High school announcer ready for 47th season
CANON CITY, Colo. ” Don Packard remembers wearing a leather football helmet when he was a 130-pound center for Manitou Springs High School in the 1940s.
Decades later, the 78-year-old retired teacher and principal is still close to the game, preparing for his 47th season as the stadium announcer for Canon City High School’s football games.
“I just love football,” he said, “especially high school. There’s no commercial time outs, and you see some kids develop into good players. I’ve seen sophomores who can’t tie their own shoes and leave pretty good players as seniors.
“Nothing else does more for the spirit of the school than what a football team can do,” he said.
He recalled being reprimanded by the officials in one game.
“I was announcing penalties before they were being called, and they didn’t like that,” he said. “But, once in a while they were wrong. I’d say, ‘That’s holding!’ But, I try not to do that any more.”
Packard said he works hard at being respectful of the game and the players.
“The biggest challenge is to get the kids’ names right,” he said. “If a kid puts in that much effort or time, you should try to pronounce his name correctly.”
Asked how long he plans to announce Canon City football, he joked, “Until I go for 50 years or until I get it right.”
He said he’ll continue “as long as I don’t screw up or embarrass the kids or the school.”
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