February 27, 2024


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High School sports radio announcer Gattis Hodges retires after 40 years | Media | Local

WOODLAND — All the terrific radio play-by-enjoy announcers have them: their unforgettable signature phone.

Los Angeles Lakers basketball announcer Chick Hearn experienced: “this a person is in the refrigerator” when a game’s result was ‘on ice’, or decided early.

NC State’s Wally Ausley uttered the classic: “The Cinderella workforce has accomplished it, the glass slipper fits”, soon after the Wolfpack’s breathtaking 1983 NCAA basketball championship.

Gattis Hodges says he loved to stare down on a substantial school soccer field as a quarterback eyed an undefended receiver and say, ‘He was as wide open as a $2 shirt.’

“….And I borrowed that a person, essentially,” he recalled.

Hodges, who’s used close to four many years driving the microphone, will give his tonsils a relaxation commencing this fall following revealing he is retiring from announcing significant college soccer and basketball games.

He will, nonetheless, remain with his weekly talk clearly show,’Coaches Corner’, on WDLZ-FM, Earl 98.3 in Murfreesboro, as nicely as carry on as the ‘Voice of the Hawks’ carrying out play-by-perform for Chowan University football and basketball.

“I sort of made the conclusion soon after 40 several years of covering large university sporting activities that it was time to move away,” he stated this week from his Northampton County residence. “Just the journey, my age, and the coronavirus pandemic variety of confirmed me I did not skip it as considerably as I imagined I would. I only did three (high school) video games in 2021 so, it was time and I have no regrets. It’s been a good experience.”

A graduate of Northampton Significant University, Hodges began as a sportswriter for the Northampton Information masking the community region educational facilities.

“That was back when I was typing tales on typewriters, and I realized how to use White-Out seriously effectively,” he joked.

His producing prowess served him land a position with Ga-Pacific as a Chemical Course of action Security Supervisor. He retired from G-P back in early 2020 just after 28 yrs.

Still, he kept his hand in athletics soon after remaining asked to provide as the PA announcer at the then-Chowan Higher education men’s basketball system from 1983-1985. His information of sports activities and his on air charisma landed him a work at local radio station, WBCG 98.3, as a sport analyst. That would then switch into a sideline radio reporter’s gig with halftime and write-up-activity interviews.

“I was Erin Andrews just before Erin Andrews,” he humorously noted, referencing the FOX Sports activities character. “I interviewed Lefty Driesell, Bobby Cremins, Chuck Amato, all the large-college coaches that would appear to see Chowan enjoy. Not to point out Chowan’s own Hall-of-Fame coaches, Jim Garrison in soccer and Bob Burke in basketball.”

The college or university soccer achievements inspired him to move upstairs into the radio booth for extra announcing, and which is when Hertford County Superior School arrived calling. It would be a partnership that lasted 28 a long time.

“I labored with Sammy Doughtie (Standard Supervisor of WRCS-AM radio in Ahoskie) for a quantity of individuals several years, and at some point ended up branching out if Hertford County wasn’t in the playoffs. I did teams like North Edgecombe, and at the time I went to Winston-Salem to do the 4A condition championship concerning (Charlotte) Independence and New Bern.”

And it was not just games in North Carolina, as the Byrne Media Team he labored for had a station in South Hill, Virginia. It was around Brunswick Significant Faculty in Lawrenceville, VA.

“We set basketball games on the air, and for seven straight several years, I did the state championship recreation,” he stated. “One of the most wonderful situations I had. They just appreciated what the radio station did for them.”

Hodges admits there are many high faculty online games that stand out.

There’s the very first condition championship video game I named in Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill (1998) among Tarboro and Shelby in the early nineties,” he similar. “We actually experienced two games that weekend: Tarboro on a Thursday night and then we came back again on Saturday and did North Edgecombe and Starmount.”

Hodges admits to mimicking some of the terrific announcers, and potentially these studiousness has tempered some of his on excellent sayings.

“I cannot assume of something primary that arrives to thoughts for me proper now,” he observed. “My push box men and women and my scorer’s desk folks are who I’ll overlook as a lot as any person. These had been just persons you loved becoming about and assembly.”

1 of his finest provided himself and his Hertford County Large stalwarts.

“Johnny Overton ran the clock and Jim Shotwell was the PA announcer and I just cannot convey to you the quantity of ‘Monday Morning Quarterbacking’ we’d do amid ourselves soon after the online games. There was Carol Swain who did the sport photography. We have been all these a great group. You enjoy them all, and you enjoy them all.”

Through all this time, Hodges has known as 21 North Carolina Substantial Faculty Athletic Affiliation and Virginia Substantial University League condition championships, 3 Babe Ruth Environment Series Tournaments, two Colonial Athletic Affiliation baseball tournaments, quite a few NCAA and junior school common year and post-season online games, two Oyster Bowl football online games, and the 1988 East Bowl.

As he exits the booth, Hodges imparts some suggestions for any would-be announcers hoping to add their individual golden tones to the airways. It stresses devotion, and will come from a man who’s designed numerous a familial sacrifice to make positive there was someone who necessary to hear the game.

“First of all, you have got to be dedicated to it, because its heading to be a three month determination of Friday evenings,” he maintains. “Then there is the finest tips I at any time acquired, and I acquired it from Sammy Doughtie when I 1st commenced undertaking it. He claimed to usually try to remember that regardless of the magnitude of the game, it’s the most important video game of the working day by the men and women who’re taking part in it, and you have to have to deal with it as such.”

“I hope I have completed that. I’ve tried out my finest to do that,” he concluded.