bob_jamisonA bad break in high school turned out to be perhaps the best break in the life of Bob Jamison, Jr.

During his sophomore year in high school, Jamison suffered a broken leg during the last day of two-a-day football practices.

While that injury for all intent ended Jamison’s athletic career on the gridiron, it directed him towards what eventually would be his adult profession.

Jamison spent the rest of that season spotting for broadcasts on WJBD Radio. It would be the first of many broadcasts in Jamison’s life.

bill_hawleyWhether it be for his cries of “Touchdown Wildcats!” or “Bottom of the Net!”, Billy Hawley is simply known as the Voice of the Salem Wildcats.

Hawley’s broadcasts on WJBD Radio have been a part of listeners lives for more than a quarter of a century.

Hawley, a graduate of Odin High School, made his debut over the airwaves in 1971 when he covered the Wildcats basketball team at the Centralia Holiday Tournament.

By the fall of 1972 Hawley had added football broadcasts to his resume.

He has been doing both sports on a regular basis ever since.

Hawley has had the pleasure of broadcasting four Salem football teams that have won North Egypt Conference champions (1985, 1991, 1992 and 1997) and 13 teams that have qualified for the state playoffs.

merle_harmonIt wasn’t an uncommon sight to see a kid tooling around town on his bicycle with a baseball mitt hooked on the handlebar, looking for a game. That “kid,” who always wanted to play professional baseball, missed participation in high school sports because in the early 1940’s Salem didn’t have a baseball program his sport He went on, though, to become one of the nation’s premier and most versatile sportcasters, Merle Harmon, a 1943 SCHS graduate, was inducted into the Salem High School
Sports Hall of Fame in 1988.

He broadcast major league baseball for 30 years, spending seven seasons as the voice of the Kansas City A’s prior to their departure for Oakland, two with the Milwaukee Braves, followed by three seasons with the Minnesota Twins and then back to Milwaukee to become the voice of the Milwaukee Brewers. Bob Uecker joined Harmon in the Brewer booth and over the next ten years they became one of the hottest broadcast teams in baseball.

Meanwhile, Harmon joined NBC Sports, first as an independent and then exclusively, and handled the Major League Baseball Game of the Week, NFL Football, NCAA Basketball and special assignments for Sportsworld. He was named as one of the anchors for the 1980 Olympic telecasts in Moscow but President Carter banned the U.S. teams from participating.


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