The new voice of the Vipers

Brad Stanton sits in the sound booth, practicing and preparing for when he announces at the varsity football games

Submitted by: Brad Stanton

Brad Stanton sits in the sound booth, practicing and preparing for when he announces at the varsity football games

Taylor Chronert, Staff Reporter

Brad Stanton entered the sound booth and looked around before taking his seat. He couldn’t believe that he was now the announcer for all the varsity football games. He pulled the microphone closer to him, and announced into the microphone, “Let’s welcome our Vandegrift Vipers!” He watched as the football team came running out of the snake head and onto the field, hearing the crowd in the stands cheering and screaming.

This year, Stanton is going to be traveling to all the varsity games and to all the home games, where he will be announcing for not only football but many other organizations like cheer, legacies, band and vision. 

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be the voice of Vipers and getting to be a part of the Viper football brand,” Stanton said. “I just get a real kick out of knowing each athlete by the way they run, tackle and carry the ball.”

Football has been a huge part of Stanton’s life as he grew up around the sport. His father was a football official in his free time, so Stanton decided to follow in his fathers footsteps and become a football announcer. He has been announcing football ever since his oldest son, Charlie Stanton, was in seventh grade. 

“Last year Bond Jones, who is the longtime announcer, sent me a note saying, ‘Hey it’s possible that I could be moving on next year. Would you have any interest in being the varsity announcer?’” Stanton said. “Of course I jumped at the chance, not knowing what it would all require.”

What inspired Stanton to be the voice of Vipers is that he enjoys what the Viper football community has to offer and what it stands for. 

“I believe in the part of humanity that says you have to give back and serve others,” Stanton said. “So when I take the Viper community, I take it because of what it does for my kids, what it does for the overall community, serving others and just the fact that I love the sport of football.”

Even though Stanton grew up around football, listened to a lot of sports announcers like UT announcer, Cactus Pryor, and radio announcers, a lot of instruction was given to him by Bond Jones. 

“Last year I sat in the booth with him for all the varsity games to understand and listen to the process,” Stanton said. “I then went to Coach Sanders and got the blessing from him, and here we are”

The night of the first home game against Cedar Park, Stanton said he felt super nervous when he was getting ready to announce the game. 

“I’ve given speeches before to thousands of people,” Stanton said. “I have not been that nervous since probably my wedding day.”

When watching the games, Stanton is able to recognize and know each athlete based on their tackles, their run and their catches. He said that he doesn’t need to know their numbers, like senior captain, Griffin Shaffer, for example.

“I’ve known Griffin Shaffer ever since he was two years old so I know his body,” Stanton said. “So as soon as I see him around with the ball, I can just say, ‘It’s the Griffin Shaffer’ without having to look at his number.”

Even though Stanton really enjoys announcing at all the games, he didn’t realize how much preparation would come into each home game, which he finds the most challenging part.

“You’re coordinating all the varsity games, you’re writing the scripts, you’re writing the script for the honorary veteran that we’re doing, you’re making sure that you have the opposing rosters and our rosters, so it’s a lot of preperation,” Stanton said. “However 6:20 to 7:00 is the most challenging part because you have to start the game on time. You are the role that’s making sure you are announcing the cheerleaders, the band, or even the visiting teams, so we try to get that kickoff done at seven o’ clock sharp.”

When Stanton isn’t announcing at the varsity football games, he is a father and helps provide for his family. He leads a software staffing solution, and is married to his wife, Shawn, and has two kids: Charlie and Katie Stanton.

“My wife and I have been married for almost twenty years,” Stanton said. “Charlie is a junior that is on the varsity football team, and the cool thing is that my daughter, Katie, is a trainer for Viper Athletics, and she’s a sophomore.” 

As a father, a software professional and the voice of Vipers, Stanton says he’s able to handle all that with good time management. 

 “I put blocks on my calendar that can’t be moved for myself or my admin of Viper time,” Stanton said. “Viper football also allows me to be around my kids more, and see them active in the community so that’s kinda a plus as well.”

Something that Stanton wants to bring to the football games themselves is just continuing what Jones did: provide a voice. 

“It’s not about me, it’s not about the announcer,” Stanton said. “It’s about all the players that are on the field and the coaches that are there, the cheerleaders, the band and the drill team, et cetera.”

Like with Stanton being the replacement for Jones, there is an opening for someone to replace Ron Hayley who used to control the music and spotting at the games.

“This year is going to be his last year so we actually have an opening,” Stanton said. “But what we are looking for is someone that would stay committed for a number of years, so we don’t have constant turnover.”

Some advice that Stanton would give to Vandegrift students, and even people who are interested in being a professional announcer, is that you should stay around football. 

“Go to different games, listen to different announcers and take in some of the good things that they do,” Stanton said. “Note that some things are a little bit awkward that you wouldn’t want to do. I would love to be able to announce professionally someday, but the ability to do that is minimal.”