The Woodward News

February 23, 2006

Editor, The News

Editor, The News

I am writing in response to the letter in Friday’s News from Mr. Bill Sunderland regarding the public address announcer at Woodward High School.

As a coaches’ wife, mother of an athlete, pep club sponsor, cheer coach and fan, I have been in more stadiums and gyms around this state in 20 years than I can count. I can tell you that public address announcers range from good to mediocre to poor (and you’ve heard the poor if you’ve ever attended a football game at Douglass High School in Oklahoma City . . . I think they may draw straws for whoever shows up that wants to announce).

Our announcer is great! Over the years I have had numerous colleagues from other schools tell me what a terrific job he does and how lucky we are to have him. Our students and players often comment on how good he is compared to the other venues in which they play.

I am also the scorekeeper for boomer basketball and as such, sit beside Bryan Stephenson as he announces the games. Many, many times fans from other schools stop at the score table after the game to tell Bryan what a terrific job he does. Coaches from other schools that come here for Regional track meets always make a point of complimenting what a great thing it is to have such a great PA announcer.

Granted, there have been a few out of town fans that have had negative comments . . . much like Mr. Sunderland, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But to the students, players’ parents and most fans at WHS, Mr. Stephenson and his enthusiastic style only add to the excitement of the game. He encourages the student body to get involved and the coaches and players both love it.

Mr. Stephenson is the “Voice of the Boomers” and I take it very personally when he is so publicly criticized. Mr. Sunderland issues his complaints about “the school” PA as if it is an entity. It is not, it’s a person and his name is Bryan Stephenson and he is my friend and colleague. He is much loved and well-respected by our entire Boomer family.

If Mr. Sunderland disagrees with his style, he should have spoken to him personally rather than make a public complaint. I find this unbelievably rude. Bottom life . . . Bryan Stephenson and is style of public address is enjoyed by players and students at Woodward High School and, after all, that’s who it’s all about . . . isn’t it?

Mary Servis