"It's Pouring Purple!"
Pouring Purple is entering its 10th season covering St. Francis DeSales Stallion Football. This is how it all began.
The History of Pouring Purple
By Tom Snyder and Scott Bacon, Voices of the Stallions
Tom Snyder: The evolution of Pouring Purple actually began before the first official season in 2005.
While at Otterbein College, myself and a friend of mine, Scott Bacon, were each majoring in Broadcast Journalism and broadcasted various Otterbein Athletic Events on WOBN-FM in 2002. Scott and I were always looking to call more games. Late in the fall of 2002, I "convinced" Scott that we should broadcast the DeSales playoff games. The Stallions were coming off the 2001 Division-III State Runner-up and looked primed to another postseason run. Now, it didn't take much persuasion to lure Scott in. He was always looking to call more games; if there was a pick-up basketball game down at Alum Creek Park, he'd look for his headset.
The flexibility with Friday night programming on WOBN-FM, Otterbein's radio station, really lent for the opportunity for us to broadcast high school football games, so we followed the Stallions in 2002 during their playoff run.
The following year, in 2003, we conspired to create a "Westerville High School Football Game of the Week" on the school's radio station WOBN-FM. The coverage in '03 was split between Westerville South and Westerville North football games. We did however have the opportunity to broadcast the DeSales - St. Ignatius game in Cleveland, a thrilling 35-28 victory for the Purple and White over future NFL quarterback Brian Hoyer and the Wildcats! To this day, that game still ranks as one of my fondest memories broadcasting games.
However, after a first round loss by Westerville South, then a loss by DeSales in the postseason, we were so desperate for a game, we jumped on the Brookhaven bandwagon and followed them all the way to Dayton.
In 2004, due to the response we received from previously covering the Stallions, coupled with the good chances SFD was going to be in the playoffs (MORE GAMES!), we decided that we were only going to do DeSales games. Scott and I called every game that season, with the exception of a week 3 loss at Cincinnati St. Xavier. The week before, Scott's car died in Marion on the way to Toledo for the St. John's game. Rather than having Triple-AAA haul him back to Columbus, we had the tow-truck give me, him and his dead car, a lift to Rogers High School. We made it in time for the second half, a 21-10 win for the Stallions. After the game, we hitched a ride back with the late Roger Van Bibber, the DeSales statistician.
Scott Bacon: After broadcasting Stallion Football throughout the 2004 football season, I had come to appreciate what a special place St. Francis DeSales truly was. With Tom heading west to broadcast high school games in California, our coverage was at a crossroads. Our hope was to take it to the next level, but we were still figuring out what that might look like. One of our great friends Nick Jones, was working with a video production company called Monument Square Productions in Urbana, Ohio. We presented the idea to Nick and his partner TD Evans to film the entire 2005 season with the intention of releasing a full-length feature documentary at the conclusion of the year. Having called the Stallions games the year prior, I was confident the Purple & White were primed for a banner year and convinced Nick and TD that we could capture something extraordinary.
On August 26, 2005 we called the season opener for the Stallions and for the first time had a film crew on hand. Nick, TD and Eli Leiker would film the games, practices, locker room talk and everything in between. Our goal was to give the fans an insiders view of the 2005 season. Thanks to the incredible hospitality of the Athletics Director Mike Asbeck, Head Coach Bob Jacoby and Defensive Coordinator Ryan Wiggins, we were given full access to capture the action of that magical season. In addition to our film coverage, we again streamed all of our broadcasts on the internet to provide live coverage of each game.
Heading into week 10 of the regular season, a year that had started off so promising, was suddenly in great jeopardy. The Stallions moved into the season finale with a record of 5-4, knowing that they needed a win to secure their spot in the 2005 OHSAA playoffs. And in order to earn that victory, they had to go into the vaunted "Tank" and beat the longtime powerhouse Ironton. The stage was set for what would be an epic battle between the two tradition-rich programs. The Stallions though, with their backs against the wall, would find away to escape with a victory. A fourth down completion with their season on the line, the biggest run of the season to take the lead and a pick six would seal the victory and propel SFD into the postseason for the 12th straight season. From there, the Stallions would hit their stride with convincing victories over Hillsboro and New Albany, before pulling out a slug fest victory over Clyde to move into their seventh state championship game appearance. This time though, another Ohio high school powerhouse would take down DeSales, as Steubenville would earn the 28-7 victory to end the Stallions bid at a fourth state championship.
Despite the end result, the season was a phenomenal success and our production company received the compelling content they were hoping for when they started the project. The documentary film "Pourin Purple: Stallion Pride in 2005" would debut at the Continental Theater in Columbus in front of a theater packed full of the Stallion Family. Again with the support of the program and the athletics department, the DVD sales were a great success that helped lay the foundation for Pouring Purple. St. Francis DeSales football is a truly amazing part of high school athletics that I will always be proud to say I was briefly a part of. Calling those games that year are some of my fondest memories in the broadcast booth and watching the documentary together with the Stallion faithful is an experience I will forever treasure.
Tom Snyder: I returned to cover the Stallions full-time in 2008. Scott had moved to Virginia to broadcast games for the Lynchburg Hillcats, a Single-A Baseball team in the Carolina League.
Along with TD and Eli, we continued the efforts to document the Stallions' season, providing an insider's view. In 2008, the highlight was winning the program's 9th Regional Championship, with a 38-21 win over Louisville (see left).
The following season, Coach Wiggins took the Stallions one step further, onto the 2009 Division-III State Championship game, where the Stallions lost to Youngstown Cardinal Mooney.
Along the way to the '09 state final, the Stallions beat their rivals, Bishop Watterson, in the Regional Championship. During the game, our crew put together a three camera shoot and we even mic'd up DeSales Coach Mike Delfino (see right).
Like 2005 and 2008, all of the footage we gathered throughout the year was used to create a full-length documentary to tell the story of that season.
Due to time constraints, coupled with the rest of the crew moving on in their professional careers, creating the documentary was no longer a possibility. However, the coverage of Stallion Football continued in 2011, after the final full-length feature was created in 2010 (see right), with the live play-by-play action every game home or away. The broadcasts have been the one constant throughout each of the seasons.
I truly look forward to those three hours on Friday nights, with the occasional Saturday, where I have the privilege of presenting the broadcasts to our St. Francis DeSales community. It's a great honor being a part of this tradition-rich program.
I am proud to say that 2016 will be Pouring Purple's 10th season of covering St. Francis DeSales High School Football, and my 10th on the call as the voice of the Stallions!
Pouring Purple Where Are They Now?
Play-by-Play Announcer (2004-2005)
Scott recently accepted a position at Jacksonville University, where he will serve as the school's Deputy Athletic Director for External Relations. He served as the Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the Lynchburg Hillcats, the Carolina League (Advanced-A) affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves from 2007-11. From 2007-2016, he was the Voice of the Men’s basketball at Longwood University in Virginia, where he was also the Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Relations.
Videographer, Editor, Producer (2005, 2008-2009)
TD is currently a Video Productions Teacher at Urbana High School.
Videographer, Editor, Producer (2005)
Nick currently produces long and short form documentary/reality style programming for multiple platform distribution for Mercury Radio Arts out of New York City.
Videographer, Editor (2005, 2008-2009)
Eli teaches Mass Communications at Centerville High School and currently serves as an Assistant Basketball Coach for the Boys Basketball Team.
Play-by-Play Announcer, Editor, Producer (2004-2005, 2008-current)
I'm still here.