4 Questions with TV, radio sports broadcaster Sam Crenshaw

Sam Crenshaw provides a familiar face on the new CW69 newscast, which returned August 11 after nearly five months off.

Credit: CW69

caption arrowCaption
Sam Crenshaw provides a familiar face on the new CW69 newscast, which returned August 11 after nearly five months off.

Credit: CW69

Credit: CW69

Today’s interviewee is Sam Crenshaw, who will do color commentary for GPB Sports’ TV coverage of football championship games in classes 3A, 2A and A Private this week. Crenshaw, a TV broadcaster in Georgia for more than 30 years, is co-host of the 92.9 The Game’s “The High School Scoreboard Show” on Friday nights, the weekend host for 92.9 The Game, the sports anchor for CW69 News at 10, a sideline reporter for Georgia State football and the play-by-play voice for Georgia State basketball on ESPN3.

Sam Crenshaw, TV and radio sports broadcaster

1. What are you looking forward to with the games you’re covering this week? “I am thrilled to be a part of GPB Sports’ presentation of the state championships. I always like to say that we give Friday nights the Saturday afternoon treatment here in Georgia. For three days, high school football will be the most watched program in this state. It’s something that we should be so proud of. I will be working with my friend Larry Smith again this year for the Class A Private, Class 2A and Class 3A championship games. All of these games have unique stories with teams that played in the championship game last year. The A Private final will be a rematch of last year with Trinity Christian and Prince Avenue Christian. The young Lions, who lost to the Wolverines last year, are a year older and looked unbeatable before last week’s semifinal showdown with Eagle’s Landing Christian [which Trinity won 48-45 in two overtimes]. Prince Avenue will need to play their best game of the year to retain their title. The other two games will be special because they feature teams from the same region. It’s always tough to beat a team twice in a season. That will be the task for Thomasville and Cedar Grove. Fitzgerald has come so close so many times. It’s hard to believe they have not won a state title since 1948. Carver-Atlanta is such a special story. They will try to win the first state title for Atlanta Public Schools since 1973.” [Crenshaw’s broadcast partner, Larry Smith, is the evening news anchor at WLEX-TV and a former CNN sports anchor.]

2. What is a team, coach, player or game that you have great memories about, and why? “From 1986 to ‘91, I covered sports in Augusta, and every Friday night, the best high school football was played 45 minutes outside of town at Thomson, Washington-Wilkes or Lincoln County. Larry Campbell’s Red Devils won four state titles during that time. The 1989 team had this guy named Garrison Hearst. You may have heard of him. He did something amazing weekly ending with the state title game played in Lincolnton against Bowdon. The thing I remember about that night was how fast we drove getting the story back to WRDW in time for the 11 o’clock news. Lucky for us, there were no Columbia County or Richmond County sheriffs on the road that night.”

3. What is another team, coach, player or game that you have great memories about? “I worked in North Carolina for seven years and returned to Atlanta in 1998. The back-to-back state championship teams at Parkview [2000-02] were remarkable to watch. Cecil Flowe’s teams in 2000 and 2001 were loaded with talent, but it was the play of Jeff Francoeur that stood out from the rest. A fantastic two-way player in football, he won a pair of baseball state titles, and I was told that he was an outstanding golfer but didn’t have time to play on the team.” [Francoeur, now a former Braves player and current Braves broadcaster, was the AJC’s all-classification football player of the year in 2001.]

4. Much of your career has been spent covering high school sports and particularly high school football. What do you enjoy most about high school football? “The high school game has changed in many ways over the years, but for me it’s still about students, schools and communities. I still get just as much from covering a traditional power winning another title as that program that breaks out of a two-season winless streak. This year I had two players that I covered in high school make the list for semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Calvin Johnson of Sandy Creek in Georgia and Torry Holt of East Guilford in North Carolina. Of course, Calvin received his gold jacket. Maybe Torry will get his next time. This season has been extra special for me, as 92.9 The Game launched “The High School Scoreboard Show.” It was neat having Chris Parker join me for a ground-breaking five-hour program devoted to high school football in our state. Thanks to the management of 92.9-FM, our crew of correspondents who canvased the area each week to tell the stories and the coaches who came on as guests. My goodness, we actually had on three coaches – John Small [East Coweta/Westside-Augusta], Franklin Stephens [McEachern/Burke County] and Jason Dukes [Alcovy/Richmond Academy] that I covered when they were high school players.”

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