First female announcer at Island Coast football game

Writer: Sylvie Sparks
Published: Updated:

This season Island Coast High School had a female announcer at a football game for the first time in school history.

Natalia Phillips is a retired track and field athlete turned athletics secretary.

She studied worship ministry in college and helped operate the scoreboard and filmed games while at Southeastern University, not exactly a straight path to being a public address announcer for a high school football team, but Natalia’s boss didn’t care.

The Gators needed someone fast and Natalia stepped up to the microphone.

“It was very nerve wracking because I was like, ‘I know what’s going on on the field, but how would an announcer say it professionally?,’” Phillips said.

“She even mentioned that she had never announced so she put the idea in my head without knowing it,” Island Coast Athletic Director Jake Noland said.

Noland knew a few minutes into Natalia’s first game that the job would be hers permanently.

“About two minutes into it the admin team and I looked at eachother and go ‘I think we found our announcer for the future.,’” Noland said. “I really knew it when she about blew the speakers out when we scored a touchdown by yelling, ‘Touchdown Gators.’”

Natalia got less than 24 hours notice to prepare for her debut.

“I had my husband in there with me, making sure I wasn’t making any bad calls and getting looks up from the stands,” Phillips said.

By all accounts Natalia did great and she will be back next season.

She hopes young girls in the stands will be listening.

“Now other girls can do this,” Phillips said. “So yeah, it was cool to be the girl up there because you don’t usually hear a girl’s voice so it was fun. It was awesome.”

The coaches of other Island Coast teams have recruited Natalia to announce their games too.

In fact, she will be behind the microphone when the boys basketball team plays a preseason game on Tuesday, but in the spring Natalia has a girls track team to coach.

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