There’s a lot that goes into hosting a high school football game from the team and coaches to the concessions and play-by-play announcer.
When you go to a high school football game, you likely don’t pay much attention to who is behind the door in the press box. But at Forest Hill Community High School in West Palm Beach, the press box is where the team’s school spirit really comes from.
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Every home game, the team is on the field, the band is ready to play, the cheerleaders are pumping up the crowd, and Freddy the falcon is on the mic.
“I didn’t tell anybody. I didn’t want to. I just came and did it because I enjoyed it,” said longtime math teacher John Counes.
Counes serves as Forest Hill High School’s singing, showstopping announcer.
“I never really gave it a thought until I was sitting in the stands and hearing some announcers. I’m sure they are nice people, and it takes a lot to get up here and do it and I appreciate that. But I’m like, it’s Friday, we’re under the lights, we gotta do a little better than this,” Counes said.
And that what Counes has been doing for the past six years, adding some colorful commentary to play-by-play.
“I like to just liven it up,” Counes said. “There’s been a couple times our team has been threatened with a penalty over my announcing.”
“He’s amazing,” Forest Hill junior Ashley Bissoon said. “He always gets the crowd hyped up. He’s our number one supporter and we all love him here.”
At these games, Falcons fans know they’ll catch action on the gridiron and from the press box.
“It adds a lot of fun, morale, and boosts the team and the cheering and keeps everyone going, even if we’re not winning,” parent Amy Carter said.
“I want it to be fun,” Counes said. “It’s Friday night.”
Counes has quite the catalog of material, writing an original song that he sings for every game. He does it for the fans, his fellow teachers, and above all else, the students.
“When high school is over, 95% to 98% of these kids will never play again. So I try to make it enjoyable for them.”
And the game he loves.
“Some things have changed. This hasn’t. This is the field. Friday night football. All my life,” Counes said.
Counes added he’s done some announcing for other high school sports, but the football field is where he really feels at home.