AUDIO: Bob Barrickman Talks About Plans & Rules For WPIAL 2020 Fall Season

He’s been to the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame, he’s made multiple trips to Pittsburgh, Hershey, and State College for championship games, and it seems that he’s seen and covered it all when it comes to high school sports in Beaver County.

But for Beaver County Radio sports director Bob Barrickman–and for everyone else, really–the year 2020 has dismantled tradition and brought many new aspects of life.

The WPIAL recently announced the reconfiguration of the 2020 Fall Sports season, which includes start times for practices and games. Specifically for football, that means pushing back the start date for games to the weekend of September 11-12, and reducing the maximum number of games per team to only 7.

Bob spoke about these new rules and regulations with Matt Drzik on A.M. Beaver County on August 3, and how the WPIAL is planning to move ahead without fans, and possibly without the PIAA playoffs once that is decided upon. He also spoke about how the presence of no fans will have an effect on the mindsets of players and coaches alike, and a COVID-19 quarantine protocol that may provide a lot of confusion and chaos if implemented to any team.

To hear the full discussion between Bob and Matt, click on the player below.

BC Amateur Astronomers To Host Special “Star Party” At Brady’s Run Softball Field On July 25

Seems like the sky is the only part of life that hasn’t been affected these days is the sky above, and the Beaver County Amateur Astronomers are inviting you to take a closer look at what lies above and beyond.

Curt DiGiovine, Frank Marzano, & Michael Colalella from the Beaver County Amateur Astronomers joined Matt Drzik on A.M. Beaver County to talk about a “Star Party” that the organization is holding tomorrow night, July 25, at the Brady’s Run Softball Fields in Fallston. The public is invited to attend for free and are encouraged to bring blankets, chairs, and binoculars or telescopes to the viewing. Social distancing practices will be in place, and face coverings are strongly recommended.

The trio of astronomers spoke about the awe-inspiring nature of the elements in the sky, the intricacies that are necessary for the stars/planets/comets to be viewed, and the feeling that many first-time viewers have when they see these “jewels in the sky”. They also addressed the natural phenomenon of how long it takes these comets and planets to appear on schedule, plus the effects that a decrease in air pollution has contributed to stargazing.

To hear the full interview with the BC Amateur Astronomers, click on the player below!

Phil Bourque Talks About The Penguins & The 2020 Cup Playoffs With Matt Drzik

Usually the summertime for the National Hockey League means respite, reorganizing, and the frenzy of free agency that shakes up the rosters of all 31 NHL teams.

But in 2020, where everything in life has become unusual, 24 teams–including the Pittsburgh Penguins–are getting ready for a playoff run like never before.

Penguins color commentator (and two-time Stanley Cup champion) Phil Bourque talked to Matt Drzik on AM Beaver County to talk about the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs, which begin August 1 and will include Game 1 of the best-of-5 series between the Pittsburgh Penguins (the #5 seed in the Eastern Conference) and Montreal Canadiens (#12).

Bourque spoke about the notion of this Cup run being tougher than any other in history, as the Pens will need 19 wins in order to hoist Cup #6 in franchise history. Phil also analyzed the return of Sidney Crosby to practice, the seemingly unending goalie controversy between Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry, and which player he believes will be the “x-factor” (for better or worse) for the Penguins as they traverse to Toronto for the playoffs.

Beaver County Radio will have all the coverage of the Pens’ playoff push, and Game 1 between Pittsburgh and Montreal will come your way on August 1; puck drop is set for 8:00 PM.

To hear the full interview with Matt and “The Ol’ 29er”, click on the player below!

Charity During COVID: A Discussion With Dr. Pete Birchler & Mike Rubino

On the one hand, the coronavirus pandemic has caused a massive shakeup in communications, funding, and everyday operations for many charities and charity organizations. On the other hand, the pandemic has restructured many citizens’ mindsets regarding helping one another, creating a larger push to support and give to those in need. So how does the process look 4 months into this worldwide change?

That was the topic of this month’s edition of “People Purpose Planet” in which Dr. Peter Birchler from the Chiropractic Health Center in Chippewa and A.M. Beaver County host Matt Drzik welcomed guest Mike Rubino from the United Way of Beaver County. Mike talked about both sides of the ebb and flow of charity during the pandemic, praising Beaver County citizens and organizations for pulling together to help funding for those in need, but also recognizing the issues with day-to-day activites and special events becoming cancelled events in the wake of making sure everyone is safe.

To watch the full discussion, click on the Facebook feed below.

Beaver Valley Choral Society To Hold “Summer Sing” July 27-29

The last time that the Beaver Valley Choral Society had made an appearance on A.M. Beaver County was March 11, when they were preparing to perform their Lenten concerts and talking about celebrating 100 years with a trip to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Then nothing happened. We know why nothing happened.

Fast forward four months, and the Choral Society is set to return with their annual “Summer Sing” gathering, in which community members can learn new music and reconstitute their vocal skills during this 3-day event from July 27 to July 29.

BVCS President Lee Pfiefer, Artistic Director Ray Rotuna, and Associate Director (and chief Summer Sing organizer) Sharon Burchill joined Matt Drzik on A.M. Beaver County to discuss the 2020 Summer Sing, particularly the Appalachian theme of traditional music that will be sung, and the parameters of gathering via Zoom to ensure safety for Summer Sing participants.

The trio then gave a small preview of the singing to be sung as they performed a rendition of “God Bless America”, featuring Beaver County Radio’s Mark Peterson on the bass part (or so we believe).

The 2020 Summer Sing will take place July 27-29, and more information about the event can be found by clicking here.

To hear the full interview about the BVCS Summer Sing, click on the player below!

Tim Wetzel Previews “Star Spangled Saturday” With Matt Drzik

There was supposed to be a show in Beaver County to celebrate summer, America, and Beaver County, in a display over the confluence of the Beaver & Ohio Rivers.

Now, there will be two shows.

The first of those shows will take place on Saturday, June 27, as Beaver County Radio presents “Star Spangled Saturday”, where a trio of planes is set to fly over the rivers at 3:30pm. Beaver County Radio will present live coverage from 3-4pm from Laughlin Insurance Agency, with live patriotic music and interviews that will be streamed on Beaver County Radio’s Facebook page.

The display and broadcast is in conjunction with the efforts of PUSH Beaver County.

Redevelopment Secretary Tim Wetzel joined Matt Drzik on A.M. Beaver County to discuss how this all came about, the planning of these festivities amidst the pandemic, and the historic nature of the planes that will be flown over the rivers Saturday afternoon. Wetzel also spoke about the second show, an impromptu fireworks display from PUSH and Zambelli Fireworks, that will be shown in place of the originally scheduled 10th Anniversary Beaver County Boom on July 4.

To check out the full interview, click on the Facebook feed below!

Chris Shovlin Talks About Robert Morris Moving To The Horizon League

Chris Shovlin has been calling men’s basketball games at Robert Morris University since 1987, a 34-season run that saw RMU play every year in the Northeaster Conference (formerly the ECAC Metro).

In 2020-21, Shovlin will be traveling to new places and new colleges, as he’ll be calling games in the Horizon League…with the Colonials, of course.

The announcement that Robert Morris would head to the Horizon League was the topic of conversation on Wednesday morning as the “Voice Of The Colonials” joined Matt Drzik on A.M. Beaver County to talk about the move, explaining how the basketball team was a main caveat in seeing Robert Morris moving up to the next level.

Shovlin, who himself worked at Beaver County Radio from 1976-1992, also talked about the cloudy nature of the NCAA’s future with the pandemic still an issue, and the overall jump of RMU’s progress over the last few years.

To listen to the full interview with Chris and Matt, click on the player below!

Faith Restorations Food Pantry Spotlight Of “People Purpose Planet” For June 2020

The coronavirus pandemic may slowly be eradicating from the social conscience, but the fight against hunger continues to be an issue for citizens in Beaver County, as well as the world as a whole.

In that mind, Dr. Peter Birchler from the Chiropractic Health Center in Chippewa and A.M. Beaver County host Matt Drzik welcomed Quina Price from Faith Restorations to the St. Barnabas Studios for the June 2020 edition of People Purpose Planet. Faith Restorations, located in Monaca, has been recognized recently for their food drives during the pandemic that have provided 3,000 meals a month.

Quina talked about the origins of Faith Restorations, its association with the local Food Banks in the area, their dedications to serve veterans in Beaver County, and the faith-in-action philosophy that drives their daily operations.

To watch the full interview, click on the Facebook feed below!

BF City Manager Charles Jones Talks About His Thoughts On Police Officers & Protests

“I’m very angry as an African-American. I’m equally angry as a former law enforcement officer.”

Those were the words of Beaver Falls City Manager Charles Jones, who joined Matt Drzik on A.M. Beaver County to discuss his thoughts on the death of George Floyd, whose death has sparked nearly two weeks of protests and even riots across America, and including those in Beaver Falls which Jones also provided insight into.

Jones, who has had 30+ years as a member of law enforcement, shared his views in regards to proper police protocol, the idea that “snitch culture” is an absurdity in the officer ranks as it is in citizen culture, and the way he believes the system between police and citizen can be repaired.

Jones also talked with Drzik about the recent demonstration that took place in Beaver Falls on May 31, commending the organizers for creating a peaceful protest and cooperating with city police to do so, and also providing insight to the protest that is to take place at Lt. Calvin Smith Park (“Cannon Park”) on June 6. He emphasized that all are welcome as long as they remain peaceful and lawful.

To listen to the full interview, click on the player below.

Beaver Falls To Honor Class Of 2020 With Graduation Cruise On June 4

The kids on the other side of the bridge will be receiving their diplomas, too.

As is the case with the New Brighton School District, the graduates of the Class of 2020 at Big Beaver Falls Area High School will be receiving their diplomas in a graduation “cruise” ceremony beginning at 7PM, and it will be broadcast live on Beaver County Radio and streamed on Facebook Live.

Tiger grad Matt Drzik (2010) was joined in studio by BBFASD Superintendent Dr. Donna Nugent, High School Principal Doug Rowe, Special Education Counselor Mary Beth Leeman, and High School Band Director Len Cersosimo to discuss the changes and similarities between past ceremonies and this year’s cruise-style ceremony. They also talked about the emotions of students and faculty over the course of the past few months leading up to this, and the details of the subsequent parade to follow the broadcast ceremony.

To listen to the full interview, click on the player below!