70th Anniversary Moments – Four Hall of Fame Announcers.

This year commemorates the 70th anniversary of when Beaver County’s first radio station, WBVP, was heard over the airwaves for the the first time on May 25, 1948.  To mark the historical event, each week, another “70th Anniversary Moment” will be showcased on the airwaves and published on the station’s online feeds

While there have been hundreds of  announcers that have worked for WBVP, WWKS and WMBA over the years, and dozens of them  that have called sports play by play,  Four men in particular have risen above the fray by their superior skills and dedication to the the radio stations and to Beaver County sports.  So revered are these for gentlemen, that they have been inducted into the Beaver County Sports Hall Of Fame.

The Annual Beaver County Sports Hall Of fame Induction Ceremony  and banquet will take place this year on April 29 at The Fez in Hopewell Township.  Click here for more details.

Chuck Wilson interviews a Geneva College football player on WBVP after a game in 1949. Courtesy of Bobbie Wilson-Tkacik
Chris Shovlin makes a presentation in 1984 to Pirates third base coach ,Joe Lonnett, at Three Rivers Stadium on behalf of WBVP and WWKS listeners.

Chuck Wilson was a first for both organizations. Wilson was part of the first staff at WBVP, when the station went on the air in 1948.  The fact is, he spoke the first words ever aired on the station after it officially signed on the air on May 25 of that year.  He was also part of the first class of inductees into the Beaver County Sports Hall Of fame in 1981.  Chuck Wilson grew up in Stubenville, Ohio and spent a few years at WKST in New Castle before joining the upstart team being formed in Beaver Falls for the newly formed radio station. Wilson worked at WBVP from 1948 to 1975 and served as Program Director and Assistant General Manager at WBVP in addition to his renown play by play broadcasting abilities.  He also hosted a popular music program called “Wilson’s Wax Works ” on WBVP throughout his career.

Chris Shovlin became the second radio station announcer to receive the call from the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame when he was inducted as part of the class of 2006.  Shovlin graduated from Midland High School in 1972 and then from Westminster College in 1976.  By June of the summer he came out of College, Chris was already on the air at WMBA and learning the craft of sports play by play as well as  hosting daily air shifts and news casts.  In 1979, Shovlin traveled north to WBVP and WWKS and began a stellar career that saw him rise to the position of General Manager, all while becoming established as “The Voice Of Beaver County High School Sports”.   Shovlin’s talents  in the press box were so great, that it wasn’t long before Robert Morris University hired him as the lead play by play announcer for basketball and later on football, after it was added to the sports program, where he continues to call the action to this day.  Shovlin went to WSHH and WJAS radio after leaving WBVP and WWKS in 1992 where he served as Morning show co host and Promotions Director.  These days Chris is back in his hometown of midland as the Community Engagement Manager for Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center.

Bob Pompeani broadcasting live on site from Eat ‘N Park In Aliquippa on WMBA in 1998. Courtesy of Rosanne Robinson.

Bob Pompeani grew up in Hopewell township and later on graduated from Point Park University.  In 2007, Pompeani became the third sportscaster from the Beaver County radio Stations to get inducted into the Beaver County Sports Hall Of Fame.    In the 1990’s Pompeani teamed up with other WMBA staffers at the time including Randy Cosgrove , Rob Matzie and Mike Vukovcan and hosted a Saturday Morning Sports Talk show called “More Sports”.  The show was immensely popular and was a staple of Saturday Morning radio in Beaver County for many years.  Pompeani also had great stage presence and made his mark in the media world in front of the television cameras as a sports caster at KDKA television for the past 35 years.

For the third year in a row, in 2008, a Beaver County Radio sportscaster was inducted in the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame when Bob Barrickman was included in that

Bob Barrickman hosting “The Coaches Corner” live on WBVP and WMBA from Robert’s Roadside Inn in 2016.

year’s class.  Barrckman spent his grade school years on the fields of Western Beaver School district where he preferred to be the announcer as much as play in the pick games.  he later graduated from Beaver Area High school and Slippery Rock University.  Barrickman first came to work at WMBA in 1980, and then joined the staff at WBVP in 1986.  he is the longest tenured announcer with this group of hall of fame inductees  at WBVP and WMBA.   He has been the lead play by play announcer and sports director at WBVP since 1992.  Barrickman  has also been the voice of the Geneva College Golden Tornadoes Football Network and received an honorary “G” letter man award from Geneva in 2012 for his many years of service and dedication.    But, it’s more than just radio with bob, he has also helped organize through the Beaver  Jaycees, and serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the annual Distinguished Young Woman scholarship program held at Beaver Area High School.

“70th Anniversary Moments” is presented by  Abbey Carpet and Floor,  Albert’s Heating, Cooling and Plumbing,  Aliquippa Giant Eagle, The Beaver Falls Municipal Authority, Beaver Valley Auto Mall, Beaver Valley Sheet Metal, Castlebrook Development, The Community College Of Beaver County,  Freedom United Federal Credit Union, Hank’s Frozen Custard and Mexican food, Laughlin Insurance Agency,  Rochester Manor and Villa and Young’s Jewelry and Coins.