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WXAV to Broadcast ThunderBolts in 2009

February 12, 2009 - Frontier League (FL) - Windy City ThunderBolts News Release

Crestwood, IL - The Windy City ThunderBolts professional baseball team, 2007 and 2008 Frontier League Champions, is proud to announce that an agreement has been reached with radio station WXAV, 88.3 FM, to broadcast the team's games during the 2009 season.

WXAV, which is licensed to Saint Xavier University in Chicago, has committed to air at least 30 games in 2009 with the option to add additional broadcasts as the season progresses. The first broadcast will be on Thursday, May 21, as the ThunderBolts open the 2009 season against the Rockford RiverHawks. Game broadcasts will also be available on-line at, and any game not broadcast by WXAV will be available on-line through the ThunderBolts webpage,

WXAV has won numerous awards from the Illinois Broadcasters Association in recent years, including 3rd place for Best Long Radio Program in 2008, 1st place for Best Sports Broadcast in 2007, and 1st place for both Best Radio Spot and Best Newscast in 2006.

As part of the partnership between Saint Xavier University and the Windy City ThunderBolts, Saint Xavier students will have a direct role in the broadcasts. Terry Bonadonna, a junior communications major at SXU and the sports director for WXAV, will serve as the color commentator for the broadcasts, with additional students participating in behind-the-scenes roles relating to the production and airing of the games.

"This is a spectacular opportunity for our broadcast students to gain real-world experience covering professional sports," said SXU Student Media Director Peter Kreten. "We are thrilled to continue providing the best college radio education in Chicago. Students come to Saint Xavier knowing they will receive fun and challenging opportunities that will serve them later in their chosen fields."

"We are thrilled to partner with Saint Xavier University to broadcast ThunderBolts games while providing a quality experience for the students associated with WXAV," said ThunderBolts General Manager Steve Tahsler. "The staff at WXAV and administration at Saint Xavier have been tremendous to work with, and their enthusiasm is a major reason why we can return ThunderBolt baseball to the radio. WXAV has many awards for the quality of its programming, and we are proud to associate with such a well-regarded station."

Chad Cooper will serve as the lead broadcaster for the ThunderBolts in 2009, replacing Jesse Goldberg-Strassler who was hired by the Lansing Lugnuts of the Midwest League. Cooper previously broadcast Frontier League games for the Evansville Otters in 2003-2005 and the Traverse City Beach Bums in 2006. He spent 2007 covering the Vero Beach Devil Rays of the Florida State League and 2008 with the North Adams Steeple Cats of the NECBL. Cooper, who filled in for the ThunderBolts to call victories in games 3, 4, and 5 of the 2007 Frontier League Championship Series, serves as the play-by-play voice for men's and women's basketball at the College of St. Rose in Albany, New York, during the off-season. He was voted the Frontier League's Broadcaster of the Year in 2005.

"I'm excited to be returning to the Frontier League with the ThunderBolts," commented Cooper. "It's been a lot of fun to watch how the organization has blossomed the last few years both on and off the field and I can't wait to become a part of that. The team's new partnership with WXAV only enhances my enthusiasm to join the franchise. It's a combination that demonstrates how far the ThunderBolts have come and will allow WXAV to introduce their format to a new set of listeners."

This upcoming season will mark the first time since 2005 that ThunderBolt games have been broadcast over the air and the first time team history that games have been carried by an Illinois radio station.

The Windy City ThunderBolts open the 2009 season on Thursday, May 21 at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood. For more information, please visit us online at or contact the ThunderBolts at 708-489-BALL or [email protected] For additional information about WXAV, please visit or

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