by Jim Rogers
[Editor’s Note: Having been in Dallas Monday September 18, 2017 for preoperative testing at the same hospital where Cecil died on Friday, I was unable to give a proper tribute to Cecil Savage on Monday. Here is our feeble attempt to honor a great man and good friend.]
For almost 13 years Cecil Savage informed the Hopkins County area with the news of the day. However, his greatest contribution to local listening would be heard on Tuesday and Friday nights and any other evening Wildcat sports were broadcast on KSST. His insight into sports made the game come alive for those listening to his football color or his baseball insights or the specific sport being broadcast.
Many a Sulphur Springs athlete found their name called and praise given in an encouraging manner that made them feel their contribution had been much in the game. That was only a small part of what made Cecil great. For coaches, there was no greater friend than the man who asked the questions that enabled them to inform local sports fans regarding the finer points of the game. An understanding of the play called, the reason for that specific play or pitch presented and the love of the game and the love of high school sports continued to grow in the heart and mind of the fan. For those in the broadcast booth, the respect shown his fellow broadcasters proved a pleasant experience for those listening. The years Dick Caldwell and Cecil shared in broadcast were prime time listening.
Cecil’s voice carried a depth of meaning and an extension of enthusiasm for the game. Having invited Cecil to join the KSST crew in the press box even after he left the broadcast scene, it was apparent that he never lost a step in his broadcast finesse.
The most difficult thing is to follow one who is so good at his job. However, he never failed to encourage others who made attempt to do the work he was born to do. He was respected by those who observed his talent. However, he was loved by those who knew him. His contributions to KSST will long influence this organization. The community can be thankful to Bill Bradford for having given Cecil the opportunity to exercise his gift.
Cecil left the area and the broadcast booth several years ago, according to the calendar. It was only yesterday to those of us who heard him and were drawn into the game as Cecil crafted the words that give a mental picture of “what just happened” on the field.
In his final days, he continued to write of his experiences. He blogged about sports, weather, and his sickness. Cancer is a hateful thing. Add to that the complications Cecil faced and it made for a “fourth and long” situation. However, Cecil gave it a royal battle as he, with his wife at his side, fought tooth and toenail until the final day. He was to have been placed on hospice the day he died. He competed until the final whistle… just like he had called every game to the end.