The voice of Lewis and Clark Community College graduate Ethan Hannaford became familiar to sports fans during his time broadcasting games for WLCA 89.9-FM.
The Ed Palen Memorial Award and two-year Distinguished Scholar Award recipient honed his craft calling the play-by-play for nearly every L&C sport. Hannaford even got the opportunity to call a high school baseball game from the booth of Busch Stadium.
“That had always been a dream of mine,” Hannaford said. “My ultimate career goal is to broadcast for the St. Louis Cardinals, so it was an amazing experience that I’ll never forget.”
Well before graduating from Civic Memorial High School, Hannaford had a desire to explore a career in radio and sports broadcasting. After testing the water with a couple broadcasting classes while clearing his general education requirements at L&C, he went all-in on his dream.
“I quickly fell in love with the radio program,” he said. “After just two weeks, I had decided that I wanted to go through the entire two-year program. It turned out to be the best decision I have made up to this point in my life. It doesn’t get much better than this program.”
A key factor in getting Hannaford his career jumpstart was the mentorship of L&C Radio Broadcasting Coordinator Mike Lemons.
“Mike gave me plenty of wonderful advice and provided opportunities to do so many exciting things within the program,” Hannaford said. “He’s constantly making sure that the program is at the highest level it can be, and despite the challenges he faced during my time at L&C, he still put his students first. He made sure they were all working to the best of their ability. I know I have a friend in Mike for many years to come.”
Hannaford also credits L&C Mass Communication instructor David Ollenbittle for his teachings in audio production.
“I am astonished with Ethan’s level of commitment and dedication put into the station’s coverage of sports,” Lemons said. “All of the Lewis and Clark and high school sports we cover were jammed into one semester because of covid. Ethan has navigated the challenge well and has performed at an extremely high level.”
Spending Saturdays producing the WLCA Sports Show with co-hosts Nathan Tucker and Jack Barker is Hannaford’s favorite memory at L&C. The sports talk show featured several interviews with high-profile guests, such as St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster Rick Horton and famed baseball writer Bob Nightengale.
“Being able to have on so many exciting guests and getting to talk sports to start off the weekend was always a good time, and once it’s over, I will miss it very much,” Hannaford said.
“Hours of preparation go into his play-by-play coverage and in the preparation of the WLCA Sports Show on Saturday morning,” Lemons added. “The list of guests he has been able to book for the show is quite impressive. Ethan will continue to excel at his next college. He is well on his way to becoming a professional sportscaster. It is bittersweet to see him go.”
The next stop on Hannaford’s career journey will be Lindenwood University, where he will pursue a bachelor’s degree in mass communications with an emphasis in broadcasting.