Freeman Continues His 44th Year as Football Announcer


Credit: Will DeSimone

Freeman works with a team in the booth as he narrates the football game.

Will DeSimone, Editor-In-Chief

Every Western football game for the past 44 years has been announced and narrated by one man: Allen Freeman. Freeman is a former teacher who taught for a total of 37 years, 27 of which were spent at WAHS. At WAHS, he taught World History, coached drama and worked as a gifted resource teacher.
Freeman started his career as a WAHS football announcer in 1977. He got the announcing job when Charlie Armstrong, the principal at the time, approached him with the offer. “I always wanted to be a teacher, but I got into public announcing thanks to my father who was an actor and narrated for a church in Richmond. Narrating had always interested me but never as a career.”
Despite his initial inexperience, Freeman has been an institution in the Western community, having witnessed countless unforgettable moments. He says that the most memorable game he’s narrated was one his son played in. “We were 9 and 0 in the season going into the last game. We were behind and we pulled a play called the ‘lonesome polecat’ to win the game in the last minute. We finished 10 and 0 for the season — undefeated,” said Freeman recounting that experience.
The job isn’t all fun and games, however. Freeman has to take in consideration a few key points when in his booth. “One, you have to get the kids’ name right, and the second is to be positive — if someone fumbles the ball you don’t always have to call them out by name. You don’t want to be rude to any of the players on either team.”
Freeman has a friendly rivalry going on with the Albemarle football announcer Scott Goodman, who started his announcing career in 1976 — one year before Freeman. The two are currently competing to see who has the longer career.
Ms. Burnette, who used to be an assistant teacher to Freeman when he was still teaching at WAHS, recalls him being very affable. “Very likable, he was really approachable and wanted students to pursue their interests.” His most memorable trait is his ability to connect with anyone, even if he had never talked with them before. “He wasn’t afraid to reach out to any student, just to ask how they were doing.”