Thursday, July 21, 2011

Former Cents Colour Commentator Joins Victoria Royals as Play-By-Play Announcer:


Marlon Martens, who actually hired me in Merritt in 2002 back when the station was still Radio NL, is moving back to BC. Here's the article from the Victoria Times-Colonist:

Everybody needs a good story when they're old.

Marlon Martens will have one to tell, as the first radio play-by-play broadcaster of the Victoria Royals of the Western Hockey League.

Dave Sawchuk will have one too - the tale about the shortest tenure ever for a WHL play-by-play man.

He called zero games. Sawchuk, music director for five years of The Zone 91.3 FM, was officially announced in May as the first play-by-play announcer for the Royals. But he has left to take a position as the new promotions and media relations representative for EMI Music in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

So the Royals broadcast booth goes to Martens, instead. The B-93 DJ was the radio play-by-play man for the Lethbridge Hurricanes from 2005-07 before the WHL team switched stations. The B.C. native and father of two got his start in the BCHL with the Burnaby Bulldogs while at BCIT and also did colour with the Merritt Centennials.

"We were literally flooded with applications from so many good candidates and it was a tough decision," said John Shields, program manager for The Zone.

"It was the intangibles that Marlon brought to the table. He is going to play a major role in the personality of our station."

It was also a difficult decision to pass on the job, said Sawchuk.

"I was really looking forward to doing the Royals play-by-play," said the native of Athabasca, Alta., who will complete his communications degree at Royal Roads University over the summer.

"But sometimes in life, opportunities come in bunches. My passion is music and this offer [with EMI] was too good, too interesting and too exciting to pass up. I just got off traveling four days with Katy Perry and promoting her concerts on the prairies."

Sawchuk said he knows he will become a footnote in Victoria hockey history.

"It's a good story to tell when I'm retired and greyhaired - that I was the WHL announcer who called no games," he chuckled.

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