KENAI, Alaska (AP) – Ask a third-grader what he or she wants to be when they grow up, and it’s a near certainty that among the responses will be football player, soccer star or five-star hoops recruit.
Not the case for Casey Roehl, the unofficial voice of the Peninsula Oilers.
Roehl’s rapid rise to his current position behind the mic and soundboard at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai has been nothing less than remarkable. As an incoming sophomore at Indiana University, Roehl’s dulcet tones and phenomenal ability to recall statistics have given him a step up over the competition in the world of broadcast journalism.
“He’s a walking encyclopedia,” said KSRM radio play-by-play man Dan Gensel. “There’s no doubt about that.”
From an early age, Roehl wanted to be the media broadcaster, the guy off the field calling the plays and giving life to the action that the listening audience couldn’t see.
Listing off TV idols Bob Costas, Dan Shulman, Marv Albert, Doc Emrick and Jim Nantz, among others, Roehl could one day add his name to that list.
“I want to be the next (broadcast) guy that kids want to be,” Roehl said.
The 19-year-old journalism major and sports history wunderkind is the voice Peninsula Oilers fans have heard over the loudspeakers at Coral Seymour Memorial Ballpark for the past two summers, thanks in part to Gensel.
Gensel has been grooming Roehl to be the Oilers PA man and to give him a leg up on his career since he offered the 2016 Dimond graduate a position at the Kenai radio station to call Oilers road games and work the mic at home.
Gensel, who likens Roehl to ESPN talk-show host Mike Greenberg, said after meeting Roehl at the 2015 Alaska Schools Activities Association medium- and small-schools state football championships at Dimond’s Alumni Field, they ran into each other several more times over the course of the school year.