Four years ago, Lake Highlands needed a new high school football announcer. When the players were asked for suggestions, many recalled the booming bass voice of their Pee-Wee football coach, Bill Blaydes.
Despite no formal announcing training, the father of three has been a fixture in the Wildcats’ tradition of winning football ever since.
“I’ll announce for as long as they’ll let me,” Blaydes says. “Besides, my wife told me that she’d rather I announce anyway, so she doesn’t have to sit by me.
“I guess that I’ve been known to get a little loud sometimes.”
Blaydes’ love for football began in Gilmer, 30 miles north of Tyler in East Texas. After later moving to Fort Stockton and then Houston, the Blaydes family – which included an older sister and younger brother – moved to Dallas near Hillcrest and Royal, where Blaydes’ mother still lives nearly 40 years later.
The 46-year-old Blaydes grew up playing football, and he recalls listening to radio announcer Kern Tipps on the Southwest Conference game of the week.
“He could really make those games come alive,” Blaydes says.
At Hillcrest High School, Blaydes was an all-around athlete. The 1964 graduate, at 6-feet, 3-inches and 195 pounds, played football, baseball, threw the discus, and ran the quarter mile.
In the Blaydes’ Lake Highlands home, you’ll find a photo of the young Blaydes high-stepping during his senior year at Hillcrest.
“That was a few pounds ago,” Blaydes says, laughing.
“My girls (Erin, 20; Jennifer, 16; and Rachael, 15) found it collecting dust in the attic one day, and they won’t let me put it back up there.”
A broken collarbone during Blaydes’ freshman year at Texas Tech ended his hopes of a college football career, and the injury still alerts Blaydes when rain is in the area.
After four years at Tech, during which time high-school sweetheart Sara transferred from the University of Texas to join Blaydes in Lubbock, they married and moved to Dallas. “Her father (a UT graduate) never forgave me for encouraging her to transfer to Tech,” Blaydes says. “But when our oldest daughter, Erin, decided to go to Texas, everything was forgotten.”
The Blaydes family moved to Lake Highlands more than 15 years ago, and he quickly became involved in Pee-Wee football, coaching the Casa View Knights to 1983’s national championship.
“One of my biggest thrills now is when one of my old players comes around and calls me ‘coach’,” Blaydes says. “I’ve always loved working with kids, and I’ve always loved coaching football.”
Keeping up with Blaydes, despite a sore back that caused him not to coach this season, is a daunting task. He works as a real estate trust officer for the Baptist Foundation, is president of the Lake Highlands Homeowners Association, and attends Park Cities Baptist Church.
Announcing has come easily for Blaydes, but he admits to an occasional gaffe.
“When I was in high school, Ricky White was a great quarterback at Woodrow Wilson,” he says. “When his son played for Lake Highlands in 1989, I kept giving Ricky credit for his son’s tackles.
“And last year, Robert Newhouse (a former Dallas Cowboy) gained a lot of yards for us instead of his son, Roddrick.”