A Season in the Pressbox

The UNI-Dome

Walking through the northeast doors Friday night, I can still feel the tingling of how special it is to be inside the UNI-Dome.  There is a certain ring inside that structure that tells you that you have made the “big time”.  For high school football players across the state of Iowa, the building the UNI Panthers call home is where you want to end your season and/or career at.

With a state championship in your hands.

Friday afternoon was the first time I’ve been in the Dome for a playoff game since 1991, when my high school lost in the 1st round of the playoffs to our crosstown rivals.

As many of you may not know, this season I have been stringing scores and managing the Twitter feed for KWKY-AM radio, covering the Dowling Catholic Maroons.  Every game this season, except one, I’m in the booth with play-by-play announcer and everyone’s friend Paul Yeager, analyst Dave Marcoulier, sideline reporter Brian Morris, and in-studio producer/engineer Tim Burrow.


Paul, Dave, and Brian (standing) doing the post-game show after Friday night's semifinal game between Dowling Catholic and Ankeny at the UNI-Dome.


In the past, as a student manager at Wartburg, I observed how a pressbox operated on game day.  It can be described as “controlled” chaos.

Until this season, I did not comprehend how much work goes into calling and covering a game, to tell the voluminous stories of Friday nights in the fall.

For many of us fans, we think that picking up a microphone and calling a game is easy.

It’s not.  You are multi-tasking as you are describing the action in front of you.  You’re keeping stats, talking to your color commentator, checking to see if your sideline reporter has an update on the field, and constantly receiving updates from other key games that could have a direct impact on the game you are calling.


Dowling Catholic leaving the field after a 24-21 win over Ankeny in the Class 4A semifinals Friday night.


In my role as a stringer, I go online and find the latest updates on every game in Class 4A across the state.  I grab the score, and give them to Paul when he needs it.  If a big play or if a team scores in our game, we return the favor by posting it on Twitter to our followers and fellow colleagues.

The hashtag for high school football here is #IAHSFB (Iowa High School Football).  It makes it easy for anyone to follow the football stream, rather than shifting through their regular tweets to find out what’s going on.  What you have to do is go to the search box, type in “#IAHSFB”, and you’ll see what was tweeted throughout the night.

I could go on, but I want to show you some pictures I’ve taken throughout the year from the various pressboxes we have been too this season.


Council Bluffs Stadium



Waukee Stadium



Duke Williams Stadium at DSM East High



Valley Stadium



What happens when you have too many people in a small pressbox? Here's an example. This is the pressbox at Williams Stadium.



Here's Paul, Brian, and Dave during the pre-game show.



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