Ridaught: Football is back on air

Mike Ridaught and Hank Rone broadcasting football.
From left: Mainstreet Daily News Sports Director Mike Ridaught (Play-by-play) and former Gator football player and Newberry volleyball coach Hank Rone (Color) are back in the booth for our Stephenson's Septic Tank Services High School Football Game of the Week on 106.9 FM every Friday night
Photo by C.J. Gish

The high school football regular season begins on Friday, Aug. 25.

For the third straight year we will broadcast two football games every week during the regular season, including a Game of the Week on radio and one exclusively at mainstreetdailynews.com.

We kick off our radio coverage of the “Stephenson’s Septic Tank Services” Game of the Week on 106.9 FM at Columbia (Lake City) as the Tigers host the Buchholz Bobcats in a matchup of state semifinalists from 2022. It’s one of our top Alachua County football games this fall.

I will handle the play-by-play, while former Gator football player and current Newberry volleyball coach Hank Rone will provide ‘color’ commentary. Aiden Wacksman will assist with pregame, halftime, and postgame coverage.

Last year the Bobcats defeated the Tigers, 31-14, and won for just the second time in the last 11 meetings. Buchholz has a new coach in Chuck Bell, while Brian Allen returns to the sidelines after a brief hiatus in Lake City.

Buchholz lost at Venice in the Class 4S state semifinals
, while Columbia lost at eventual state champion Lake Wales in the 3S state semifinals.

Our coverage will begin at 7 p.m. for the “Santa Fe College Pregame Show,” followed by the kickoff at 7:30 p.m.

We’ll have a 30-minute pregame for all radio broadcasts and a 15-minute pregame for our online broadcasts, which will be streamed at Mainstreet Daily News.

Our first audio broadcast on Aug. 25 will be an Alachua County showdown: Santa Fe (Alachua) hosting rival Newberry.

Cam Parker will handle the play-by-play for our Friday night broadcasts, while Marty Pallman will call the Thursday night games.

In addition to our football broadcasts, our weekly sports talk show at Sonic Drive-In resumes on Wednesday, Aug. 23.

Co-host Marty Pallman and I will broadcast every Wednesday from 7 to 8 p.m. The program features interviews with area coaches and athletes. 

Live and archived audio of the show will be available on our website.

This past summer we have been looking back at our shows from the 2022-23 school year with the Summer Sonic Highlights, featuring excerpts from each show.

We recognized the Keystone Heights boys weightlifting team
 on Sunday. This past May the Class 1A state champion Indians were our guests on the show.

Interviews from this year’s show will be included in a new weekly podcast that will also be available on our website and on various podcast platforms—great for listening and sharing with your friends. 

Another new endeavor at Mainstreet Daily News is our high school football preview special section in our print edition, which will be available on Wednesday, Aug. 23.

This 24-page insert—brought to you by title sponsor Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille and other local businesses—will feature nine Alachua County football teams, Union County (Lake Butler), capsules, and a look at the top Tri-County (Dixie, Gilchrist, and Levy counties) football games to watch, plus an overview of the upcoming season.

Also, be on the lookout for our weekly Pigskin Picks contest with members of our team and at least one guest picking the winner of local matchups each week.

This past spring we released our inaugural All Area soccer teams and our inaugural All Area track and field teams.

In late November, we are adding golf to the coverage, which already includes All Area for football, volleyball, basketball, softball and baseball.

All coaches and athletes who are recognized as All Area receive a plaque, thanks to sponsor Bosshardt Realty.

Plus, beginning in September, check out another new weekly feature as we recognize the Athlete of the Week. Coaches will have an opportunity to submit their nominations each week and each recipient will receive a special plaque recognizing their accomplishments, thanks to sponsor Pavlik Orthodontics.

We will also recognize the athletes weekly on our website.

It should be an exciting fall and we are excited about all of the new additions. Now, let the games begin.

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