(Vancouver, WA) ESN President Paul Beattie has announced Eli Sports will suspend the Girls Soccer and Volleyball
broadcasts in Vancouver on our ESN 3 station due to health issues with our announcer Ron Soanka. The Football schedule will go on as planned with veteran announcers Rodney Lawrence and Dan O’Dell. Soanka has been the play-by-play voice of Vancouver sports for decades and has teamed with Lawrence and O’Dell on many football games. At this time Soanka was going to handle the Girls Soccer and Volleyball games so at this time we have no choice but to suspend those broadcasts.
Beattie says, “we will add games and matches when and if we can but right now our whole focus is on supporting Ron and his family. Ron is an integral part of ESN and has given his heart and soul to kids and broadcasting games. We want to make sure as alone as he may feel that the whole ESN family is there for him night and day.”
Beattie says he got word this morning that Soanka is going to be battling bladder cancer. “Ron told me a week ago he was going in for a procedure for his prostate that there was a mass there they needed to take out but he was relieved because it was non-cancerous and would be out for a couple of weeks. During the procedure on Tuesday doctors found another growth that had been hidden by the mass and it turns out to be the worst case scenario of bladder cancer.”
Soanka will be undergoing major surgery to remove the growth and then face the battles of fighting cancer. There is no time line on how long Soanka will be out. Beattie says, “This is going to be Ron’s second battle with the nasty C-word and he defeated it once already and is now ready to beat it again.”
“Ron is a special, special man and see’s the world through sports colored glasses and he knows what it takes to win. I have no doubt this man who has an age of 69 but the looks of a 45-year-old and the energy of a 12-year-old will not only battle but beat this thing and we are all going to be right there with him,” Beattie said.
Beattie says, Ron is a very social person and loves to talk with people and hear from them and he is big into Facebook. We know he would love to hear from folks, it would mean the world to him just a note that says your thinking of him. And even on Facebook when you search Ron Soanka only 1 name pops up so he will be easy to find, please if you have a moment just drop a note to say hi, he would love to hear from you.
There will always be a place at the microphone for Ron at ESN. He is a crucial part of our team and we will be holding down the fort until he gets back. Please keep Ron, his wife Kathy and their kids and grand kids in your thoughts and include him in your prayers as he takes on a real life opponent. Baseball is Ron’s favorite sport and we know he is about to hit a Grand Slam.