Originally published on November 3, 2014
COTV commentators Mike Ficher and Andy Satterfield are visibly excited. Mountain View’s quarterback snags the football and rushes down the field from the 40-yard line. “And… it’s a touchdown,” says Ficher. The crowd comes to its feet in front of the announcer booth.
As in any small town in America, Friday night high school football is a big event. The bleachers at Mountain View high school in Bend are packed with students, parents and grandparents that have braved the chilly evening to root for the home team.
And when it comes to local high school sports, COTV Sports is there. Actually, Central Oregon TV, or COTV, has been airing local sports since September 1995. Things have definitely changed since the early days. Today, COTV Sports broadcasts in full HD and 5.1-surround sound.
Almost 20 years later, the mission is still the same: To provide coverage of local high school sports to viewers throughout BendBroadband’s cable TV footprint.
Normally you’ll find Mike Ficher and Andy Satterfield in the Information Services’ office on Sherman Road. Their titles: Business Analyst III. They are saddled with the task to tease data out from BendBroadband’s database management system.
Their office friendship is the starting point for what they’re doing as announcers.
While they’ve had different experiences growing up, Ficher and Satterfield share the same intense love for all things sports.
“We sit ten feet from each other at work,” says Ficher. “We talk about sports and what we’re going to do if we’re working a game together.”
Ficher has a long career in sports reporting, both as a newsprint journalist and broadcast announcer. Satterfield admits that he’s the rookie in the equation, although he has firsthand experience playing football for Fresno State during his college years. He also has extensive coaching experience at high school and middle school level.
“I have been around sports all my life. I have played baseball, football, wrestled and done track. You name it. I just like sports,” says Satterfield.
Ficher and Satterfield arrive at Mountain View shortly after six o’clock. The teams are warming up on the field. It’s going to be a long evening on top of an already full workday.
As a part of COTV Sports’ high school game coverage, the two are also hosts of the
Pregame show. The half hour show is a celebration of the home team’s high school. It may sound surprising, but it’s not all about sports.
“We want to focus on the fact that the high schools are much more than the sports team,” says Ficher. “I usually try to line up two guests from the school or the community who are not necessarily connected to sports.”
As Ficher finishes off the final segment of the pregame show, Satterfield is on his way to the announcer’s area. Situated on the high perch at Mountain View’s stadium, the “booth” is a 6-foot folding table with TV monitor and sound equipment on top.
Barebones maybe, but that doesn’t really matter. It’s all about sports and Ficher and Satterfield are enjoying every second of it.
“I’m passionate about football,” says Satterfield. “I love contact and when there’s a big hit on the field, Mike better watch if he stands too close to me. I’ll reach out and grab him or shake him. If you listen closely, you can hear his microphone go ‘boom’ every now and then. That’s because I have pushed him a little bit to hard.”
It sounds like a well-worn cliché. Ficher and Satterfield come across as an old married couple when they do play-by-play. One is starting a sentence while the other rounds out the thought in total sync.
“That was an excellent pass. He picked it up on the 40-yard line and did a great sprint down the sideline. Great play!” says Ficher.
Satterfield throws his hands in the air in excitement. The folding table is rocking precariously.