The Sequoyah Scribe

Behind the scenes of a football game

Laura Murphy, Sports Editor

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It’s not just the players. It’s not just the coaches. There’s a lot more to a football game than just what is happening on the field.

Chris Carr, a 7th grade World History teacher, is the scorekeeper at football games. Carr got this position because Marty Moore, the school’s athletic director, asked him to get involved.

Carr runs the scoreboard for both JV and Varsity games. He gets ready for game night by trying to get there about half an hour before the first game, starting the scoreboard and making sure the correct school names are displayed. His responsibilities include beginning the clock to count down till kickoff, starting and stopping the clock during games, and adding points as teams score.

“During the games, I try to help Coach Gourley with the numbers of the players involved in each play, so he can announce their names,” Carr said. “Binoculars are a handy tool.”

Aaron Gourley, who used to teach Mathematics in 8th grade at Sevier, and now teaches Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 at Dobyns Bennett High, is the announcer at football games. While he taught at Sevier, he coached boys basketball, boys and girls track and field, and served as the school’s Athletic Director.

“While serving as Sevier’s Athletic Director, I worked all the home football games,” Gourley said. “Early in my career, I filmed the football games for Coach St. Clair, while Coach Terry Diamond did the scoreboard.”

When Diamond moved to Robinson Middle, Gourley took over as the announcer and he has been announcing Sevier’s home football games ever since.

Gourley prepares for games by having both football team rosters. He has to have the TMSAA announcements ready, has to have both teams cheer and dance teams rosters and music, the national anthem and the school’s fight song ready to go.

“During the game, I keep the crowd enthralled with my antics,” he said.

He also announces what is happening in the game, which usually requires a “spotter” so he can announce the names.

“After every game, I end the night by reminding the boys and girls to do their ‘math homework’ before I sign off and tell everyone goodnight,” Gourley said. “It is my signature ending to the games.”
Gourley’s most awkward experience happened in the press box. One year, he allowed a student to perform the national anthem without a tryout. Gourley had the assurances of the parents that their child was a great singer, so he allowed it.

“The student did not do so well singing the national anthem, so I was embarrassed for both her and myself,” Gourley said. “People in the audience kept looking up at press box to see who was singing so poorly.”

Debbie Hash, a teaching assistant, helps before the games. Hash puts up signs, sells tickets and makes sure nobody sneaks into the game.

Marty Moore, a 7th grade math teacher, is the athletic director. Moore helps make the football schedule months prior to the games, so they do not run into Dobyns-Bennett and Robinson games. All three teams use the same field.

“Not only are all the logistics necessary, but we have to make sure we have line-ups and rosters for both teams,” he said.

During the game, he helps in the press box by spotting players for Gourley.

“With the Robinson game, there is often a lot more planning, because the bands are always involved, both cheer and dance for both schools perform at halftime and their music and schedule has to be coordinated,” Moore said.

Moore does not like to think of his job of preparing for games as hard, but if there are weather issues, they have to reschedule the game and contact many people. Moore attends all home games, and some away games, but he does not have responsibilities at the away games.

“All of the people at Sevier do a great job in coordinating things to bring it all together for one night of football,” Moore said.

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Behind the scenes of a football game