Be listening for our sports updates at 6:20am, 7:20am, 8:20am, 12:20pm & 5:20pm on Hometown Radio KEYL and 99.7FM Hot Rod Radio
Area Sports Calendar
***All Games and events are weather and field condition permitting***
The Section 6A Baseball Tournament begins today with three quarterfinal games in both the North and South halves of the tournament. Today's first round games will all be played at 5pm today. In the North half, 7th seed Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale plays at 2nd seed Ashby, 6th seed Pelican Rapids is at 3rd seed Brandon-Evansville, and 5th seed Browerville/Eagle Valley plays at 4th seed Parkers Prairie. New York Mills is the top seed with a first round bye. The North half tournament continues Thursday with both semifinal games played in Browerville.
In the South half of Section 6A today, 7th seed St John's Prep plays at 2nd seed Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, 5th seed Hancock is at 4th seed West Central Area and 6th seed Ortonville is at 3rd seed Upsala/Swanville Area. Border West is the top seed with a first round bye. The Section 6A South half tournament continues on Thursday with semi-final games in Morris.
All of yesterday's action in the Section 6AA Baseball tournament was postponed to today due to the weather. This evening's eight forst round quarterfinal games will all be played at the higher seed in the 16 team tournament. 16th seed Kimball plays at top seed Foley at 6pm, 15th seed Eden Valley-Watkins is at 2nd St Cloud Cathedral at 6pm. 14th seed Pillager plays at 3rd seed Pierz at 6pm. 13th seed Spectrum is at 4th seed Albany at 5pm. 12th seed Long Prairie-Grey Eagle plays at 5th seed Osakis at 5pm. 11th seed Annandale is at 6th seed Melrose at 7pm. 10th seed Holdingford plays at 7th seed Royalton at 5pm and 9th seed Milaca is at 8th seed Sauk Centre at 4pm. Winners will advance to the 6AA Quarterfinals tomorrow starting at 5pm at Faber and Putz Fields in St Cloud.
KEYL and Hot Rod Radio are proud of our Sports Director - Kevin Houdek
KEYL/KXDL Sports Director Kevin Houdek honored with WCCO Viewers’ Choice For Best H.S. Game Announcer In MinnesotaKevin Houdek has been calling games for the Long Prairie-Grey Eagle Thunder for 30 years. His knowledge of the teams and the game sheds a bright light for those who can’t attend.
“People all over the country [listen in],” Houdek said. “A guy from Browerville that’s down in Arizona, I’ll get a text from him every once and a while, you know, saying, ‘Great game.'”
On this night, the Thunder are playing the Staples-Motley Cardinals. Both teams were 0-2 — and hungry for a win.
“It’s not life or death,” he said. “It’s to have a good time and stay professional, and remember you’re broadcasting for two teams, not just your home team.”
Sports teams and the media often clash, but Houdek has earned the respect of Activities Director Dan Zetah.
“Our coaches … really like him and respect him,” Zetah said. “He’s very savvy with the numbers, with stats. You ask him a stat about something, he’s got it right there.”
Listening to Houdek — as he delivers names and stats with computer-like precision — might be overwhelming to some, but it’s like poetry to someone who’s into the game.
“I think you can get some broadcasters … that can maybe get a little more opinionated or maybe get negative more, if you want to use that term. He doesn’t get that way at all,” Zetah said.
And it’s clear that Houdek loves his work.
“It’s so much fun,” he said. “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve appreciated it even more. Even at this level, I go to a game and every night I know somebody’s going to do something amazing.”
So if you’re ever driving through central Minnesota on game night, tune your radio to 1400 AM to hear the small-town guy who, in his own way, has hit the big time.
“A teenager’s going to pull off a big play, or they’re going to play their best game ever, and everybody’s having fun, and I’m having fun, too,” Houdek said.
-- Courtesy WCCO
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - April 16, 2018 - Longtime radio sports director and broadcaster Kevin Houdek will receive the Sid Hartman Media Award from the Minnesota Chapter of the National Football Foundation. He was recognized at the 11th Annual Minnesota Football Honors on April 29 at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Houdek has spent 30 years as the sports director at KEYL/KXDL Radio in Long Prairie, Minnesota. Last fall he won WCCO TV’s Viewers’ Choice Award for Best High School Football Announcer. Houdek has been providing play-by-play for the Long Prairie-Grey Eagle Thunder for three decades.
In addition to football, Houdek has broadcast other high school sports including volleyball, boys’ and girls’ basketball, boys’ and girls’ hockey, wrestling, baseball and softball. He has covered Minnesota State High School League state tournament games for many of those sports for his station and the Minnesota Sports Broadcast Network.
Houdek is a Minnesota native who attended Danube High School before getting his associate’s degree in radio and television broadcasting at Brown Institute in Minneapolis. He is also a volunteer coach for youth baseball and wrestling and women’s slo-pitch softball, and is a 15 year veteran of the Long Prairie volunteer fire department.
The Sid Hartman Media Award is named after the Star Tribune’s most famous sports writer who is still covering local teams at age 98.