By Roger Grossman
News Now Warsaw
There is a changing of the guard taking place at the radio station.
Over the last 30 years, two people have been sitting next to Hall of Famer Rita Price broadcasting football and basketball.
I am honored to say that I am one of those two.
Tim Keffaber has been the other.
After the boys state basketball finals in March, Tim came to me and told me that he was going to stop broadcasting games effective immediately.
He did that in typical Tim Keffaber style — very matter-of-factly but with no fanfare and no bells and whistles. It was time, and he was ready to unplug his headsets for good.
He had stepped away from broadcasting games before. Thirty years ago he left the radio station for another line of work. We all hated to see him leave, but he was ready then, too. A couple of years later, life brought him back to us.
And he still will continue to work for the marketing and advertising division here and will continue to be a valuable leader in that arm of our company.
But today is about his work on the games.
We use the phrase “servant’s heart” a lot these days in certain circles, but if you could point to a person and say “That is a man with a servant’s heart,” you would point at Tim Keffaber.
Consider that he’s been sitting second chair to one of the most famous people in the history of Kosciusko County for three decades.
Consider that he has been the one setting up and tearing down the equipment before and after games.
Consider that he has been the one driving them to every game—from the closest ones to two trips to the state finals in Indianapolis each year.
Tim contacted the schools to ask permission for our station to broadcast from their school and worked out all of the arrangements.
And for that he sits there, silently and graciously, as people come to see and talk with his incredibly famous broadcast partner.
Most people would be jealous. He is not. Most people would have left the station and gone in search of a broadcast vehicle that features themselves. He did not.
He kept his head down and focused on the task of being prepared and putting on a good broadcast for the listeners. He did that, and he has been doing it well for a long time.
And now that season of his life is over.
It’s going to be hard broadcasting the Warsaw-Tippecanoe Valley girls basketball game at Valley in November and not see him sitting two seats to my right.
I won’t like it … heck, I’ll hate it with every fiber of my being.
But the reality of it is that life is filled with change, and you can fight that or adapt to it. I choose the latter.
But there is good news that comes with this!
The station has hired a young man to fill the large shoes that Tim is leaving behind. His name is Baylen Hite.
I think he will do an excellent job. I have heard his work and he gives you the feeling that he is much older and more experienced than he really is. The broadcasts that I have listened to assure you that he is prepared long before he walks up the stairs of the football field or climbs into his seat at the media table in the gym.
And everyone who knows him believes that he has what it takes to take on the pressure of knowing that the person sitting next to you is one of the most decorated broadcasters in the country.
That’s a lot for a young guy to tackle.
I am excited to help him grow roots here.
But the man who sat in that chair next to Rita Price before him cannot be overvalued and cannot ever be forgotten, and so let us not ever do that.
He means too much as a person to all of us to have that happen.
He is a servant, and it’s been a pleasure working with him at WRSW.
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Roger Grossman has been covering local sports in Kosciusko County for more than 30 years and is employed with News Now Warsaw. You can reach him at email@example.com.