In 1998, Lee Lucas settled in Georgia after his final assignment with the United States Marine Corps.
In 2002, Chestatee High School was opened in the northwest part of Hall County and for a decade has been home to the War Eagles.
It was then when Lucas fell in love with the community, school and football team, and for the last five years he has been the voice heard by the War Eagles fans on Friday night.
“I just enjoy Friday night football, being a part of it, being a part of the community, being part of the school,” said Lucas. “I just take it all in and that’s where I get my joy.”
When the football program launched, Lucas expressed his interest in trying his hand at the announcer’s booth. It was that networking, he said, that led to the offer.
“One day I just got the call and they asked if I was interested in the opportunity,” he said. “I didn’t even hesitate.”
Since then, he’s the familiar voice calling War Eagle first downs and touchdowns on Friday nights.
“Everybody in the stands knows when we get a first down — I make sure of that,” said Lucas. “It’s been fun to watch over the years the fans get involved — they know what’s coming. I get enjoyment from that — I get joy from that — seeing them react because they know what’s coming. They’re a part of it as well.”
But even before coming to Hall County, Lucas always had a passion for high school football. It could have something to do with his upbringing in Mississippi.
“Ever since high school, I’ve had a passion for Friday night football,” said Lucas. “Even when I was in the Marine Corps and stationed in another state, whenever I had time, I would find a Friday night football game to attend.”
In fact, he’s missed only one Chestatee football game — home or away — in his five years as announcer.
“No matter what, I back my War Eagles 100 percent,” he said. “We’ve been through a lot of ups and a lot of downs and we’re very fortunate to be on the upswing and looking forward to continued success.”
But, Lucas said, however energetic he gets when the home team succeeds, he makes sure to share the love with the other team.
“When I took over, I put myself out there on the field and I think back to when I was in high school,” he said. “You could tell who the better announcers were because they would at least recognize both teams. Sure, there’s more emphasis on Chestatee when we get first downs or when we score. But I try to at least, if somebody from the opposing team makes a great play, I try to acknowledge them and give them credit.
“Every father, mother, aunt, uncle, everybody family-wise or friends, they always enjoy hearing that person they’re there to support. ... That’s what I do. I just try to give back to both teams.”
And Lucas hopes he can continue to do so for years to come. He’s already graduated one daughter from Chestatee and his son is a freshman. His youngest daughter will walk the halls in a few years.
But, once they’re all out, he said, he still wants to be a part of Friday night. It’s what he loves doing.
“As long as they will have me, I’ll love being here,” said Lucas. “I’ve thought about that. What happens when (my children) come through school, but that’s not why I’m here. It’s just a part of me and I’ll follow (Chestatee) no matter what.”