Long Standing Football Announcer Bob Peters: “May All Your Skies Be Walkersville Blue”
by Caroline Wisner
Bob Peters has been the sports announcer at Walkersville High School for 28 years. Before taking over as the announcer in 1988, Peters was the scoreboard keeper. “For two years or so I was the scoreboard keeper, and at one of our games the announcer didn’t show, so for some reason someone said ‘Peters get over here and do it’,” said Peters.
Over the years Peters has stuck with announcing at WHS games, mostly because of members of the community and his own children. “I have a son and daughter who went here, so I wanted to stay doing it through their graduations. But every year after that there was a neighbor, good friend, or youngster I knew playing on the football team and I stayed on for what I like to call a one year contract,” said Peters.
Peters has been an active member of the football program since it began in 1977, and was also the announcer at GVAA games a number of years ago. Peters had a pretty tight schedule back then, “I would do a Friday night Walkersville game then three games on Saturday for GVAA.”
Every sportscaster has a favorite game of their career. A game that every fan showed up to and kept everyone on the edge of their seat. Peters could not pinpoint just one but he knew for sure it was a Middletown vs Walkersville game. “Which Middletown game do you want me to talk about?” Peters joked, “Some of the early games when the football program began were also very exciting; we got beat a lot but the team kept improving,” he added.
It is difficult for Peters to choose one favorite season, but he narrowed it down to the two years WHS went to the state championships. “My favorite season was I believe 1987; we had our state championship football team and that was obviously a very exciting season and certainly the highlight of the program at Walkersville,”
Peters continued, “Secondly last year’s team going to the state championship was a very exciting time for the community; you could measure that by the turnout and enthusiasm.”
There are many things Peter enjoys about being an announcer, but his favorite thing is the crowd. “I enjoy seeing the crowd get enthused about what’s going on in the game. I think just the excitement of seeing a large crowd and their enthusiasm over what’s going on is what I enjoy mostly,” Peters said.
Peters is a jack of all announcing trades. He has been announcing for Linganore basketball since 2007 and this coming fall will be his fourth year for the Frederick Community College men’s and women’s basketball teams.
On which sport he enjoys announcing more Peters has a difficult time deciding. “I enjoy announcing basketball more because there’s a lot more to do, you have substitutes going in and out of the game, fouls and foul shots. There are a lot of things you have to stay abreast of and inform the crowd,” Peters continued, “I love football as well though when it gets chilly and really nice football weather. It’s a fine line between which I like best.”
Walkersvillians love the community because of how close everyone is and the feeling of being at home. Peters has been an active member since 1985 and wanted to let the community know, “We need to continue to be [a] tight knit and community oriented and improve upon it. All of the citizens in Walkersville need to engage themselves in the community more.”
Peters is committed to his job as the sports announcer; he even begins his preparation for game night days in advance. “I’ll do some research on the visiting team, I’ll try to print out their rosters and get the names announced right.”
Peters continued, “On game night I’ll always get there about an hour early so I can go down to the field. I’ll go on the field and find an assistant coach or team manager to go over all the names of the roster with them to make sure I have all the names and pronunciations right — sometimes I’ll write it out phonetically if I have to.” If there is time Peters likes to shake Coach Joe Polce’s hand and say, “Good luck tonight and stay safe.”
Like many others Peters made his fair share of mistakes when he began as the announcer, “Parents would literally come up the steps into the old press box and tell me some nicely and some not so nicely ‘my son’s name is this and not this.’ Even though on the roster it might be something completely different, some players have nicknames. I haven’t had many parents come up in the recent years so I guess my preparation is getting better.”
As an avid sports fan Peters knows of many sportscasters, but if he could announce at a game with anyone he would choose, “An old cuss who’s passed on now, his name is Curt Gowdy, he was very well known and did a great job. I also like a guy by the name of Vin Scully. He’s been a Los Angeles Dodger announcer for many years and he has always been a role model for me in this field.”
Peters very obviously enjoys his announcing career and being an active part of the community. WHS athletics department director Mike Mummert shared some of Peters’ accomplishments, “He was very instrumental in the booster club, and was a big help in building the new concession stand,”
WHS Principal Tracey Franklin is very grateful for Peters, “I hope he will continue to announce for a long time. I have consistently received compliments from not only home team fans but from visiting teams about his personality and commitment. I am very thankful to him,” said Franklin.
All members of the Walkersville community know of and share a certain motto about the skies of Walkersville, and that is exactly what Peters wanted to end with, “To all of the community I know we have our good and bad days in life. With that in mind I’d like to say whether in a classroom or in life, in victory or defeat, my wish for you, may all your skies be Walkersville blue.”