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The KPTR.com Story. . . . . . .
Illinois. The year 2000. The Centralia Holiday
Tournament, a 16-team
boys basketball tournament in the quaint
basketball hotbed in southern
Illinois. Mike Cooper,
Ken Opperman, Eric Opperman, and Matt Cooper
McDonald's about how they wished they could broadcast Bartlett
basketball like numerous small town radio stations, including
Centralia's WRXX, do for their high schools. And so the dream
It was a dream that would take two full
years to come true, and
beginning in 2002, KPTR.com became a reality, as
Mike, Ken, and
Matt broadcast the first Bartlett Panther basketball
game of the
2002-03 season at Harding Academy in Memphis. A week later,
Eric joined them for the Rumble on the Ridge in Forrest City,
and the KPTR.com "Skybox Crew" was on its way to
broadcast its first
year of Panther athletics.
KPTR.com has covered nearly all of Bartlett's football, boys
basketball, and girls basketball games since that first broadcast at
Harding Academy, and we have covered numerous other events as
including many Panther baseball games and a competition
Bartlett's award-winning Winter Guard team. In the fall
of 2003, we
began WVWT, ( the Webcast Voice of West Tennessee ),
to cover various
other high school and even college athletics, and
we broadcast 11 games
involving 11 boys basketball teams from
three states at the 2003
Centralia Holiday Tournament via KPTR
and WVWT. In March 2009, we
covered our first Bartlett Panther
Tennis match. Our first coverage of
Bartlett Panther Soccer came
on May 21, 2016, in the Boys West
Tennessee Sub-State Sectional
2006, all Bartlett Panther Broadcasts were simulcast
on both KPTR and
WVWT and we formed our second sister station,
KTSQ-The Sports Quest-to
cover other schools activities. In 2008,
The SkyBox Broadcasting
International Network was formed in
order to expand the coverage of
exciting Secondary School and
College Sports. In 2011, we formed our
sister station, WMPQ.us which is located in Arlington, Tennessee
and covers the Arlington Tigers. During the spring of 2011, we
partnered with KCAB-AM 980 in Russellville, Arkansas to cover the
Arkansas Tech Women's Softball Team in the Gulf-South
Tournament in Southaven, Mississippi.
In late 2012, we began a joint
venture with WPAD in Paducah,
Kentucky, "99.5-THE FAN" ( AM-1560 / FM
995thefanpaducah.com / westkentuckystar.com to cover the
Oak Purple Flash in their final season and bring the same
coverage to the Western Kentucky area. KPTR.com is the
of SkyBox Broadcasting International and still is
The Voice of the
Bartlett Panthers. In early 2013, SkyBox
first terrestrial station went on the
air, Community Radio KOK-AM 1700,
serving areas of Bartlett and
Memphis. In December of 2015, Community
KOK-FM 105.3 was added. The Skybox Crew assists the Christian
Brothers University Radio Network in Memphis with Men's and
Basketball broadcasts and also assists WUMR in
Memphis with University
of Memphis Baseball and Lady Tiger
Basketball broadcasts. In August of
2013, we added a new partner,
AM 990-KWAM, The Voice of Memphis, to
carry selected Friday
evening broadcasts, in addition to being on
Community Radio AM 1700 KOK. KWAM's 10,000 watt AM signal
greatly increases our terrestrial radio coverage area. In addition,
KWAM has available a smartphone app
and these broadcasts will also be
carried live on the internet via
their app and on KWAM990.com.
As of 10/04/2016, KPTR.com has broadcast 1,199 Bartlett events
since that first night at Harding Academy on November 17, 2002.
have broadcast events on site in the states of Tennessee,
Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, and Illinois
and we have had
listeners contact us from most of the 50 states,
as well as Canada,
Central America, The Middle-East,
Hong Kong, The Netherlands, Ukraine,
Afghanistan, China, and
The Russian Federation. As of 10/04/2016,
KPTR.com/WVWT.com/KTSQ.com and The SkyBox Broadcasting
Network have broadcast a total of 1,378 sports events
and a grand total of 1,675 events.
The goal of
KPTR.com, WVWT.com, and KTSQ.com, as well as that
of the SkyBox
Broadcasting International Network, is to highlight
the hard work of the
dedicated student athletes and their coaches,
along with the sacrifices
of their parents and other family members,
in order to achieve the
great things they do and to provide a media
outlet for these outstanding
individuals. The motto of SkyBox
Broadcasting International is: "It's all about the kids".
Please be sure
and check out our sister stations, Community Radio
WVWT.com, KTSQ.com, and WMPQ.us by clicking the
links to the left. ww.wvwt.com
We would like to thank you for visiting us and we hope you enjoy
E-Mails: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
SkyBox Broadcasting International
P.O. Box 34306 Bartlett, Tennessee 38184 USA
Telephones: 901-305-3797 / 901-619-0856
James M. (Mike) Cooper, General Manager / Executive Producer
Matthew B. Cooper, Director of Broadcast Operations / Producer
Kenneth (Ken) Opperman, Commentator
Eric Opperman, Commentator
Jonathan D. Sturdivant, Sports Director & Commentator / Producer
Christopher M. Tanner, Statistician & Commentator
Cona G. Cooper, Production Assistant
Jeff Browning, Statistician & Commentator
Jordan Browning, Commentator
Stuart Settles, Statistician & Commentator
Ryne S. Clark, Commentator, Production Assistant
Terry Sturdivant, Commentator / Producer
Jason Aaron, Commentator
James (Jim) Steinbrecher, Commentator
Jimmy D. Davis, Sales Manager
Donald E. (Don) Alvey, Engineer***(2002-2014)
Ronald (Ron) Alvey, Engineer***(2002-2015)
Craig Blanchard, EZ-Stream Network Control-Chief Engineer
Link to the Network Website for The SkyBox Broadcasting International Network--->( )
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Link to Mid-South Classic Broadcasts----->( )
Link to Sports Talk Broadcasts, (The SkyBox Crew Report)----->( )
Tennessee's first Internet sports station!
The KPTR.com "Skybox Crew"
A native of East Saint
Louis, Illinois, Ken has supported Panther athletics since moving to
Bartlett in the mid-1980's. He works as an intermodal transportation
specialist in Memphis. Ken and his wife Bev have two children, Eric and
Melissa, and one grandson, Elijah. Eric and Melissa are both graduates
of BHS. Eric is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University and Melissa
is a graduate of Austin Peay State University.
A native of Paducah,
Kentucky, Mike has supported Panther athletics for years. He works in
the Financial Services Industry and is also the General Manager of
SkyBox Broadcasting. He and his wife Cona have four children: Matthew,
Jennifer, Vanya, and Dima and all are graduates of Bartlett High
School. They also have one grandson, Grayson. Matthew and Jennifer
are University of Memphis graduates and Vanya and Dima attended
Southwest Tennessee Community College in Memphis.
A 2000 graduate of BHS,
Eric was a member of Bartlett's award-winning Knowledge Bowl program,
and he was the first Sports Information Director for the school. He
graduated from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, in
2004, with a degree in Mass Communications. Eric is now working
at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee as the Sports
Information Director. Eric is the son of Skybox Crew member Ken
Matt is a 2000 graduate of
BHS. While at Bartlett, he served as Co-Sports Information Director for
three years. He graduated from the University of Memphis in 2005 with a
degree in history. Matt is employed by the Bartlett City School System
and has been an Assistant Basketball coach at Bartlett High School. In
addition to this, he is the Director of Broadcast Operations for
KPTR.com/Community Radio AM 1700 KOK and The SkyBox Broadcasting
International Network and is the Youth Director for Ellendale United
Methodist Church in Bartlett. Matt is the son of Skybox Crew member
Why the "Skybox Crew?"
One question we've heard through the years is "Why are you called the Skybox Crew?"
In the late 1980's when Ken
started attending nearly every Panther home football game, he quickly
found a perch on the top row at the 22 yard line, and he and Eric sat
there for years. When The Coopers moved back to Bartlett shortly before
Matt and Eric started high school, they also began sitting in what Ken
had begun calling "The Skybox."
The tradition of finding a
seat in the top row continued over to Panther basketball, as the
Oppermans and Coopers became a fixture at the top row of the lower
bleachers near the Bartlett bench nearly everywhere the Panthers
played. One night when they were even more boisterous than usual, a fan
a few rows in front of them turned around and said, "The Bartlett
Skybox Crew is going wild tonight!"
The name stuck, and it was only natural to keep it when KPTR.com began.
The KPTR.com Story. . . . . . .
The year 2000. The Centralia Holiday Tournament, a 16-team Boys
Basketball tournament in the quaint basketball hotbed in Southern
Illinois. Mike Cooper, Ken Opperman, Eric Opperman, and Matt Cooper
talked at McDonalds about how they wished they could broadcast Bartlett
basketball like numerous small town radio stations, including
Centralia's WRXX, do for their high schools. And so the dream began.
It was a dream that
would take two full years to come true, and beginning in 2002, KPTR.com
became a reality, as Mike, Ken, and Matt broadcast the first Bartlett
Panther Basketball game of the 2002-03 season at Harding Academy in
Memphis. A week later, Eric joined them for the Rumble on the Ridge in
Forrest City, Arkansas, and the KPTR.com "Skybox Crew" was on its way to
broadcast its first year of Panther athletics.
(The top picture was taken
during a Panther broadcast at The Kingdom of the Sun Basketball
Tournament in Ocala, Florida in December of 2002.) (The bottom two
pictures were taken in the Press Box at Auto Zone Park in Downtown
Memphis, Tennessee where the Bartlett Sky Box Crew called the 2004
Tennessee "Spring Fling" Baseball Championships)
Director of Broadcast Operations, Matthew Cooper
General Manager, Mike Cooper and Director of Broadcast Operations, Matthew Cooper
|We would like to thank our sponsors. Without their support, KPTR.com would be impossible.