A voice you know: Seymour PA announcer receives award from IFCA


An hour and a half prior to kickoff, Curt Nichols feverishly prepares everything in Bulleit Stadium’s press box.

After checking the sound system and booting up the pregame music, he grabs a roster and descends to the sidelines.

While he knows all of the kids from Seymour High School, he needs to get everything right for the visiting fans on the opposite side of the gridiron.

Clenching the list of names, Nichols locates the nearest vising manager or assistant coach to go over the pronunciation of each player, leaving no room for error.

Once everything is settled with the brass, Nichols patrols both sidelines, speaking to players from each team.

“A lot of times, I will find a kid on the injured list and go down and hang out with them for a minute and provide them a word of encouragement,” Nichols said. “Even though you want to beat the opposition that night, you don’t need to treat them as a bitter enemy. These are kids, and it’s good to be a part of building up the entire game experience.”

Barring he has any other preparations to make, like going over names for homecoming court or introducing members of the band, Nichols sits front and center with the microphone to his mouth.

Once it’s 7 p.m., Nichols’ voice echoes throughout the stadium.

It’s a voice everyone has come to know and love over the years.

On July 13, Nichols was honored for his service to the sport of football, as he was presented the Rex Kirts Media Award by the Indiana Football Coaches Association at the North-South All-Star Game at North Central High School in Indianapolis.

The award is annually given to a member of the media who has promoted and supported high school football in Indiana. Kirts was a longtime sports reporter for the Bloomington Herald Telephone newspaper, and the award has been given every year since 1983.

In March, Nichols received a call from former Seymour High School head football coach Joe Goodman telling him he was going to receive the award.

“It was a stunned silence. Joe did it in a matter-of-fact manner,” Nichols said. “It kind of sunk in. I was surprised. Having a coach that you’ve looked up to since my high school years to deliver that news, in a sense, I’ve done a lot of his PA games, as well, I never thought you could top that. It really meant a lot to have it come from Joe personally. It meant a lot.”

Nichols, who graduated from SHS in 1977, has a combined 24 years of experience in PA work. He did home Seymour football games from 1982 to 1990 before his job with Dicksons took him to Columbus, Mississippi. He also did basketball games at SHS from 1984 to 1990.

While he moved away from his hometown, he didn’t stop working on his craft. Nichols was a PA announcer in Columbus from 1999 to 2002.

Nichols and his family moved back to Seymour after 13 years of living in Mississippi, and he got back into doing football games in 2004. He got back into doing Owls basketball games in 2009 and baseball games in 2010.

On top of doing all of the home football and basketball games and splitting the time with Jay Hubbard for baseball games, Nichols does radio broadcasting and production for 1390 and 99.3 WZZB Seymour. He also does production for 96.3 WJAA Seymour.

During the recent football All-Star game, Bob Prescott, president of the IFCA and former Peru head coach, presented the award to Nichols.

“He greeted me and made me feel welcome. He expressed his appreciation for what I do and promoting high school football,” Nichols said. “There were some others there among the coaching ranks that shook my hand. There was a pretty good crowd. It’s kind of a crown jewel event for Indiana high school football. Getting to go on the field and hear your name and a bio, it’s really humbling.”

Professionalism is important to Nichols.

“I try to convey in a concise and informative manner, hopefully with a degree of professionalism that elevates the game,” he said. “It’s almost contagious. If you’re serious and professional about what you do, it elevates the whole experience. I think that’s something I’ve been able to do. I try to give it an above and beyond experience. That’s what I shoot for, as far as what I do.”

Nichols is the fourth person from Seymour to receive the award. Arv Koontz was presented the award in 1996, Bud Shippee took it home in 2003 and Jay Hubbard was presented it in 2016.

Nichols said there’s something special about working football games.

“It’s the Friday night lights. It has an atmosphere all to its own,” he said. “It is kind of the community focal point as far as a Friday night activity. There are special events at each of the home games, whether it’s some of the clubs doing a fundraiser or a special night like homecoming. It makes it above and beyond what’s going on during the game. There’s a lot of pageantry that makes Friday nights all that more special.”

Whether he’s working football, basketball or baseball, Nichols always wants to represent the school as best he can.

“I think there is a culture at at Seymour High School,” Nichols said. “Regardless of what event it is, there is a certain level of professionalism. Whether you’re taking the tickets, a custodian or the athletic director, I think there is a strong desire to do as good a job as possible. I think that’s contagious. We don’t want to let each other down. There’s a lot of work that goes into putting a football game together each week. I think the result is what you see.”

Nichols doesn’t plan on slowing down any time soon.

“They will have to cart me off,” he joked. “I will be on oxygen up there. Hopefully, it’s inside of the one-minute warning in the fourth quarter. As long as the administration allows me to do it, I plan to be a part of it for a long time.

“I try to do what I do as well as I can do it, not just for my enjoyment, but for the enjoyment of the fans and betterment of the game.”

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