Wilson says he knows he has some awfully big shoes to fill!
“Here Come the Tigers” signifies the start of football at Tiger Stadium on the Elba City School campus. When the announcer enthusiastically says those four words, fans stand to their feet, youngsters race down the field from their spot in the spirit line, the band plays the fight song, and everyone knows kickoff is only minutes away. This Friday night under the lights at Tiger Stadium those four words will come from a new voice as Ken Wilson takes the helm as the “Voice of the Tigers” for Elba football. He assumes the announcer’s chair in the press box after the unexpected passing of Eddie Vaughan earlier this year. Vaughan had been the “Voice of the Tigers” for more than a decade. He had taken the helm from legendary announcer Doug Holderfield after his retirement. Holderfield was the “Voice of the Tigers” for more years than many can remember. “I am definitely filling some awfully big shoes,” Wilson said Tuesday morning standing outside the press box at Tiger Stadium. “It’s a big responsibility to represent Elba as the public announcer, and I take it as a great honor.” Over the past decade, Wilson said Vaughan coined several phrases that Tiger fans looked forward to hearing throughout football season. One of the most recognizable was his, “Are there any Elba Tiger fans here tonight?” Wilson said Tiger fans can definitely expect to hear that a time or two each home game. He said he wants to keep Vaughan’s spirit and love for Elba alive in his broadcasts, and a he feels keeping some of his signature phrases going will be a great tribute to Vaughan. But, fans can probably expect some new things too that will be unique to Wilson. Wilson has been in Elba for eight years now serving as pastor of Westside Baptist Church. His family has been very active in the schools since coming to Elba. The Wilson children have attended school at Elba, and Wilson’s wife, Kim, is a teacher at Elba City Schools. “We are going to miss Mr. Vaughan tremendously,” said Elba football coach Pate Harrison. “We are blessed, though, to have someone with Mr. Wilson’s experience to step in and fill the spot for us.” Wilson said his undergraduate degree in college was in broadcasting, and he has previous experience not only as a public announcer but also in radio and some television. He also has been the public announcer for Elba Tiger basketball for several years already and has been the public announcer for Elba Tiger baseball for the past three or four seasons as well. Before coming to Elba eight years ago, Wilson said he also performed public announcing duties for four years at Daphne High School. “I was doing the PA work at Daphne when they won their last football championship, and I was able to be the PA for Elba’s first basketball championship team,” Wilson said. “That’s been fun for me.” Wilson said he would rely heavily on his spotter to help him with the fast-paced environment of public announcing for football. He said Mike Moseley had helped Vaughan over the past several years, and he hopes Moseley would be in the press box with him this year to help as well. He added that doing play-by-play commentating in the past for Troy Cable with Elba Tiger football had helped him be able to handle the pace of the game, and he hoped to bring that experience into the press box with him also. “At my previous school [before Elba] we had to search for someone to do the PA work,” Harrison said. “It has definitely been a blessing to have what we have here in Elba.” Wilson will have his debut as the new “Voice of the Tigers” this Friday night, Aug. 30, when the Elba Tigers host their first home game of the 2019 season against the Opp Bobcats. “It’s an honor for me and a great responsibility,” Wilson said. “I am just really looking forward to it.”