Jim Wiemann to call 1000th game

VOP to broadcast simulcast in Fall

PASO ROBLES — On Aug. 17 the Paso Robles Bearcats will make the trip into Clovis to play Buchanan High School for their first game of the 2018 football season. Making the trip with them will be the Voice of Paso team that has been broadcasting the games via internet radio which includes play-by-play announcer Jim Wiemann who will be calling his 1,000th game over the airwaves, however, for this call listeners will also be able to watch the game via a simulcast live stream.

Wiemann grew up in Wisconsin before moving to Paso Robles and graduated as a Bearcat in 1981. As a sophomore in high school, Wiemann began working at the local radio station and has continued to work in radio and occasionally television ever since.

“I started in the booth by helping out and taking stats and stuff,” Wiemann said of his start. “Which led to us doing a high school program, we did a Bearcat report and we started that from the school back then at the local radio station.”

While many play-by-play men stick to just one or two sports, Wiemann has spent his life broadcasting nearly every sport from ice hockey to water polo.  

“Since ‘81 I have done, minor league hockey, college football, college baseball, college basketball, that was Cal Poly,” Wiemann said. “I did junior college basketball and junior college baseball, high school football, girls and boys volleyball, girls and boys water polo, girls and boys basketball, wrestling and then girls softball, boys baseball, we’ve done track and field and I’ve actually done roller hockey in Santa Maria.”

In 2011, Wiemann was joined in the booth by Bearcat coaching legend Bill Stansbury and the two have worked together calling games ever since, Wiemann on the play-by-play and Stansbury on the color. The Bearcat’s first game against Buchanan will be the pair’s 100th game together.

“This is the way I get my football fix now,” Stansbury said. “You know I coached football for 40 years. So now this is really exciting for me, I enjoy it, I look forward to the games… this allows me to stay coordinated and it keeps me current, I do research on the other teams, I look at offense, I look at defense, see what the current trends are and it is really a pleasurable thing to do.”

Those that have listened to the Bearcats on the radio over the past decade have undoubtedly heard the pair work together seamlessly with Wiemann painting a mental picture of what's happening with Stansbury adding in key pieces of strategy and analysis. The pair has called Bearcat games for KPRL and KJUG and, as of a year ago, for the Voice of Paso (VOP).

The VOP runs on internet radio, which allows for certain freedoms that AM and FM radio just don’t have space for any more. Traditional radio can make space for a 7 p.m. football game but has their scheduled shows and personalities during the afternoons making it nearly impossible to call other smaller sports that happen during the day.

“Since we came on the air last year for the scrimmage, which will be a year ago in August, we started with the scrimmage against Nipomo, we have done 157 live events,” Wiemann said.

This includes their Bearcat locker room show which airs once a week and their traveling locker room where they live stream from a local restaurant and take questions from the community.

The next time Wiemann and Stansbury call a game, the listeners will not only be painted a mental pictue, but will also be able to watch the game from their computer. This is something the team has wanted to do for years, and started it a few years back for those that remember, but the restrictions and high prices to stream games in the Southern Section kept them only on the radio. Now in the Central Section, the VOP will be broadcasting all the games they attend with the commentary of Wiemann and Stansbury coming through the visual feed.

Any broadcast team will tell you that it takes lots of help to produce a good show and the VOP has a team that will help with every broadcast. With Stansbury and Wiemann in the booth, the VOP will have John Doss and Tim Stewart patrolling the sidelines gathering important updates and setting up interviews with players and coaches while Dave Lambert and Walt Van Zandt run the livestream.

“It is great for the community and people that live out of the state,” Lambert said.  “When we were doing them before, we were getting calls from people all over thanking us because their grandparents that are in Wisconsin are able to see them play because the livestream is actually archived so they can get up the next morning and watch the game.”

The games will continue to be saved on the website for those that want to watch the games the next day or even for the second and third time. As of now the videos stay on the VOP website for 30 days, something the team is working on to extend.  The radio and live streams can be accessed on the website www.voiceofpaso.com.

“Broadcasting local sports is one of the best uses of local media,” owner of the VOP Steve Martin said.  “The warm reception by sports families in our area has been an inspiration to our entire team. We are really looking forward to expanding this service for students and their supporters."


© 2019-Paso Robles Press

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