BGAs homecoming includes 'The Voice'
By Joe Williams, Sports Editor
It’s not unusual for a parent or a grad to climb the steps to a press box on Friday night to take the microphone as an announcer, leaving the confines of their day job to support a school and team.
Friday night, when BGA (4-2, 0-0) opens their division schedule against Davidson Academy (2-3, 0-0) on homecoming night, it will be no different.
Except that the Wildcat announcer returning home is leaving his day job as the Voice of the Tennessee Titans.
Mike Keith, a 1986 graduate of BGA, has been handling the chores behind the mic this season and the reason, he says, is very simple: “They asked.”
“Brad White did it for nearly 20 years, and he is the best P.A. announcer I ever heard. He was in an accident two years ago and I filled in for him. It was so hard. He did all the music and all the stuff. It was really tough.”
Keith’s work is a labor of love, not only for his alma mater, but also for many family connections.
His wife works at the Franklin school, his daughter graduated last year and his son, Matthew, is a freshman on Roc Batten’s team.
The connections might have made things sticky, but Keith nipped any concerns in the bud.
“When they asked, I told them I had to ask two people—my wife and my son. My wife was good with it and Matthew said, ‘oh, yeah. We’ll make fun of you.’ And that’s been the case. I’m just Dad—the big embarrassment.”
The addition of NFL-caliber talent, at least in the booth, seems to have been one boost for the Wildcats, who are 4-2 after winning three of their last four games and scoring 35 or more points in each of those wins.
Another boost has been BGA’s ability to share the ball on offense.
Ronald Cleveland (259 yards on 34 carries) and Terrell Webster (243 yards on 34 carries) lead a bevy of five backs with more than 100 yards on the season.
Rieves Berry has 20 receptions and 276 yards, but the two-quarterback-rotation of Tucker Beathard (32-of-58, 481 yards) and Cole Grosvenor (23-of-43, 271 yards) have also found nine other targets over the course of the first six games.
Defensively, the Wildcats have held their opponents to an average of barely 15 points per game.
As the Wildcats look for their first divisional win tomorrow night, hoping to start a run to the state play-offs, Keith will be there doing what he loves to do.
“I love high school football. It’s a great experience for me to be a small part of it. And the Titans organization has been so supportive. At my root, I’m a game caller, and they know that. The organization is so supportive of the whole family concept. I mean I haven’t missed anything.
“The big thing that I try to get across to people is that because I’m supportive of BGA doesn’t mean I’m against anybody else. I pull for all the local teams. The BGA experience for me was so different for me because BGA did more for me than I could ever do for BGA. That’s why my loyalty is so great to them. Being able to give just a little bit back is a big deal.”
Posted on: 10/3/2013