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Parrish, Kuntz double as PA announcers around town

Caroline Crews, Features Editor

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For OHS teachers Daniel Parrish and Tyler Kuntz, speaking is their business. They speak in academic tones in the classroom, but in their lives as Public Address (PA) announcers for sporting events, their speech becomes bold and animated.

Parrish is the PA announcer for Oxford Charger varsity football, basketball, and volleyball, while Kuntz is the PA announcer for Ole Miss Rebel basketball, baseball, volleyball, softball, and soccer.

According to Parrish, the job is more demanding than most people assume.  He writes everything that he says, including advertisements, sponsorships, awards, recognitions, state championships, and other announcements.

“When I first started this job it was just really call out the game itself, and it has evolved into something much bigger than that,” Parrish said. “I probably spend a couple hours each week writing just for Friday nights. Basketball and volleyball aren’t that way, but for football, which is the main event on campus every year, I usually spend a couple hours each week working on that.”

Kuntz writes some of what he says, and also has parts that are scripted for him. He noted that another demand of the job is knowing all of the players’ names, name pronunciations, and positions. In addition, he must pay close attention to what is going on during the game.

“I have to be a fan in the sense that I cheer for the team and want to make it exciting and have everybody cheering for Ole Miss and giving them a cue of when to cheer, when to get loud, but also I have to know the game and know what’s going on myself ahead of time,” Kuntz said.

Parrish said that balancing his job as a teacher and his job as a PA announcer is something that he must do carefully.

“You’ve got to work in the morning, you have to work through lunch, you have to work in your planning periods, and you’ve got to find that balance,” he said.

According to Kuntz, since most of the games take place during the weekend or after school hours, it doesn’t interfere with his obligations as a teacher.

“I might be up late some nights doing this stuff, but it doesn’t interfere with anything I need to do as a teacher,” Kuntz said.

Both men have been watching sports since they were young and knew most of the rules before they took the job.  However, there were some things that they had to learn, such as referee signals, obscure rules, and the elements of volleyball.

“I would say that I have learned more about volleyball since I’ve been doing it, than any other sport,” Parrish said.  “It seems like every week there’s a little something, some small tiny rule that I didn’t now about before that I learned just because I’m down there with the officials and all the people that help make volleyball successful.”

When Parrish first started the job, he began listening to PA announcements more closely at Ole Miss games to learn how to say things clearly in a way that audiences would understand.  He noted that he has developed his own personal style over the years.

“The game itself I knew, but how you are going to say it is a much different thing.  And I’ll be honest, the first couple times I did it, it’s weird to hear your voice being projected out amongst several thousand people,” Parrish said.

Despite long hours, late nights, and constantly having to be on their toes, Parrish and Kuntz enjoy their jobs as PA announcers.

“My favorite part is obviously getting to not just go to the game but to go there and in a small way be part of the game and part of that fan experience that everybody loves. Being able to not just be there, but to contribute to what everyone experiences tops my list and it’s a lot of fun to not just cheer for the rebels, but to cheer really loudly into a microphone for the rebels,” Kuntz said.

“I think my favorite part of the job is that I’ve had kids who are now seniors and they’ve come up and said, ‘The only person I’ve ever heard call my name out was you in my four years of high school.  And every time that I score, I know exactly how you’re going to pronounce it because it’s been the same for four years and you have to do it again because I’m a senior and I can’t imagine someone else saying my name differently when I score a touchdown or score a basket in basketball.’  Just to know that I make the kids happy and know that the players are happy and know that their parents are happy,” Parrish said. “That’s the positive of the job.  That, and I get the best seat in the house.”

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Parrish, Kuntz double as PA announcers around town