Piqua’s legendary ‘Men Behind The Mic’ include Wise, Bachman, Hemm and Hemmert


PIQUA — Piqua has been blessed by some amazing PA announcers for games throughout the years.

Four that have done it for more than 30 years include Gordon Wise, Duane Bachman, Doug Hemm and Jim Hemmert.

Gordon Wise

Wise is the most famous and for good reason.

For the first 49 years of the Wright State men’s basketball team’s program history, Wise was the voice of the Raiders.

Wise, a professore at Wright State, remebers WSU athletic director at the time Don Mohr telling him he needed some help with the program.

“I can’t remember if I volunteered or Don Mohr just picked me to be the PA announcer,” Wise recalled. “But, that is how it all started.”

Wise began his journey at Stebbins High School which did not have a very good sound system.

The Raiders then moved to the WSU Physical Education Building, with a few games at Xenia Field House.

They then moved to the Nutter Center where they currently play.

Wise’a favorite saying was “Welcome to Raider Roundball”.

Duane Bachman

Bachman, the former Piqua City Schools Superintendent, began his second career in broadcasting in 1991 for WPTW Radio.

“The station manager approached me and indicated they were looking for a play by play host for the local football team,” Bachman said. “Without thinking about it, I agreed to do my best, but I had no experience in that aspect of high school sports.

Bachman did many sports including boys and girls basketball and went on to do broadcasts for Channel 5 Public Access as well as being a PA announcer at Piqua basketball games.

During his time, he was fortunate enough to call several state championships.

“The most exciting football game was doing the 2006 state championship game (which Piqua won) with my longtime gridiron partner in the pressbox, Bob Luby. Calling state championship games is always the dream and I had the honor of calling the Bethel boys basketball team winning the D-IV state championship, Lehman winning two volleyball state champiosnhips and Miami East doing the same.”

Bachman has also been PA for Flyin’ To The Hoops all 19 years it has existed.

Doug Hemm

Hemm got his start annoucning Pee Wee football games when his sons Justin and Trenton began to play.

In 2005 he got an unexepted opportunity.

“Vic Kiefer approached me about announcing (Piqua High School football) games,” Hemm said. “I was very excited about being given the opportunity and soon after Dave Palmer (Piqua AD at the time) called an asked if I would announce the games on Friday nights.”

A year later, Hemm was the PA during the regular season in Piqua’s state championship season with his son Justin at quarterback.

Hemm has a simple philosophy.

“I began then and still today say a little prayer before each game, asking that I be given the opportunity to add to the experience of the game without overshadowing the game. To say enough, without saying too much.”

Hemm talked about the advancement in technology.

“With the addition of the Indian Nation Station, Piqua Football is quite a production today,” Hemm said. “I am amazed that I get to be part of this production at one of the nicest high school stadiums in the state. Our ability to attract the attention of the OHSAA and host playoff games is a big part of the experience for me as well.

“We have witnessed some pretty amazing games over the years and I am still very happy they ask me to be a part of Friday night football in Piqua.”

Jim Hemmert

Hemmert’s career at Edison State began with doing the scorebook before becoming PA announcer.

“Watl Fields (Edison State athletic director at the time) asked me if I could do the scorebook,” Hemmert said. “I am not sure when it all started, but I found my name in a scorebook in 1991.”

Edison played at the “PIT” back then (Roosevelt Field House), before opening its own gym on campus in 1994.

“Larry Leffel (athletic director at the time), asked if I would get behind the mic and announce the national anthem and introduce a special guest,” Hemmert said. “Twenty-eight years later Nate Cole (current Edison AD) let me stay behind the mic and announce basketball and volleyball.”

Some of the things Hemmert is famous for include;

“Lets sit back, relax and enjoy the competition.”

“The concession stand is open with cold drinks, sweet treats and salty pop corn.”

The sound of a pop can opening just before the halftime announcement has become expected at Edison State games.

Hemmert is a volunteer.

“I am so over paid,” Hemmert tells school officials. “I get a front row seat for every game.”

Hemmert makes a point to announce the players high school when he introduces them and not just announcing the player who scored, but also the won that had the assist.

“I think the young men and women like to hear their name on the speaker and the proud parents like to hear their son or daughter being recognized for the crowd to hear.”

And like the the previous three, Hemmert is one of the men “Behind the Mic”.

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