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