The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Globe Life

August 28, 2009

Kevin Welch and Bobby Landis begin 11th year of calling Joplin High School athletics

By Joe Hadsall

jhadsall@joplinglobe.com

For 11 years, Kevin Welch and Bobby Landis have been broadcasting live accounts of Joplin High School athletic events.

They will do so again this year, only a little bit differently.

Instead of freelancing with a radio network, they are producing everything themselves. They are buying their own airtime, equipment and selling their own ads.

“We have more ownership in the product now,” Landis said. “We’ve always cared about what the product sounds like, but now we are literally putting our money where our mouths are.”

The two own the Joplin Eagles Radio Network and broadcast football, basketball and baseball games played by Joplin High School. Welch and Landis are in their 11th year of broadcasting together.

The duo has made an impact on players, parents and coaches, said Jeff Starkweather, Joplin’s athletic director.

“Kevin and Bobby are two guys that care about Joplin athletics,” Starkweather said. “We’re thrilled they are calling the games.”

History

About 17 years ago, a dream came true for Welch. The radio station where he was employed finally granted his requests to call football for Joplin.

“I did it for two or three years in Miami as a color guy, and also broadcast NEO basketball games,” Welch said. “When I moved here, there were two guys already doing it. I kept lobbying, and said that if there were ever an opening, I’d love to do it.”

Eleven years ago, Landis owned the station where Welch worked, and started sitting in the booth with Welch.

Over the years, the two have become great friends and great partners. Landis makes no bones that Welch is the true voice of the Eagles, and Welch said Landis is a regular Willy Loman.

“He could sell ice to Eskimos,” Welch said. “He takes care of the business side, and I take care of the radio side.”

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