New voice at NHS

Ter­lecki takes over pub­lic ad­dress du­ties

Newark Post - - FRONT PAGE - By JON BUZBY JonBuzby@hot­mail.com

John Ter­lecki is no stranger to a mi­cro­phone. How­ever, un­til this sea­son, he had never spo­ken into the one that sits on the table­top in­side the Ne­wark High press box.

That all changed this fall when the vet­eran pub­lic ad­dress an­nouncer took over the du­ties for Yel­low­jacket foot­ball games, a po­si­tion held for the past 30 years by the re­cently re­tired Mark Frei­dly.

“To be hon­est, I was asked if I was plan­ning on tak­ing over for Mark once he re­tired be­cause ad­min­is­tra­tion and our slew of ath­letic di­rec­tors had heard my work over at Glas­gow,” Ter­lecki said. “I take great pride in my work, so be­ing able to come to Ne­wark to con­tinue do­ing what I en­joy was a no-brainer. This year worked out per­fectly be­cause Glas­gow and Ne­wark’s home games did not over­lap, so I was lucky enough to work at both sta­di­ums.”

Ter­lecki, who has a broad­cast­ing back­ground and is in his fifth year teach­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nol­ogy at Ne­wark High, has spent the last six years as the an­nouncer for Glas­gow’s foot­ball, bas­ket­ball, volleyball, wrestling and soc­cer games.

He jumped at the op­por­tu­nity to be­come the first new voice at Hoff­man Sta­dium in three decades. And while the thought of re­plac­ing a voice that res­onated through­out the sta­dium on ev­ery Fri­day game night since the 1980s might be in­tim­i­dat­ing for most, for a vet­eran an­nouncer like Ter­lecki, it was a wel­come chal­lenge.

“It’s not to say that Mark doesn’t have big shoes to fill be­cause he has been a sta­ple at Ne­wark for 30 years,” Ter­lecki said. “But I know that I am good at what I do and I know the stu­dent-ath­letes and other mem­bers of the Ne­wark High School com­mu­nity will en­joy what I bring to the an­nouncer’s booth.”

Ter­lecki brings a love for sports that orig­i­nated from his child­hood par­tic­i­pat­ing in sports. The Penn­syl­va­nia na­tive played foot­ball, base­ball, bas­ket­ball and soc­cer grow­ing up and then in high school took to the sport of rugby.

“I liked the free-form na­ture of rugby, where it flowed up and down the field, ev­ery­one had a role to play, and al­most ev­ery­one touched the ball,” he ex­plained. “I also liked the broth­er­hood of the sport and it helped that I was pretty good, too. Fri­day nights in the spring play­ing rugby were pretty spe­cial.”

Now on Fri­day nights, Ter­lecki gets to share his pas­sion for sports by way of his vo­cal de­scrip­tions of runs, tack­les and touch­downs. One of his fa­vorite parts of broad­cast­ing the plays over the pub­lic ad­dress sys­tem is the fact that his stu­dents get to see, or maybe in this case hear, a side of him that is hard for them to grasp sit­ting in his class.

“The stu­dents that take my class know me very well, but there’s still a bit of that teacher fa­cade that is nec­es­sary,” he said. “I like that I get to share the part of me that loves sports. More­over, I have kids com­ing to me ex­cited about how I call their names on the field. It adds a lit­tle bit of fa­mil­iar­ity and per­son­al­izes things for the ath­letes.”

Ter­lecki sits next to one of his for­mer stu­dents in the press box on Fri­day nights. An­drew Gidick is his of­fi­cial spot­ter and pro­vides Ter­lecki with a much-ap­pre­ci­ated sec­ond set of eyes.

“An­drew has been an amaz­ing ad­di­tion to what I do,” Ter­lecki said. “At Glas­gow, I’ve never had a spot­ter, so I’ve al­ways been sel­f­re­liant. An­drew makes what I do so much eas­ier. He is very at­ten­tive and is on top of who is mak­ing the play ei­ther on of­fense or de­fense. He calls num­bers quickly and re­peats them as I need them. He helps with where the ball is placed and if the of­fi­cials have hud­dled for a flag. Sim­ply put, while I can do the job alone, An­drew makes me a bet­ter an­nouncer.”

Gidick’s spot­ting skills make it eas­ier for Ter­lecki to fo­cus on the pre­sen­ta­tion of his calls, with­out hav­ing to worry about fig­ur­ing out who car­ried the ball or made the tackle. That al­lows him the time to some­times add his own per­sonal flair to his calls, which makes it more fun and in­ter­est­ing for the fans.

“I usu­ally switch things up,” he ex­plained when asked if he had any “sig­na­ture” calls. “What­ever I am feel­ing in that mo­ment is usu­ally what comes out. I also try to gauge the crowd and see if I need to pump more en­ergy into the calls.”

Work­ing the foot­ball games at both Ne­wark and Glas­gow means there aren’t many Fri­day nights when Ter­lecki is not in a press box, and while that’s been the nor­mal fall rou­tine for him the past six years, this sea­son he has one more rea­son to miss be­ing at home.

“I am a new dad,” he said. “And al­though I do re­ally love an­nounc­ing, miss­ing Fri­day nights with my baby girl and wife is tough. I have ac­tu­ally re­signed most sports at Glas­gow for the time be­ing to fo­cus on my fam­ily, but I have kept foot­ball be­cause I love the game and it’s only one night a week un­like, say, bas­ket­ball, which can be two to three nights a week for four to five hours.”

Ter­lecki is en­joy­ing the ben­e­fits of hav­ing up­graded PA sys­tems and re­fur­bished press boxes at both sta­di­ums. But there is one more thing he’d add to his wish list given the chance.

“I can’t wait to get [per­ma­nent] lights back at Ne­wark’s sta­dium,” he said. “That’s go­ing to make that sta­dium a spe­cial place again.”

Un­til that time, and even once per­ma­nent lights are in­stalled, fans will rely on Ter­lecki’s voice to de­scribe the ac­tion to make sure they know ex­actly what’s hap­pen­ing on Fri­day nights un­der the lights.

PHOTO COURTESY OF BRIAN COREY

A vet­eran pub­lic ad­dress an­nouncer at Glas­gow High School, John Ter­lecki has added the same du­ties at Ne­wark High for home foot­ball games.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.