WRNS ‘The Bull’, Neuse News team up for prep football coverage this season
Pictured are, from left, Neuse News Editor Bryan Hanks, Neuse News Photographer Bud Hardy, Dick Broadcasting Account Executive Jason Bryant, Dick Broadcasting Market Manager Tony Denton, Neuse News Publisher B.J. Murphy, Neuse News Correspondent Junious Smith III and Dick Broadcasting Account Executive Rob House. Photo by Brandon Potter / Neuse News
Prep football fans in Lenoir County are going to be in for another treat this season.
Neuse News Publisher B.J. Murphy and Dick Broadcasting Market Manager Tony Denton announced Wednesday a partnership in which the entities will broadcast prep football games on Sports Talk WRNS 960-AM “The Bull” in 2018.
The Lenoir County Game of the Week will also be simulcast at 960TheBull.com. Denton said it’s the second consecutive year The Bull has aired the game of the week in Lenoir County.
“We are very pleased about our Lenoir County high school football game of the week partnership with Neuse News,” Denton said. “This year, our broadcasts will be greatly enhanced with additional coverage each week from the Neuse News team.”
Murphy said helping with the weekly broadcasts helps continue the Neuse News mission.
“Our No. 1 focus since launching Neuse News this summer continues to be providing hyper-local newsworthy content for free,” he said. “Using a digital-first philosophy, we’ve begun implementing live video and multimedia interviews to share stories of interest. Dick Broadcasting and 960 The Bull have a proven track record of using a traditional medium – radio – to successfully broadcast sports that matter most to Eastern North Carolina, such as high school football and the Down East Wood Ducks.
“The Neuse News team is proud to partner with 960 The Bull to provide a more enriched story of high school football in our area.”
Neuse News Editor Bryan Hanks will again be the play-by-play voice for the weekly broadcast. Hanks has covered sports throughout North Carolina since 1991 and in Kinston since 2002. He has won numerous N.C. Press Association awards for his work, including for sports coverage and sports columns.
Joining Hanks again this season as the color analyst on The Bull broadcasts is the winningest public school football coach in Lenoir County history, Jimmy Smith, who is also a member of the Kinston-Lenoir County Sports Hall of Fame. Smith amassed more than 1,000 victories in several sports while a coach at South Lenoir High School and is recognized throughout North Carolina for his coaching acumen.
“I’m beyond honored to have one of the best coaches in NCHSAA history sitting beside me every week,” Hanks said. “I learned more from Coach Smith about prep football last year than I did in the previous 26 years of coverage. I’m also grateful to Tony Denton for this opportunity to bring high school football game coverage to Lenoir County again.
“When you add the resources of Neuse News to the mix, I think high school football fans in Lenoir County are going to be very excited.”
Like last year, there will be a 45-minute pregame show that immediately precedes every live game broadcast. It is hosted by Hanks and produced by Jon Dawson.
A new addition to the mix will be sideline reports by Jason Bryant of WRNS and Dick Broadcasting. This will be Bryant’s first season of sports coverage by Bryant.
Neuse News staff members Junious Smith III, William "Bud" Hardy, Keith Spence, Scott Cole and Graham Hill will contribute reports from games they are covering to Hanks during The Bull Game of the Week broadcast.
The full schedule for the Lenoir County Game of the Week will be announced later this week, Hanks said. All five high schools in Lenoir County – Kinston, North Lenoir, South Lenoir, Arendell Parrott Academy and Bethel Christian Academy – will host games this season.