As the 2016 Super Retriever Series started on Thursday morning near Huntsville, AL, the live streaming video feed captured the faces and voices of broadcasting duo Geoff Thompson and Chris Akin. Hailing from different parts of the country and different backgrounds, they brought a unique perspective to the event. That is perfect combination for educating viewers unfamiliar with retrievers and the work they do.
Geoff Thompson travelled from Raleigh, North Carolina to cover the event. He has been involved in broadcast work since 1998 when he started in radio. He was your standard music station DJ for National Public Radio but he always had his eye on the sports world. He grew up in an area rich in deer, turkeys, and hogs and soon hunted them all every season. His outdoor interests grew as he transitioned into team sports covering the East Carolina Pirates baseball team. He now works in with the ACC, football in particular. “I always have loved the outdoors and wanted to do more in that area,” he said. “This is my first opportunity to cover something outdoor related. These dogs are gifted athletes as in any team sport. They have the singularity of focus required to excel.”
Joining Geoff behind the mike is veteran retriever trainer and former SRS Crown Champion handler Chris Akin. He hails from Bono, Arkansas in the heart of the duck rich delta. His operation, Webb Footed Kennels, has turned out quality gun dogs and hunt test retrievers for many years. Chris has been with the event since its creation at the ESPN Great Outdoor Games, he handled his dog Boomer to a gold medal in 2003. Chris knows retrievers and his insight on every series in invaluable. He knows many of the dogs and their tendencies, great information for the viewer. He breaks down every performance as only a seasoned participant can.
You can check out all the action daily on www.Livestream.com/SRS.
by John Gordon