Joey Wright is coming back to where his broadcast career started.
The Bradley University sophomore will call tonight’s Urbana-Peoria Richwoods football game for Clutch Sports Media. The broadcast is available free at clutchsportsil.com. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
Wright, 19, is an Urbana High graduate who started working as a public-address announcer while at Urbana Middle School. In high school, he got involved with Urbana Public Television, calling games.
As a high school senior, Wright was a News-Gazette sports staffer.
Last spring, Wright and his current broadcast partner, Larry Larson, decided to try calling prep games in central Illinois. Both Wright and Larson are sports communication majors at the Peoria school.
“Play-by-play is what we both want to do in our careers,” Wright said. “We were looking for ways to create an opportunity for us to go call high school games and improve our craft.”
Late in the summer, they bought the needed equipment and went to work.
“It’s going very well,” Wright said. “We’ve been met with a very good response from the Peoria area.”
Wright’s parents, Richard and Jackie, have been supportive.
“I’ve kind of known that I wanted to do this from a young age,” Wright said.
Coaches and athletic directors have been “phenomenal. Very welcoming.”
After high school football ends, they will call basketball games in the winter. They hope to continue to add to their coverage.
“I would like to see this get pretty big by the time we graduate,” Wright said.
Wright and Larson rotate the play-by-play and analyst duties. Larson is going back to his hometown of Rockford this weekend, so Wright is handling tonight’s game solo.
Wright plans to continue his broadcasting career after graduation. His long-term goal is calling games for a major network.
“It’s a business where you have to start small and work your way up,” he said.
Who is his broadcasting role model?
“Mike Joy of NASCAR on Fox. I enjoy his style, his delivery, the way he goes about things. I have great respect for him,” Wright said. “I’m a big NASCAR guy. That’s kind of what I grew up with.”
Wright’s Twitter handle is @JoeyWright2000.
On to my weekend recommendations:
NLCS: Nationals at Cardinals, 7 p.m., TBS
Both teams pulled first-round upsets against the Braves and Dodgers, respectively. My guess is the series goes to seven games.
“Saturday Night Live,” 10:30 p.m., NBC
David Harbour, one of the stars of the Netflix series “Stranger Things,” takes his first turn as host. Camila Cabello is the musical guest.
“Spider-Man: Homecoming,” 6 p.m., FX
Tom Holland stars in the title role. The cast includes Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton and Marisa Tomei.