Special Teams: Press Box Announcer

Each week of the high school football season, Newschannel 6 has been looking into all the special teams that help make Friday night what it is.  In this last edition of 'Special Teams,' we hear from one man you may never have seen.  But if you frequent the stadium in Iowa Park, you almost certainly know his voice.

In 1948, Iowa Park senior Robert Wilcox was playing football until he found himself with a broken knee in a cast.  That's when the superintendent put him in the press box to utilize the stadium's brand new PA system.

"He told me if I messed up, he'd skin my head.  well, you can see, he must've skinned it!" Wilcox said, revealing his bald head under his Iowa Park hat.

Since then, Wilcox has been calling games every season.  Aside from serving the country in Korea in the 50's, he's only missed two home games -- pretty impressive, when you consider it's been 62 years.

"The PA system we first had was, I mean, a pure cracker box; if the crowd was makin' any noise, you couldn't hear it at all," he said.

Wilcox almost had to call it quits in 2002, when he had surgery and a doctor told him to stay out of the heat.  It gets pretty hot in his booth in September.  He told the superintendent it looked like he was going to have to retire.  But just two days later, the district put in an AC unit in the press box, right at the 50 yard line.

"This is the best seat in the house," he said.

He calls junior high games on Tuesdays, freshmen and JV games on Thursdays, and varsity games on Fridays.  After studying coaches' scouting reports during the week, he's ready to go, even without a spotter in the booth.

"When I see a number on the field, I just pretty well readily got that name right there," he said.

While the owner of this veteran voice wears hawk green, Wilcox says it's important to him that people don't see him as a cheerleader for either team.

"I'm the voice for those parents across the way just as much as I am for the parents here in Iowa Park," he said.

Even though he doesn't put points on the scoreboard, this special team keeps the game alive for everyone involved.

"Think about a ball game that you completely turn the PA system off, and look at the excitement that that has taken away," he said.

Wilcox has been volunteering his service all these years.  He says the only pay he's gotten for announcing during the last six decades is the satisfaction of knowing he's done the best job he can for the kids on the field.

Spencer Blake, Newschannel 6