It's not surprising to me that I'm normally the loudest person in the room. Throughout most of my life, I've received many a "could you be a little bit quieter" or "inside voices." So needless to say, I earned the "loud friend" distinction from about age five.

Life's full of twists and turns that nobody ever really expects. So how I ended up as the public address announcer for Tuscaloosa Academy just kind of happened. One phone call led to my first Friday night lights not a spectator, but as an announcer.

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After my first game in the press box, let's just say if they didn't invite me back, I wouldn't have been surprised. I stumbled and fumbled my way through that entire game.

It was like watching a rock roll down a mountain breaking everything in its path. Nobody could look away.

I left that press box with my head hanging low and wondering if I earned a second shot. Thankfully, TA let me have one more go at it, and this time, I was ten times more prepared than the first go-round.

Fast forward to now, it's been two years holding a microphone, and I still get just as nervous for the first game.

So when I received a simple plaque simply saying "for outstanding performance as Best Announcer," you can imagine the happiness I felt. But more importantly, it's a testament to the parents and students of TA putting up with good and bad.

The bad being of course, not knowing how to pronounce names...

Seriously, Zoey Qiu, Oli Kneer, Amelia Arsenault, and Kito Lao looked intimidating the first time I ever saw them. Now I can say those names right...about 85% of the time if I'm being honest.

At least they threw in some easy ones like Wilson King, Millie Mullin, Jack Standeffer, and Lily Abernathy to name a few.

But this is all to say mainly thank you to everyone at Tuscaloosa Academy for putting up with my antics. Every day I get to make the student-athletes feel like they're playing at a professional level is too fun.

Here's to more being loud!

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