In 1996, KOAM-TV Sports Director Jay Radzavicz wrote the inaugural edition of the Pigskin Preview. It was the first major publication of its kind in the 4-State area. The magazine featured more than 130 pages of content covering high school and college football in the area.
Over the course of the next two decades, the magazine skyrocketed in popularity. It was not uncommon for magazines to disappear within 48 hours of being delivered to various locations in the 4-States. High school athletes, parents, friends, and community leaders all rushed to read what the KOAM sports team wrote about their team’s prospects that fall.
To keep up with reader demand, KOAM-TV issued in a new era in 2014. That year, nearly 20 years after its inception, the Pigskin Preview was posted online for the very first time. Now family members living in other parts of the country could easily read these highly sought-after articles.
In 2020, KOAM dropped the print version of the magazine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The landscape was changing too rapidly for our team to deal with printing deadlines. However, it opened the door to new beginnings.
The New Online Hub
This year, as you’ll soon discover, we have dropped the “magazine format” altogether. No longer will you have to worry about flipping pages. Instead, we’ve re-invented the Pigskin Preview by creating an online hub solely devoted to football in the 4-States. The name remains the same. It’s still the Pigskin Preview, but now it’s all online. It’s easy to access, easy to navigate, and easy to update content throughout the season.
If you haven’t discovered it already, you’ll soon notice this new look brings back all the previews but includes hubs for each team’s highlights videoed by the hard-working KOAM Sports team.
The Pigskin Preview will continue for years being a fantastic effort by KOAM staff and our community coaches and sponsors.
It would be impossible to write about the history of the Pigskin Preview without mentioning our friend and colleague, Matt Newbery. Matt was a walking encyclopedia when it came to sports in the 4-State area. He spent three decades covering athletics in the 4-State area, including jobs with the Pittsburg Morning Sun, KSEK Radio, the MIAA conference, and lastly KOAM-TV.
During his tenure at KOAM, Matt was one of the biggest contributors to the Pigskin Preview. He was ultimately the one responsible for ensuring the magazine would be printed on time every year.
Sadly, Matt passed away in the fall of 2020 due to complications from COVID-19. His passing occurred just months after completing the 2020 edition of the Pigskin Preview.
On the 25th Anniversary of the original Pigskin Preview – the entire KOAM-TV staff dedicates the 2021 edition to the memory of our good friend, Matt Newbery.