2016-08-19 / Sports

The Ranch will air it out

Simi Valley country music radio station to broadcast local football games
By Eliav Appelbaum


FINDING A SEAM—Royal High football running back Diego Reynoso, right, rushes for yards during a game against Moorpark last season. The Ranch 99.1 FM will broadcast local football games this fall. 
RICHARD GILLARD/Acorn Newspapers FINDING A SEAM—Royal High football running back Diego Reynoso, right, rushes for yards during a game against Moorpark last season. The Ranch 99.1 FM will broadcast local football games this fall. RICHARD GILLARD/Acorn Newspapers Country music and high school football go together like fireworks on the Fourth of July.

So it makes perfect sense that 99.1 The Ranch country radio station will broadcast the prep football games of local teams at Simi Valley, Royal, Grace Brethren and Moorpark high schools. The first game on the revolving 10-game slate is scheduled for 7 p.m., Fri., Aug. 26, when Buena visits Royal.

“Country, community and football . . . this is what Simi Valley is all about,” said The Ranch general manager Steve Todd. “It’s perfect.”

The broadcast is billed as Ranch Friday Night Lights Game of the Week.

Coaches are looking forward to having their games hitting the airwaves.


BORN TO RUN—Grace Brethren’s Zikel Reddick runs in a 46-41 playoff win against Brethren Christian in the CIF-Southern Section East Valley Division semifinals last year. Reddick now plays for Azusa Pacific. 
Courtesy of Barry Ziehl BORN TO RUN—Grace Brethren’s Zikel Reddick runs in a 46-41 playoff win against Brethren Christian in the CIF-Southern Section East Valley Division semifinals last year. Reddick now plays for Azusa Pacific. Courtesy of Barry Ziehl “It’s really neat exposure of our kids to a wider community,” said Matthew Lewis, the first-year head coach at Royal. “It shows the local media is serious about high school sports.”

Tim Lins, who is entering his 18th season guiding Moorpark’s football team, said he’s happy his Musketeers will be on the radio this fall.

“It’s really good for our kids,” Lins said. “It makes kids feel special, and that’s always good.”

Like players and coaches who work together to win on the field, the show requires teamwork to make everything go smoothly.

Tom West, the play-by-play announcer, and Dave Wheeler, the color commentator, will call games for the FM station. West, a former Simi Valley Unified School District teacher, has 25 years of radio experience. Wheeler, a former teacher who lives in Moorpark, coached football at Simi Valley and Royal.

Thomas Herdering, the director of community outreach, is working on securing sponsorships for the show. He moved to Simi Valley in 1988.

Michael Raffety, the program director, coordinates the broadcast.

Mark Pallock, the chief engineer, makes sure the audio comes through clearly for listeners at home, on the road and at the stadium.

JD Tayloe, the company president, has been dubbed the team captain.

Herdering’s 15-year-old son Andrew helps out as a network/ technology guru. Andrew, who is home-schooled, is in Grace Brethren’s robotics program.

The show is still seeking a sideline reporter. The Ranch, which is based in the Simi Valley Town Center, wants to bring in someone who has on-air chemistry with West and Wheeler.

“I’m excited about the connection that this makes between the schools and the radio station and community,” Herdering said.

The games can be heard on the radio, through an internet stream at www.991TheRanch.com and on Android and iPhone apps.

Before The Ranch even went live at high noon on March 13, 2015, broadcasting high school football games was on the drawing board, according to Herdering. Now that vision will become a reality.

The show will broadcast its second game on Sept. 2 when Simi Valley battles Rio Mesa.

Channel Islands at Royal on Sept. 16 is also on the calendar. The other games will be determined later in the season.

Herdering said, tongue in cheek, that there’s a “99.1 percent chance” the station calls Simi Valley at Moorpark on Sept. 9.

“We’re getting quite a buzz from the community,” Todd said. “It’s electric right now.”

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