WGWG-FM 88.3 won’t be airing Crest High football in ’06

Randy Capps

For the past five seasons, WGWG-FM 88.3 in Boiling Springs has been the voice of Crest High School football. This fall, the broadcast service of Gardner-Webb University will be the voice of a different school, likely in the upstate of South Carolina.

According to WGWG General Manager Noel Manning, the station is “really close” to an agreement with Byrnes, S.C., to air its games in the 2006 season.

The Rebels have won four straight South Carolina AAAA Division II titles.

“Our intent when we started carrying high school football games eight years ago was to rotate among different schools,” Manning said. “We did Shelby one year, we did a game of the week another year and the past few years, we’ve done Crest games.

“We just decided to get back to our original intent. We started looking at schools in our coverage area that we haven’t done before, and we decided to look at the possibility of doing Byrnes’ games. We’re excited about the possibility of working with Byrnes. It’s a great opportunity for us to reach into the upstate of South Carolina.”

When asked about the possibility of the decision having anything to do with Crest having to forfeit its wins from 2005, Manning said that it “had nothing to do at all with that, whatsoever.”

Paul Foster, the play-by-play voice of the Chargers over the past few seasons and a GWU employee, understands the decision.

“Personally, it will be with great sadness,” Foster said of not calling Crest games this fall. “It’s been a great relationship with the team and the community, but we understand what the station is trying to accomplish (with the move).”

In addition, Saturday Sports Talk, a weekly show hosted by Tim Foster and Rob Ruppe — former members of the WGWG Crest High broadcasts — will no longer air on the station. Manning said that decision was made by the show’s hosts, and not the university.

As one might imagine, Crest High head football coach Roy Kirby is not happy with the decision.

“They’ve been with us for five years,” he said. “There have been a lot of exciting games, and they’ve been right there. Our community and our fans have pretty much paid the bills for the games. If it was more of a move to a Cleveland County school, or somewhere close like East Rutherford or Gaffney, I could understand it better.

“To go 40 miles down the road to Duncan (Byrnes High) — and with Gardner-Webb sitting in our backyard — I just don’t understand it as far as public relations go. And a lot of people in our community feel the same way. To dump us dead after five years doesn’t sit well with someone who’s an alumnus. I’ve got two schools — Crest and GWU — and I feel like one of them dumped me.”

According to Kirby, Crest games may end up with a new home when the season gets under way in late August.

“Hopefully, we can work out something and give them a little competition,” he said.


23 Responses to “WGWG-FM 88.3 won’t be airing Crest High football in ’06”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    This is a complete joke. Turning your back on your own county for this. Shame on you 88.3. I hope nobody gives you a dime. What has happened to radio in this county?

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I have to agree with 8:29. I know all of you guys..Noel, Paul, Jeff. I read Randy’s article, and I’m sorry. I still don’t understand. I realize that with 50,000 watts, you have a “coverage area”, but are you getting more underwriting support from Greenville/Spartanburg than you are from your city of license and your county? I’m asking..I do not know.

    Most of the other county stations are still carrying local sports, but that is about ALL they are doing to serve the county with a quality, community-serving product. With the reduced quality of the other county stations, it seems to me that this is a prime time for WGWG to further endear itself to folks around here.

    Is it a matter of not getting enough underwriting from Crest supporter businesses here?

    I’ve been in radio 23 years..Some of those here in Cleveland County. I’m just trying to understand this decision. Can you guys help me with that?

    Joe Martin
    former WADA Operations Manager
    Morning show host

  3. Randy Capps Says:

    One thing’s for sure.

    Radio in Cleveland County is dramatically different than it was just six months ago.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    It seems they could of had a gold mine if they had stayed within the borders of Cleveland County. So many people were upset with the other radio stations in town that it would have been a natural for them to step to the plate.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Randy..It was good to hear you on with Champ the other night. You did a nice job. Hope Dan is doing ok.

    Joe Martin

  6. Anonymous Says:

    First Andy and now this. Please explain. Maybe both crowds should take the slow boat down the Broad River.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Isn’t there slogan something Radio FOr the People? How about a new one. Radio for the People…Just not in Cleveland County.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    I hated to see 88.3 go this way, but they felt like it was a good move for them. My three years at the station were a blast, and I certainly want to thank the crowd at 88.3 for giving Saturday Sports Talk a chance. Thanks as well to all the folks and their kind words of support during this very tough decision.

    Rob Ruppe

  9. Randy Capps Says:

    Rob – I hated to hear you guys were giving it up.

    I was looking forward to my annual invite to the preview show.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    I don’t understand this most of the employee’s at GWU have some contact with Crest…kids go to crest….graduated from crest. Coming from a crest and gwu grad…alot of people are mad about this on the GWU campus. Gardner-Webb must be getting a kick back for this change because i found out the hard way they always looking for some more money out of anyone.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    We were ready for that Kings Moutain knowledge, Randy.

    Rob 🙂

  12. Anonymous Says:

    To 1:29- We were wondering something similar to what you said. We thought that maybe some alumnus or benefactor gave GWU a big hunk-o-money with the condition they carry Byrnes games. Of course this is just us wondering, dont know if anything like that happened.

  13. Randy Capps Says:

    Noel says that isn’t the case. In fact, look for a response from him this weekend in The Star.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Again, I know that 88.3 made a decision that they thought would be a good one for 88.3. The people in Cleveland County that I have talked with are upset that 88.3 wasn’t going to do anything involving Cleveland County. Seems to me that a game of the week would have been perfect this year. Here’s what a possible schedule could have looked like.

    August 11th Border Showcase at GWU. This gets you started with a bang, and it involves CC teams and teams from SC.
    Aug. 18 Byrnes vs Hartsville
    Aug. 25 Crest vs Burns
    Aug. 26 Byrnes vs Glades Central FL.
    Sept. 1 Shelby at Ashbrook
    Sept. 8 Crest at Shelby
    Sept. 15 Crest at Kings Mountain
    Sept. 16 Byrnes at Moeller Cin.
    Sept. 22 Byrnes at Dorman
    Sept. 29 Byrnes at Spartenburg
    Oct. 6 Shelby vs Burns
    Oct. 13 Shelby at Kings Mountain
    Oct. 20 Byrnes at Gaffney
    Oct. 27 Crest at East Gaston
    Nov. 3 Shelby at East Rutherford

    That keeps Cleveland County involved, and you reach an area that you believe that you are underserving. The weeks that you are not covering a certain team, you have reports called in from those games so you know what’s going on. You follow up that football action with a regional scoreboard show, and you become a football machine. And imagine the matchups come playoff time, and I think SC has their State championship the week before NC. That Friday could be a NC semi matchup and SC state championship that Sat. The next weekend you could NC state championship.

    Just my thoughts.

    Rob Ruppe

  15. Randy Capps Says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see something like that down the road. Funding it, I imagine, would be the only concern.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    What a JOKE… I hope the WGWG ship sinks… Noel T. Manning has pissed Cleveland County off!! I wonder how that is going to work out for him?

  17. Anonymous Says:

    I think Rob has a good idea there with the game of the week. Not only would it serve the home folks AND the SC listeners, it could also mean more of, and a wider range of underwriting. Just a thought.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    This is a post from Ncpreps that sums up what most of us think about WGWG.. Thanks Leo…

    wish I would have seen this post earlier..lol
    I am in the majority here and think this decision is absolutely ridiculous.
    Manning got his “reasons” in the paper yesterday and I for one think he was just blowing hot air up Cleveland County’s rear end.
    Its all about money and how much Byrnes High gave em…plain and simple!

    One of his “reasons” was that a lot of the listeners are from that area and would like to hear the radio station do more for that area.
    Well Noel, I ask you this….how many sponsors from 88.3 are from that area?
    I was just wondering since basically you are packing up and going down that way.
    You have 3 schools in Cleveland County that are always in the top 10 every year in their classification and atleast one school in the past 5 years has played in a state championship football game..with Crest and Shelby doing it in the same year 2 years ago.
    And you want to go to a better venue?
    I know Byrnes is a big school and all, but if Shelby and Crest were to combine and play these big schools…nvm…I am not even going to embarass the good people from Byrnes with that comment.
    Gettinmg back to the subject, if you are wanting to broadcast a big time school, then just stay in NC and drive 40 miles east and do the Independence games…it would be about the same distance..lol
    Oh I forgot…the shut in fan base from Spartanburg and the surrounding area outweighs that from Charlotte….my mistake.

    And someone also mentioned the recruiting from and by Gardner Webb.
    Now, I know there are some people on this board who went to GW and graduated from there, but I am going to say this and if it ruffles your feathers..so be it.
    With the talent that comes out and plays football and basketball every year from this county…why in the world arent these young men being recruited by GW?
    The basketball team gets theirs from Australia and the football team heads to Florida to get the “Big 3” rejects. I went to Wingate and the football mentality their was to do the same thing and Wingate sucked! They ran a very weird version of the Run & Shoot called the Stall & Punt.
    And if you think about it…Gardner Webb was in a National Championship game back in 92 and guess where a lot of that teams best players were from….right here in good ol Cleveland County.

    But getting back to 88.3, when the Byrnes schedule comes out, please post it in the paper so we all can make our plans accordingly.
    I know I would hate to miss a Byrnes/McBee matchup.
    I mean, that game means more to me than a Crest/Shelby matchup ever would.
    The majority of your sponsors are from the area, your kids go to the area schools, and you say the hell with all of yall in Cleveland County…thats a shame.

    By your football actions, we can tell who is from here and who just resides here.

  19. Randy Capps Says:

    I’m here to serve…

    Aug. 18 – Hartsville
    Aug. 25 – Glades Central (Fla.)
    Sept. 1 – Greer
    Sept. 15 – at Cincinnati Moeller (Ohio)
    Sept. 22 – at Dorman
    Sept. 29 – at Spartanburg
    Oct. 6 – Hillcrest
    Oct. 13 – Clover
    Oct. 20 – at Gaffney
    Oct. 27 – at Mauldin
    Nov. 3 – Boiling Springs

  20. Anonymous Says:

    Thanks, Randy..But Byrnes isnt playing McBee??? Bummer. 🙂

  21. Randy Capps Says:

    My favorite thing about McBee is the big sign they have coming into town with the big finger on it that says “Watch your speed!”

    It rivals Aynor as the biggest speed trap in South Carolina.

  22. joetheisman Says:

    Hey Im new to this blogger thing so bare with me….to me this is all about GWU being GWU. Its got to be about money cause everything there is. I live in Boiling Springs but I certainly do not consider GWU a part of the community. My wife is an alum from GWU and i know first hand how they operate. They call themselves a Christian School…even “Baptist” at times, but there all about making money and getting their name in the loser brackett on ESPN. To me they have turned their back on sports in Cleve. Co. and its time we forget about GWU sports when they come begging for seats to be filled at their crappy events. Thanks for letting me vent!

  23. CRB&ALB Says:


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