Photo by Kathy Tran.

Every Friday, night lights shine on the field, and one voice is heard on the speakers. Bob Johnston, the man behind the microphone, has been captivating fans and players with his distinct voice for decades.

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Johnston started watching his father announce football games at 5 years old. He continued the tradition at his own son’s football games after noticing that junior varsity games didn’t have announcers in 1986.

“(The coach) said, ‘Just go up there and start doing it,’ so that’s what started me off,”
Johnston says.

He then moved on to announcing for the varsity games in 1994.

“I probably spend about two to four hours per game in preparation,” Johnston says. A neutral tone is necessary, a piece of advice his father shared.

“It is as important to recognize that the visiting parents and fans should feel treated equally as much as do our home fans and parents,” Johnston says.

Johnston can also be heard at baseball games, cross-country and track meets.

Despite rumors of retirement, Johnston has been announcing games for almost 36 years and says he’s not stopping anytime soon.

“While I’m enjoying it, I’ll keep doing it,” Johnston says. “I keep saying it’s time to let some younger person take over and do it, but I’m still having a good time.”

Johnston enjoys getting to watch the players progress every year.

“It’s amazing how between their freshman and sophomore years, they grow significantly. But they also grow in ability to play the game,” Johnston says.

Players need to hear their names. Parents also eagerly wait for their childrens’ names to be announced.

“There might be three guys on the tackle and I tried to get all three of the names called,” Johnston says.

To Johnston, being recognized as “The Voice of Lake Highlands” makes him feel very proud.

“I’m in the press box, nobody sees me. I will be in the grocery store talking to somebody and they ask, ‘Are you the announcer for the Lake Highlands Wildcats?’ And so I say ‘yes, of course,’” Johnston says.

Some call him a legend. Even the neighborhood dogs recognize him every Friday night.

“I’ve got people here in the neighborhood, who live fairly close to the stadium,” Johnston says. “They say they let their dogs out on Friday night because the dogs enjoy hearing my voice.”