Voices of Hall
Each Friday during this high school football season, learn the stories of the people behind the mic announcing the games.
Caleb Hutchins was 7 years old when his dad took him to his first Falcons game.
It wasn’t NFL training camp, nor was it in the Georgia Dome — it was at “The Branch.”
More than a decade later, his passion for the Flowery Branch High School football program has led him to the announcer’s booth.
Hutchins graduated Flowery Branch in May and spent his last three years on campus playing as a defensive lineman on the football team.
His skills, he said, are better served behind the microphone.
“As a player, I didn’t play much because I wasn’t very good, but I loved it and I love the atmosphere (at Flowery Branch),” he said.
“So I was a fan first and then a player. I love this program and I love being able to be affiliated with it still.”
This will be the first year for Hutchins as the official voice of the Falcons, but it won’t be his first time in the booth.
Last year, it was the football team’s practice to allow varsity players to announce the freshman and junior varsity games. When asked, Hutchins was one of six or so who volunteered for the assignment.
“Of course I raised my hand and so did five or six other people, so I didn’t think I’d have a chance,” he said.
He was chosen by the team’s captains to take the microphone for the freshman games and eventually chosen by the coach to take the lead for this year’s varsity games.
“I have a lot of pride in this school and this team,” said Hutchins. “It’s a little humbling, honestly, to know that I’m so blessed to still be a part of this and still get to do something involved in this program.”
Tonight’s season opener against Northside-Warner Robbins will be the first game Hutchins will have a chance to announce on Friday night.
But more rewarding than having his voice come across the loudspeakers, Hutchins said, is the fact that he remains part of the game-day atmosphere at “The Branch.”
“I love game day here,” he said. “It gets me pumped still seeing them run out of the banner and hearing ‘Thunderstruck’ and all that.”
And he admits to being a little nervous going into the season, but, he said, it stems more from excitement than fear.
“I wouldn’t say it’s not nerve-racking as much as it’s exciting,” said Hutchins, adding that he called the team’s scrimmage game last week and the response was good.
“I think most people are more concerned with what happens on the football field than what they hear over the speaker, but pretty much all the feedback that I’ve gotten up to this point has been positive, so that’s really encouraging.”
Right now, Hutchins is attending Gainesville State College where he hopes his education will take him into a career in broadcasting.
“I want to do something in this field,” he said. “I love doing this. I love being right where I’m sitting.”
And, he said, if that keeps him in the press box at Falcons games for years to come, then he’d be open to becoming a staple at the games for a long time.
“I want to do this as long as I can,” he said. “I can talk about making a career out of it and all that, but I love doing this and as long as I can keep doing this I’ll be pretty happy.”