By Kayleigh Rahn
When the Warriors are home, there is one man who has held the best seat in the house for 47 years.
Richard Kidwell, retired teacher and owner of Daylight Doughnuts, has served as the team’s score keeper and announcer since 1971 and for his years of service to the game he will be included in the 2018 class of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame as a “friend of basketball.”
“I had no idea an announcer/score keeper could be considered,” Kidwell said. “It thrilled me to death. It’s been 47 fun, fun years. I’ve loved every bit of it.”
Kidwell never considered taking up post at the scorers table as his role was taking tickets in the hallway. However, prior to the 1971 season Bob Hastings was ready to hang up his role as the official scorer, and then TCHS Principal Bill Butkovich asked if Kidwell would be willing to fill the seat.
“There were three people who worked the bench–the scorekeeper, the announcer, and the timer,” Kidwell said. “The announcer at that time was Jim Hunt, an East Prairie teacher and coach. He only introduced the starting lineups. After the second game Mr. Hunt asked me if would like to announce also. Again, I accepted quickly.”
Kidwell soon realized he could do more than announce the starting five.
“I started announcing all baskets, fouls, announcements, and other items pertaining to the game,” Kidwell said. “Two games later I realized that the JV games also needed to be announced. Everyone likes to hear his name announced over the PA system. At that time, few schools had an announcer. Even today, not every school has on announcer for every home game.”
At today’s games, three people still sit at the scorers’ table, though there are slightly different jobs now.
“I don’t know of another school that has an announcer and scorekeeper as the same person,” he said. “I think that if you don’t keep your mind on what you’re doing it can become pretty complicated, because you are writing while you are talking a lot of times. You have to keep that scorebook accurate because you are the official scorer and everything has to be right on the button. I don’t think people want to do both. I think people want to watch the game while they announce and keep score, but I can do all three now. If you’re organized you can do all three.”
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Jan. 24 edition of The Tuscola Journal.