By Mike Martin
Special to the Journal
For the first time in a decade Friday Harbor High School will have a team representing the community at the WIAA State Championships of Basketball. It’s been a culmination of hard work and attempting to perfect their craft. Joining them is another team representing the island community: Friday Harbor Tiny Radio. The broadcast crew of Ken Norris, Sam Paul-Barrette, and the Voice of the Wolverines, Mike Martin will be broadcasting all of the FHHS Basketball games this weekend. The games can be heard on 1650 AM only in Downtown Friday Harbor and on www.fhTinyRadio.com This journey for Tiny Radio Sports started 4 and a half years ago. I approached Ken Norris, the station owner, about helping out with a broadcast of a football game in LaConner four years ago. That night the island’s internet blew up. Everybody that couldn’t go was glued to their radios and was posting updates on Facebook. Word spread and the the following grew. Expectations grew for Martin as well. Just like it’s taken these kids to get to state by working hard he’s had to do the very same thing. “Early on the fans were very gracious in telling me that I sucked”, laughed Martin. “It was hard for me to go back and listen to the games sometimes. In all honesty, I learned a ton from a student that I mentored, Sam Paul-Barette.
“Sam did the play-by-play last year and as a rookie he was able to get the names down for both teams and continue with the play by play action. He was a natural and he has a bright future. For me to sit back and watch Sam was much like a player being benched: I learned from observing and it made me better for it.
The listenership for Tiny Radio is way up this year which is measured more as in the amount of time that it takes Martin to exit the stores around town. But much of this is mainly due to the excitement surrounding the team and their return to state after a 10-year absence. These games have an extra special meaning to Martin as well as he gets to call his step-son, Stanley Patrick’s, final games as a Wolverine. “It’s going to be emotional and I glad that they can’t see me crying on the radio,” he said.
Even the parents that were at the game will listen to our podcasts of the games. I went into the office of Lowe Construction the other day and they’d just finished listening to the game. But it’s not just the parents; the players enjoy listening to the games as well. One parent played the game for her son the other night and they said that they weren’t used to hearing their name called like that unless they were in trouble, chuckled Martin.
I’ve also been helped by Bill Revercomb, Tyla McKay, and Tyler Davis. They all brought their own strengths to the broadcast and I learned from each of them.
Much of what Tiny Radio broadcasts is done in the slowest times for most of the businesses. Despite some early struggles the community supported the broadcast with open check books. “It’s remarkable, really, the support that we’ve felt not only from the fans but the businesses.” Tiny Radio will be broadcasting all of this weekends action at the State Basketball Tournament. The first game is 9 p.m. with the Ace Hardware Pregame Show at 8:45 p.m.