Fonner Park names new horse racing announcer

Silver Creek man takes over for longtime announcer Steve Anderson, who died from cancer
Local4 News at 11:30
Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 3:29 PM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - There’s a new voice that will be heard when the 2023 Thoroughbred racing season gets underway next week in Grand Island.

Dustyn Stortzum, of Silver Creek, will be the new track announcer at Fonner Park. He replaces longtime announcer and Grand Island native Steve Anderson. He called races for 19 years at Fonner Park but passed away in 2022 after a battle with cancer.

Stortzum is connected to the racing world as both his father and uncle were jockeys early in their lives and currently work in the Nebraska Thoroughbred racing industry. His mother and several extended family members have also been involved in the Nebraska Thoroughbred racing.

“Dustyn has a solid foundation in broadcasting for his age and his resume of work has impressed me,” said Fonner Park CEO Chris Kotulak. “Hugh Miner Jr. hired me in 1986 without me having called races anywhere. He he trusted me with a variety of responsibilities which helped through my career. I believe in Dustyn just the same and am delighted to give him a similar opportunity.”

The 24-year-old has an Associates Degree in Radio/Television Broadcasting from Northeast Community College; while there he won the collegiate division of the 2018 Nebraska Broadcasters Association Pinnacle Awards. In 2020 he received a Gold Award in the College Student TV division of “Best Live Sports Event.” He is currently a semester away from graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Media & Communications.

According to a press release, Stortzum has had only one racecall broadcasted. In April 2022, interim announcer Gary Schaff allowed him the memorable opportunity. Prior to then he had been working with Steve Anderson to learn about racecalling. He has refined his skills with the help of fellow announcers and broadcasters, Bobby Neuman, Larry Collmus, former Fonner Park announcer Chris Kotulak (now Fonner Park CEO) and others.

“I would like to thank my mentors, my parents and my sister for supporting me through all the ups and downs in my early broadcasting career. Without their support, I wouldn’t be in this position today,” said Stortzum. “I’m ready to have some fun at Fon!”