GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Even if you’ve never heard Mark Nawrocki’s name, if you’ve been to a Grand Rapids West Catholic home football game in the last 20 years, you know his voice.
“They’ll always say, ‘Here’s the Voice of the Falcons,’ and I’ll say, I’m like, ‘Well…'” the longtime game announcer said. “It’s kind of neat, but I don’t go with, ‘Hey, I’m the Voice.’ I mean, there’s been other guys that have done it. But it’s fun.”
He takes his job seriously, and you can tell in his professional and measured tone.
“That’s what you’re here for: To announce the game, be fair. Don’t be a homer,” he said.
Though he admits sometimes he’ll put the tiniest bit of emphasis on a West Catholic touchdown:
“You give that little higher inflection of your voice,” he said.
He gives credit to the team that helps him sound his best.
“It’s not all me. I’ve got a spotter and our statistician, Steve Grooms, that sits next to me, a buddy of mine from back when we both coached elementary school,” Nawrocki said.
During his years in the press box, he has witnessed seven state title wins. He has also has pronounced thousands of difficult names — usually from the away team.
“Being a West Sider myself, I think I’ve got the West Catholic kids down pretty much with all the Polish names,” Nawrocki joked.
The best part of the job, he said, is the spectators who make up his community.
“I’m doing what West has done for us: It’s just helping them maintain the good program they’ve got going and maintain relationships with the guys that are up here with me from game to game.”
That’s what will keep the Voice of the Falcons scoring their greatest moments for the near future.
“Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll be here for a lot more years,” he said.