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HCC athletics loses its voice as Reeder resigns

November 11, 2008|By BOB PARASILITI

Rick Reeder is a certified sports nut.

He loves talking about sports. He loves watching sports. He loves getting into the middle of games.

So, someone out there handed him a microphone and allowed Reeder to do all three. Mostly as a public address announcer at local sporting events and on radio.

Now, after 20 years, Reeder has decided to unplug himself. Reeder resigned as Hagerstown Community College public address announcer, putting his voice in mothballs and ending a two-decade run of calling basketball games.

"This is a tough decision," Reeder said. "I thought about doing it last year but (HCC women's basketball coach Marlys Palmer) talked me out of it. I was going to stay as long as she did, but things came up."

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The main thing was relocation. Reeder, and his wife Cindy, have moved to Chambersburg, Pa. Then, Reeder landed a truck driving job in the Chambersburg area that limits the time he is allowed to work.

So time, opportunity and geography basically told him it was time to turn off the mic.

"It's been 20 years," Reeder said. "It's time to step down. It's time to leave. It is the geographical changes that makes it tough."

Reeder's departure isn't the only change HCC faces for the winter season. Earl Redden had taken over the men's basketball program.

Change is inevitable.

"We are not disappointed," said HCC athletic director Bo Myers. "He's given us 20 good years of being the 'Voice of the Hawks.' He got a wonderful job that will probably not allow him to be here all the time. His service here has been great and he has been a tremendous asset to the college. We thank him for all he's done."

HCC has upgraded its sound system for the upcoming seasons, but it will be unveiled without Reeder.

"I told Earl that he's going to be moving over one seat on the bench and I'm going to be moving back to the stands," Reeder said. "(HCC facilities director) Amy Sterner said she had a new system, complete with headsets. I told her the new headsets would be used by a new head."

Reeder's voice is probably like that song you can't get out of your head. He has done radio voiceovers for Oriole broadcasts, did some radio commentary for local games, was the stadium voice of the Hagerstown Suns from 1999-2005 and did game announcing at North Hagerstown and other events over the years.

"It wasn't a job," Reeder said. "It was fun to go to the games and be right there."

Reeder was recruited for HCC by former men's basketball coach Jim Brown. He took Reeder down on the floor before the school's athletic complex was finished, allowing a chance to get a feel for what was to come.

"I jumped at it," Reeder said. "Working there felt like family. Soon, one year turned to five, five to 10 and then it was 10 to 20 in no time. Time went so fast. For 20 years, I met so many people and players, opposing coaches and referees. It was more than I could have every got in the stands."

Over the course of his HCC career, he shared time at the mic with others, like the late Russ Wiebel, Craig Clevenger and George "Jungle" Miller. They worked for stretches of time and moved on to other things. Reeder remained the constant and it helped land his other ventures.

"I guess I had the knack to do a good job," Reeder said. "I didn't have a great radio voice, but they liked something I did."

And for now, Reeder hasn't signed off ... he just has his mic turned down.

"I'm out of it for now, but I wouldn't rule out a comeback somewhere," he said.

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