haber said.
KRCN PREP FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Aug. 30 — Longmont vs. Ralston Valley
Aug. 31 — Niwot vs. Skyline
Sept. 6 — Skyline vs. Thompson Valley
Sept. 7 — Silver Creek vs. Centaurus
Sept. 13 — Niwot vs. Monarch
Sept. 14 — Skyline vs. Erie
Sept. 20 — Niwot vs. Greeley West
Sept. 21 — Silver Creek vs. Holy Family
Sept. 28 — Longmont vs. Windsor
Oct. 5 — Niwot vs. Mountain View
Oct. 11 — Longmont vs. Greeley West
Oct. 12 — Silver Creek vs. Skyline
Oct. 18 — Skyline vs. Mead
Oct. 19 — Longmont vs. Niwot
Oct. 25 — Niwot vs. Windsor
Oct. 26 — Skyline vs. Berthoud
Nov. 2 — Longmont vs. Greeley Central
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