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Hirsch back in the booth

Hall of fame broadcaster joins seventh season of ‘Friday Night Live’

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Hirsch back in the booth

Nate Hirsch

        Nate Hirsch will announce a football game next week at Paulson Stadium for the first time since “the Voice of the Eagles” described Georgia Southern’s 63-17 destruction of Morehead State on Nov. 12, 2005.
        Hirsch will be behind the microphone for Statesboro High School’s 2014 season opener on Saturday night against Burke County in the Erk Russell Classic as part of the Statesboro Herald’s Friday Night Live team. I am pleased and honored that Hirsch will join us for the seventh season of Friday Night Live as the play-by-play announcer for Statesboro High’s five home games.
        The Statesboro-Burke County battle is part of our opening weekend of high school football on Friday Night Live, kicking off with Bulloch Academy taking on First Presbyterian Christian Friday evening in Gator Alley. Our broadcasts of the Bulloch Academy and Statesboro High games are part of Friday Night Live’s 13-game 2014 season that will bring live high school football to your smart phone, tablet, PC or smart TV each week.
        I’m proud to say was one of the pioneers in Georgia for broadcasting a live high school football game every week. We started Friday Night Live in 2008 and we will broadcast more regular season games in 2014 than any season before, which makes having Nate join our team even better. If you don’t know Nate — and there may be a few of you who don’t — he is a hall of fame radio broadcaster. Actually a three-time hall of fame announcer: He is in the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame, the Georgia Southern Athletics Hall of Fame and the Statesboro High Sports Hall of Fame.
And his return to the booth Saturday offers a twist.
        “I started announcing Statesboro High games in 1970 and the first Georgia Southern game I called was at Statesboro’s Womack Field in 1982,” Hirsch said. “It’s certainly ironic that Statesboro High would play a game in the newly renovated Paulson Stadium before Georgia Southern does and I’ll be there to call it.”
        Hirsch started doing color announcing for Statesboro in 1970, took over play-by-play in 1971 and continued as the voice of the Blue Devils until 1990. Also, when Bulloch Academy added football, he did double duty.
        “Before BA had lights, I’d do the BA game on Friday afternoon and the Statesboro game that night,” Hirsch said. “Back then, I couldn’t go to sleep on a Friday night after a tough loss. The first time Statesboro beat Benedictine — I know this sounds crazy — I was in tears. We finally beat them in Savannah. I thought we’d never beat them down there.”
        Nate told me it is his love for high school football and the opportunity to talk up the young men on the field that drew him back behind the microphone
        “I’ve watched a number of Friday Night Live games since the Herald started it and enjoyed how it has shown off our local high school athletes,” he said. “I love high school football. I love announcing football. I expect it will be a lot of fun in the booth again.”
        Joining Hirsch on the Statesboro High announcing team is Mike Anthony, who has covered high school sports for the Herald since 2009. Anthony will provide color commentary and offer his perspective and knowledge of covering the Blue Devils the past five years.
        For our four Friday Night Live games at Southeast Bulloch’s Fred Shaver Field, three at Portal’s Athletic Complex and Friday’s opener at Bulloch Academy, I’ll handle the play-by-play duties.
        I know nothing is better than watching a high school game in person – sitting in the stands. But if you can’t make it to the game, ‘Friday Night Live’ is a great way to make sure you don’t miss the game. I really appreciate all the school principals, athletic directors and football coaches for working with us to make ‘Friday Night Live’ possible.
        Saturday’s Statesboro-Burke County game starts at 8 p.m., so go to at 7:50 p.m., click on the Friday Night Live link and you’ll hear Nate Hirsch on the air back where he belongs – announcing a football game.
        All other games this season kickoff at 7:30 p.m., with our pregame show starting at 7:20. It’s going to be a great season. I hope you’ll join us if you can’t make it to the game.

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