Ten-year-old Keagan Winterlik gives a whole new meaning to the term running commentary.
The youngster, with four years of experience as both a forward and defensive lacrosse player in Port Coquitlam, recently took to offering some play-by-play and colour commentary at his older sister Daniella’s games.
Keagan has long been a “chatterbox,” always commenting on the game, the referee calls, the coaches, the audience participation, etc., explained his father, Brad.
But it was his efforts as an aspiring broadcaster – while running up and down the boards during a game in mid-June – that caught the attention of Rob Fai, the voice of the Vancouver Canadians baseball team.
Fai tweeted out a picture and comment about Keagan: “Broadcasting: This young fella stood and watched his sister playing lacrosse last night & did play-by-play alone the whole third period, non-stop. Said he was practicing because that’s what he wanted to do one day. Made me remember how fun broadcasting is when you just have fun.”
BROADCASTING: This young fella stood & watched his sister playing lacrosse last night & did play-by-play alone the whole third period, non-stop. Said he was practicing because that’s what he wanted to do one day. Made me remember how fun broadcasting is when you just have fun. pic.twitter.com/Me2n7QXhOE
— Rob Fai (@RobFaiNation) June 13, 2018
That Tweet in turn was brought to the attention of Langley Thunder commentator Jake Elliott, who will be joined by young Keagan at Wednesday night’s game.
Keagan and his entire family have been invited to the senior A Thunder’s game against the Maple Ridge Burrard at the Langley Events Centre tomorrow night.
They’ll all be given a tour of the facilities, then Keagan will be invited to join Elliott in the broadcast booth and given a turn behind the microphone.
“I understand Keagan is an aspiring play-by-play guy… and I was wondering if he’d like to come to a game and come up in the booth with me and have a little bit of fun,” said Elliott.
“Depending on how comfortable he is, I thought I’d put a head set on him and see if he wants to do some colour commentary, if he feels like trying some play-by-play,” he explained.
“I might let him do that, if he’s comfortable enough, for a five-minute span, or half a period, or whatever he feels like. We’ll just kind of play it by ear, and see how confident and how comfortable he is, and kind of play off of that,” added Elliott, a self-taught commentator who also offers play-by-play for the WLA, junior lacrosse, Langley Rams, and Vancouver Stealth.
Elliott has been at it for close to two decades, and like Keagan, he too was once a young lacrosse player in the Tri-Cities and New Westminster who was also always intrigued by the broadcast component of the sport.
“That’s probably a lot like Keagan, it was just something I always wanted to try as a kid,” Elliott elaborated. “And right near the end of my career as a lacrosse player, I saw a guy doing it up in the stands and asked if I could sit down with him, and started volunteering with him.”
Soon, he was doing a little play-by-play, started adding some colour commentary, and when the broadcaster’s car broke down on the way to a game one night, Elliott was asked to step in.
That was 18 years ago, and he hasn’t looked back.
“It sounds like Keagan’s excited to do it, so I’m looking forward to it,” Elliott added, anxious to host Keagan at the Langley Events Centre because of the size and quality of the local facilities from a broadcasting perspective.
Tribute night at LEC
It’s a big evening for the Thunder, too.
In addition to it being a regular season game against the Burrard’s it’s also a tribute game for Tessa Beauchamp, a young athlete who lost her battle to a rare cancer in 2012. The team will wear, then auction off, special purple Tessa jerseys to raise money for a foundation in her name.
Likewise, Elliott said, Wednesday’s game will also feature a root beer float sale and a tribute to Trevor Wingrove, a Coquitlam lacrosse player who died of cancer in 2010, as well as his father, Les, who recently died of a heart attack. Les was a member of the senior Thunder staff, and a member of the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame for his years of involvement and dedication to the sport.