EUREKA (WEEK) - At every Eureka Hornets football game, you'll hear helmets clash, referee whistles, and cheers from fans. However, one sound rises above the rest: the voice of Craig Gerdes.
Gerdes recalls audio recording his voice as a freshman at Eureka College. Surprised by the result, he realized that his voice was one-of-a-kind. Today, he's still tightly holding on to the microphone as the public address announcer for Eureka High School's football team for just under 40 years.
"I've got one of the best jobs there is on a Friday night and have had that for the last 40 years," said Gerdes, who smiled talking about the best seat in the house. "To get to yell touchdown or first down, all of those little things are great"
After nearly four decades in the Eureka booth, 2020 will be the first year his Friday night echoes will not ring out in the fall.
"It's going to be a little bit of a boring fall. I'm really going to miss it."
Even after 40 years, Gerdes is committed to continuously developing his craft and adding personal touches for his calls on the mic. The Eureka players appreciate the extra step he takes to enhance the experience.
"He knows who the athletes are. He cares about where you're from. We care about the sense of family and he just ties everyone in," said Eureka senior Aden Sears.
Eureka's athletic director Jason Greene has worked with Gerdes during his 20 years with the Hornets and also enjoys the energy he brings to every game.
"It's not just someone that's done it for 40 years and we keep him around. We keep him around because he's the best there is and I'm not sure how we'll replace him whenever he does decide to retire," said Greene, who laughed saying he might retire before Gerdes even thinks about it.
Along with announcing football, Craig Gerdes was a longtime teacher and retired in 2005 and coached grade school baseball. He is also the voice of Eureka College football and Eureka high school basketball.