By Steve Kaminski
Regan Cleves’ introduction to broadcasting includes calling the games for Grand Rapids Catholic Central’s hockey team in recent seasons.
Cleves, who graduated from Catholic Central this past spring, was behind the microphone when the Cougars made a run at the state championship a year ago, including Catholic Central’s 3-1 loss to Flint Powers Catholic at Michigan State University’s Munn Ice Arena.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t get the win,” Cleves said. “But I was fortunate to call my last game for Catholic Central and the emotions that went with that.”
Cleves is now attending Central Michigan University and broadcasting action for the CMU Club Hockey Network, covering the Division III ACHA games in Mt. Pleasant. He may be a freshman, but Cleves brings experience to the booth considering he created Catholic Central hockey team’s Youtube channel and its broadcasting site. He did the same for Catholic Central baseball.
Truth be told, though, Cleves got his start even before stepping into the Catholic Central booth. Cleves is the son of Randy Cleves, who serves as the director of public and community relations for the Grand Rapids Griffins. It wasn’t unusual to find Cleves back in the day off in a corner quiet corner at the Van Andel Arena in downtown Grand Rapids, broadcasting the Griffins games into his phone when he was a child.
“I want to say it was my eighth-grade year when I went to an open skate at Griff’s IceHouse at Belknap, and I was skating around,” Cleves said. “A guy was cleaning the boards and I struck up a conversation. It turned out that he was blind and loved going to the Griffins. Through the conversation, I asked him how he knew what was going on.
“He said he listened to (Griffins announcer) Bob Kaser through an earpiece. I thought it was really cool. I thought how can I help someone enjoy the game that I love so much? How can I do that for other people? That, along with my dad working with Bob Kaser and being around the Griffins and forming a relationship with Bob, that led me down the path to wanted to broadcast.”
Cleves is pursuing a Broadcast and Cinematic Arts Major at Central Michigan. In addition, he also is pursuing a Minor in Statistics and Sports Management. While his passion for hockey came from his father, Cleves is quick to thank his mother for bringing him to all the Griffins games when he was younger.
“I always joke with my wife that his passion for hockey was her fault because she was the one bringing him to games,” Randy Cleves said. “I was working the games, so don’t blame me. She brought him all those nights.”
Cleves also started covering Catholic Central baseball games his sophomore year of high school. In addition, his resume includes the Grand Rapids Sled Wings, a men’s hockey league at Griff’s IceHouse West in Holland and the 2021 USA Hockey U16 Tier II National Championship, which was contested at Southside Ice Arena in Byron Center.
“My sophomore year, the school sent out an email to all of the students as part of the regular announcements saying, ‘Hey, there is an opportunity to broadcast basketball games,’” Cleves said. “That sounded really fun, but I also thought, I’m not a big basketball fan so I wanted to see if there is something I could do for hockey. I reached out to the guy who sent the email. He put me in contact with the coach and the PA announcer for the hockey team. They basically set me up.”
(Originally published at https://www.mlive.com/sports/2021/11/former-grand-rapids-catholic-central-hockey-voice-takes-microphone-to-cmu.html)