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Scholastic Roundup: Spencer Ross sounds off

January 7, 2022 Andy Furman
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Spencer Ross, the Hall of Fame announcer, may no longer be behind the microphone – he called play-by-play for every New York City professional sports team during his illustrious career – but he still can sound off.

And he recently did.

“This forfeit rule is for the birds,” the grad of New Utrecht High School told Scholastic Roundup. “The Big East did it twice,” he said, “then changed the rule. It’s now a postponement.”

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Ross was referring to the recent Covid protocol rule being enforced by The Big East in basketball.

“The first time St. John’s was recorded with a loss against Seton Hall,” he continued, “the second time they were given a win against Creighton.

“And,” he added, “after the criticism slowed down, they changed the rule. What’s this league trying to do?” he asks.

Ross added: “The only loss I’m concerned with now is life.”

The year was 2014, and Sheepshead Bay High grad Howard Kellman was a fill-in for the Mets broadcasts on radio.

“The Mets were playing Atlanta,” says the man who has called Indianapolis Indians baseball for over 50 years on WNDE (1260-AM). “I was working with Howie Rose, and the conversation turned to Lafayette High School and their baseball graduate, Al (The Bull) Ferrara.”

Ferrara played for the Dodgers, and later with the San Diego Padres.

Rose says: “Tell us about the time Tom Seaver struck out 10 consecutive Padres.”

Ferrara: “I was victim No. 1 and No. 10.”

Kellman got his radio start at WBCR at Brooklyn College in the Fall of 1972.

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Howie Wizenberg, who captained the 1971 basketball team at Lafayette High was celebrating after the Cincinnati Bengals clinched the AFC North title with a 34-31 win at home Sunday over the Kansas City Chiefs.

“I was Steven Radicevic’s Little League coach here in Los Angeles,” said Wizenberg, who calls the California city home.

Radicevic is the Scouting Director for the Bengals.

Jay Rokeach served as PA announcer for FDR High back in 1968. They were the Navigators then – today they are the Cougars.

And today Jay Rokeach is promoted as The Voice of the Light – the home baseball field for the University of Miami (Fla.).

Rokeach, a member of the very first graduating class at FDR is entering year 54 behind the microphone as PA voice at Miami’s Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.

The Miami graduate is a member of the school’s Sports Hall of Fame Executive Committee.

He’s also been the PA voice for five collegiate national championships in football; and has called 58 consecutive home football wins – an NCAA record set September 3, 1994.

Add to that list, four collegiate national titles in baseball.

And when Major League Baseball arrived in South Florida – 1993 – Rokeach was there. “My goal,” he told Scholastic Roundup, “was to be the first PA announcer for the Marlins.”

He was – and had a five-year run as their stadium voice through their championship season of 1997, when they defeated the Cleveland Indians in the World Series.

His next stop should be the College Baseball Hall of Fame.

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Keith Williams, the former Bishop Loughlin High School basketball star who led the University of Cincinnati in scoring as a senior last season, is presently waiting for NCAA clearance to participate for his new school – Western Kentucky University.

Williams played four seasons at Cincinnati, but can play this extra season because of the NCAA’s free year of eligibility related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 6-5 Williams averaged a team-high 14.3 points-per-game and earned a second-team All-American Athletic Conference (ACC) selection. Over his four-year career Williams averaged 9.6 points and 3.2 rebounds per-game at Cincinnati. He scored 1,156 career points, 35th most in program history.

Last April, Williams declared for the 2021 NBA draft. In June, he entered the transfer portal. Published reports had Williams receiving interest from Western Kentucky University, Arkansas, Maryland and Florida.

Western Kentucky University competes at the NCAA Division I level and is a member of Conference USA.

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Yeshiva University saw their 50-game win streak come to an end last week at the hands of Illinois Wesleyan, 73-59.

Coach Elliot Steinmetz has created something of a dynasty at the little Division III school in upper Manhattan.

In fact, the recruiting pool for the Maccabees is not only national, but global. Yeshiva’s roster for this season includes players from California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Texas and Israel.

Steinmetz saw Orthodox kids from Jewish high schools who could play at a high level were choosing Division I programs but then mostly riding the bench. Steinmetz is a 2002 graduate of Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School of Business and he lettered on YU’s basketball team for three seasons from 1999-02.

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The recent passing of Hall of Fame bowler Mark Roth, produced a comment from Ira Levine, former basketball coach at Lafayette High.

“I read the story on Mark in the Eagle,” he noted on social media, “and I remember seeing Mark bowl at Rainbow Lanes. He was in a league that bowled before the league I was in. He was quite a sight to see.”

Andy Furman is a Fox Sports Radio national talk show host. Previously, he was a scholastic sports columnist for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. He may be reached at: [email protected] Twitter: @AndyFurmanFSR

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