WATCH: Friday Night Locker Room’s Steve Wilson and Orville Susong Reflect on 2019
By Steve Wilson, Friday Night Locker Room // December 31, 2019
Friday Night Locker Room is in its 20th year of broadcasting sports on the Space Coast
ABOVE VIDEO: The Friday Night Locker Room’s Orville Susong and Steve Wilson show video highlights of 2019 FNLR events.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – It’s hard to believe the 2019 calendar year is coming to a close. It seems like it was just last month that my broadcasting partner Orville Susong with the Friday Night Locker Room and I were at the VRBO Citrus Bowl as Penn State and Kentucky squared off.
They say that the end of a year is time for reflection as the Friday Night Locker Room enjoyed its 20th year of broadcasting sports on the Space Coast so there is no better time than right now to look at how we got started and where we are today.
The Friday Night Locker Room covers high-school related activities and for many years, the only thing we broadcast was sports.
Occasionally. we would cover a non-sports related event, but that did not happen very often.
I don’t think it was a conscious decision to move into other areas. By that I mean that Orville and I did not sit down and say, “Hey, let’s do something else in addition to sports.”
It just happened. I’m not even sure of what the first non-sports event is that we covered, but I do know that we have taken a giant step in broadening our horizon over the last few years.
Just this year alone, we broadcast multiple parades, covered many special events, promoted several fundraising efforts and got involved in much more.
With the addition of the Friday Night Locker Room–Space Coast Daily studio on Merritt Island, we have brought in many guests to sit down in a relaxed, professional atmosphere to conduct interviews.
Athletes such as James Folston, Mel Mitchell, Bianca Cruz, Drew Parrish, Peter Blount, Veronica Petrinec, Kaira Simmons, Tracy Williams, and countless others have been in the studio in 2019.
Non-sports related persons have graced our studio for interviews as well.
Among them are representatives from the Parker Foundation, Alzheimers Association, Heroes on the Water, two-time cancer survivor Julie Spurlock, Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey, former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Steve Crisafulli, seven men that worked on the Apollo space program, recording artist Anja, several authors, government officials and many others.
Some of the many on-location interviews over the past year include rock-legend from The Outlaws Henry Paul, former Rockledge Raiders athlete Drew Johnson, former astronaut Winston Scott, softball standouts Alex Powers, Jackie Mijuskovic and Melanie Murphy, former Florida State Senate President Mike Haridopolos, and U.S. Congressman Bill Posey.
There are so many other people that we interviewed throughout the course of the year, that they are too numerous to list. The above names are just a small sampling of the diversity the Friday Night Locker Room has displayed over the course of one year.
I was asked recently if I have a favorite event I covered in 2019. And my answer was, there were too many to just choose just one! Each event is special in its own way.
However, our coverage of the Titusville Gold Volleyball Game was very special. Each year Titusville Terriers host a “Gold Game” to promote pediatric cancer awareness.
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: The Cocoa Tigers square off with the Rockledge Raiders in the 40th annual Barbecue Bowl in the Erdman Automotive Game of the Week presented By Friday Night Locker Room.
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Titusville High volleyball player Sydney Creel has been battling cancer for 10 years and to see how Sydney sets her illness aside and battles on the volleyball court is amazing.
One of their players, Sydney Creel has been battling cancer for approximately ten years. To see how Sydney sets her illness aside, and battles on the volleyball court is amazing.
Sydney is a senior at Titusville High School this year and will be sorely missed. However, she has promised to come back next year and broadcast the game with me and Orville!
My interview with two-time cancer survivor Julie Spurlock was incredible. I met Julie about seven years ago, soon after she was diagnosed with cancer the first time.
To see how far Julie has come, and to know what she has been through, is inspiring. Julie has more strength than anyone I have ever met.
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Steve Wilson’s interview with two-time cancer survivor Julie Spurlock was incredible. “I met Julie about seven years ago, soon after she was diagnosed with cancer the first time,” said Steve. “To see how far Julie has come, and to know what she has been through, is inspiring. Julie has more strength than anyone I have ever met.”
There were a couple of non-sports related events that Orville talked about for days on end. One of those was Ms. Dot’s Annual Thanksgiving Community Dinner in Melbourne.
What Dorothy “Ms. Dot” Linson does each year is almost beyond description! She coordinates a “feed the community” event at no charge during Thanksgiving. Ms. Dot epitomizes the “Holiday Spirit!”
Orville also talked about how special it was to cover the “Wreaths Across America” ceremony at Shady Oaks Cemetery in Melbourne.
This is a nationwide event held in December of each year dedicated to remembering the sacrifices veterans have made in wars since the American Revolution. Wreaths are laid at the graves of veterans all over the country, and it’s a very special and moving ceremony.
There were so many sports events in 2019 that were memorable. Often times for Orville and me, it’s a road trip game! It is fun to be able to travel to away games and bring them back to those that are unable to make the game in person.
One such game stands out this year – the Rockledge vs Ware County football game, in Waycross, Georgia. The Raiders came home with a win, in a hostile environment, against a very good team.
When all is said and done, the Friday Night Locker Room is a sports broadcasting organization that Keith Lippert founded more than 20 years ago.
Keith wanted to do sports better than anyone else. We lost Keith in 2007 but have tried our best to carry on what he envisioned, which is to be the best.
Who knows what 2020 will bring, but I can promise you this – we will cover sporting events, we will cover non-sports related events, we will cover charity events, we will conduct multiple interviews, we will cover whatever we believe the public wants to see.
I would personally like to thank all of our sponsors, the local schools, administrators, coaches, players, parents, and all of those that have supported and enjoyed what we do, and have done over the past 20 years.
Orville and I are both excited about the future.
Look out 2020 – HERE WE COME!