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Midvale Journal

Hillcrest’s student announcer, voice of the Huskies, announces last basketball games

Feb 22, 2022 09:20PM ● By Julie Slama

As the voice of the Huskies, Hillcrest High senior Cameron Clark welcomes fans to the school’s basketball game before he calls the game on the livestream. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Hillcrest High School for tonight’s basketball game. Back at it again for a Friday night game...

With those words, Hillcrest High senior Cameron Clark, known as the voice of the Huskies, began one of his last gigs announcing the team’s livestream games.

“I wanted to become an announcer ever since I was in third grade, maybe even a little bit earlier,” Clark said. “I talked with one of the announcers on BYU-TV during a football game and he gave me some steps on what I could do. One of them was to do games for my school so I talked with coach (Scott) Carrell about if I can get into PA announcing.”

This game got pushed back from earlier in the season. Hillcrest is coming off…

Carrell, now Hillcrest’s athletic director, remembered when Clark approached him and former AD Sally Williams.

“He came in and said, ‘Hey, you know, I really like listening to sports announcers and I really want to try to be one. Is there any chance you guys would let me try to announce a game?’” Carrell said. “We were both a little hesitant, so we let him start with a JV volleyball game, then a JV girls’ basketball, some JV boys’ basketball games. He just kept developing his talents and getting better. He just really impressed to the point where he started announcing the girls’ varsity basketball games last year.”

When Clark was announcing over the PA for girls’ varsity basketball, COVID-19 hit. Rather than being discouraged, he transitioned his announcing to accompany the livestreaming of games.

“I asked Matteo (Dal Monte, Hillcrest’s media specialist), who I knew was setting up a stream for the games, ‘Is there any chance I can do announcing on the streams, do play-by-play?’ So, he set everything up, taught me how to set up the streams and since then, that’s what I’ve been doing,” Clark said.

For the Huskies starting line-up…

To prepare for game day, Clark compiles team and individual stats. He will email the visiting coach, asking if there is anything he should know about their team. He also will share the link to the livestream and has had coast-to-coast viewers tune in.

“I’ll try and find a little history about the opposing school—when was it built, how many students go there, when was their last state title in girls’ basketball, when was their last state title in any of the sports. Just many little factoids that I can find about the team that I might try and throw that in there along with stats,” Clark said.

The Huskies are controlling the game, we’re two for two from deep…and the ball is swatted away, great defense…

Clark is a team manager for the girls’ basketball team.

“I decided that since I’m at practice with the girls every day, I know what’s going on with the team a lot better, so I am more prepared to do the girls rather than the boys,” he said. “I enjoy being team manager. I send hype texts before the game to girls on the team.”

Junior post Kay Erekson looks forward to those game-day texts.

“They’re funny puns about the school mascot or their name and then how our team is going to crush them and win the game,” she said. “They are funny, but they’re cringey. It’s a really cool way to contribute to the energy of the game day and it can really relieve the pressure.”

Erekson said Clark comes to all the practices and home games doing anything from setting up the score table for game day to refereeing during a practice.

“He talks basketball to everyone, he helps with (score) books, sets up the chairs, runs the clock at practices,” she said.

Carrell said as team manager, Clark “is getting to know the players better and has stories to use on his announcing. He has the love of sports and wants to help out a team.”

Although athletic, Clark said he always has enjoyed being on the sidelines.

“I find it more enjoyable to do the stats side of it. When I was on my Super League team for baseball, and I wasn’t playing, I would be keeping the book on the bench,” he said.

Besides the girls’ basketball team, Clark has managed the boys’ basketball, volleyball and baseball teams.

It’s a clean block…the floater—good!...Perfect three of three tonight, it makes it a two-possession game…

Besides girls’ basketball, Clark announced the starting volleyball line-ups and also, called the last few games and state game in their season on livestream.

Clark took the microphone to the livestream football games, even inviting Riley Nelson, the former Brigham Young University quarterback and current BYU Radio football game color commentator, to join him announcing the Hillcrest-Stansbury game, which had a delay in action because of inclement weather.

“After we ran all the equipment inside, I got to talk with him for 40 minutes straight, asking him questions, having him just tell me stuff and it was really cool,” Clark said.

Nelson isn’t the only sports announcer Clark has gotten to know and learn from. He has patterned his style from BYU Radio announcer Greg Wrubell by “trying to rattle off exactly what’s going on in the moment.” He shadowed a BYU-TV sideline reporter at a baseball game where “he showed me the ropes and it was really cool to see what goes on behind the scenes.”

This fall, Clark observed KJZZ’s Tony Parks on the sidelines of the state high school playoffs.

“I was just following him up and down the sideline as he was talking. It was an awesome experience for me to go and watch him. When the game was over, we sat down and I asked him a bunch of questions,” he said.

Clark, who hopes this year Hillcrest will have the equipment for him to announce baseball, said one of his favorite experiences was being in the booth at a Salt Lake Bees game to observe broadcaster Steve Klauke.

“Baseball always has been my favorite sport because I grew up playing and watching,” he said. “I just sat there and watched him through the entire game and during breaks, I’d ask him, ‘What do you do about this.’ When I wasn’t asking questions, he was telling me this is what I do if this happens or he was able to pull this stat from this book and just flip right to it. That was really cool to be able to observe someone who is doing exactly what I want to do.”

Carrell said he has heard from listeners about Clark, even parents of the opposing team.

“They watched and listened to him and said, ‘Man that kid needs to work for ESPN.’ Cam does his homework. He gets the stats he needs from visiting teams, and he finds interesting stories about both teams and always integrates that into his games. He has reached out to some other sports broadcasters and gotten advice from them. It’s all him. He’s the one who does all the studying,” he said.

Last year, Clark traveled to away games to broadcast the livestream, but with a more spread-out region and several Advanced Placement and concurrent college classes, he has limited himself to attending only close-by away games.

That opened up being the PA announcer for the boys’ basketball games, Carrell said.

“I said to Cam, ‘Why don’t you just announce the boys’ games and be our play-by-play on the sideline, from the table?’” Carrell said. “He was pretty excited.”

Huskies need to pick up the pace…lets it fly from three, not quite good, but a good look, picks up her own miss and got it to go…gives the Huskies the energy they need. Foul was called; it’s good from the line.

“My dream is to be a radio announcer. I like being able to describe what’s happening and just the flow of the game. When people watch my streams, I do that more radio style because that’s what I want to get into,” he said.

Clark started early.

In second grade, Clark watched a video of his uncle playing baseball and pretended to be announcers with his dad.

Clark decided in third grade to enter his school’s talent show with his announcing skills.

“I recited from memory the ‘Shot Heard ‘Round the World’ where the Giants got a walk-off home run to send them into the playoffs in the 1950s,” he said. “I watched the video of it and dang, I was able to get that pretty good as a third-grader. I’ve always been blessed with a mind that is just able to recall things easily. It’s almost freakish when it comes to sports and to history and stats. Sometimes in math, things will go in one ear and out with the other, and I won’t remember what I learned, but with sports, for whatever the reason, I just remember almost everything.”

With that, the Huskies have a five-point lead entering half time, we’ll be back at the beginning of the second half, I’m Cameron Clark, the voice of the Huskies, here on Hillcrest TV, we’ll see you in a couple minutes.

After a quick round of lightning during varsity girls’ half-time with the JV and freshmen-sophomore teams, Clark returns to the announcing table on the indoor track above the court.

Erekson and her teammates come running out of the locker room, ready for the second half.

“One of my favorite parts is coming out of the locker room is hearing Cam say, ‘Let’s welcome back to the floor, your Hillcrest Huskies.’ It’s always a big energy boost,” she said.

Carrell agrees: “I really like the energy he brings. The way he announces the girls’ and boys’ games’ starting lineups, brings that extra energy that really gets the crowd into it.”

Huskies had a great take-away, the steal. Hillcrest with the board. The Huskies tie up the ball, the arrow favors…

To further prepare for his future career, Clark took a newspaper journalism class and wrote for Hillcrest’s Paw Print online newspaper as well as taken broadcast classes at Alta High School.

This spring, Clark applied to BYU and hopes to enroll in their broadcast program after serving a church mission.

“I’ve reached out to them enough where they know who I am and know my story. I would be the fifth generation in my family to go to BYU,” he said. “The broadcasting program they have is one of the top-notch ones in the nation, so it’s just a no-brainer for me to go there.”

However, his legacy at Hillcrest as the voice of the Huskies will be hard to fill, Carrell said.

“He’s so good, I wish we could keep him,” he said.

Erekson said it won’t be the same next season.

“I’m going to miss everything he does, all the extra work he’s put in,” she said. “He’s always bringing positive energy to the team game days and practices.”

With that, the next game is senior night, last night announcing from here as the Huskies will take on…see you next Thursday…