FARMINGTON— A local radio station won an award for their play-by-play broadcast of one of the best Girls AAA State Championship games played in recent memory.

The Shiprock Lady Chieftains entered the epic battle against Portales undefeated. Shiprock eventually fell to the Lady Rams for their first loss of the season, 62-59. The overtime thriller left an imprint on more than the New Mexico basketball landscape.

The play-by-play broadcast of that game won Farmington's Vertical Radio the New Mexico Broadcasters Association's best Sports Play by Play in Division 2 for their broadcast of the championship game.

"It's our first one ever," Vertical Radio general manager Emmet Fowler said of winning the award. "We're just one of many stations around that do a really great job, but we got it this year. It's an honor and we're going to try to get it every year. It forces us to be good at what we do. So this award gives us some street cred."

Fowler, who did the play-by-play for the winning broadcast, said there were about a half dozen other stations that submitted clips for the play-by-play award.

The award was given out during the New Mexico Broadcasters Association's annual convention that was held earlier this summer.


Working with Fowler, who was also the broadcast's executive producer on the winning broadcast, were Paul Corley, who provided color commentary, stats and spotter Cheyenne Corley, and producer and engineer Kurt Fowler.

"The cool thing about our sports broadcast team is, outside of Connie Mack, they all volunteer," Fowler said. "They don't get paid to do it. They do it because who we are as a station, and they do it because they love to do it. They love the sports and they love the kids."

The decision to submit the Shiprock-Portales broadcast was a no-brainer for Fowler after the praise the broadcast received from the community.

The game was broadcasted on KNMI-FM.

"To me that's the takeaway, being a part of the community and making memories for the community," Fowler said. "If somebody else gets the award later, they're going to have some big shoes to fill. But that's not the goal. The goal is to hold on to it as long as we can."

Karl Schneider covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648 and Follow him @karltschneider on Twitter.