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“Voice of the Bulldogs” Garber honored in retirement

Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 6:00 am

St. Cloud announces it will name pressbox after 13-year PA announcer at scrimmage, his final call

By Ken Jackson
Sports Editor

St. Cloud held a football scrimmage Friday during the final two periods of the day, and hundreds of students bought a cheap ticket to hang out in the sun and watch.

Bulldogs Coach Bryan Smart said it was to give students a chance to see what their football team looked like after three weeks of spring practice. Up in the press box, it was a slightly different story, which had nothing to do with the air-conditioned room high atop Tom Gannarelli Field.

The Maroon and Gold Game gave P.A. announcer George Garber one last chance to call Bulldog football, and it gave the school a chance to thank and honor Garber, who is retiring from teaching at the end of the school year later this month, for 13 years of faithful service to the St. Cloud athletic program as the “Voice of the Bulldogs”.

During the scrimmage, the coaching staff paused the game, and the school made a special presentation — the press box will be known going forward as the George Garber Press Box.

News-Gazette Photo/Ken Jackson
A P.A. announcer in his native habitat: St. Cloud’s George Garber pictured with a card from well-wishing students on his retirement while calling Friday’s Maroon and Gold scrimmage. Garber called Bulldog football, basketball and softball games, among other sports, for 13 years.

Garber, who has called Bulldog football, basketball and softball games, along with other events “when asked nicely” by other coaches — he was on the mike sending off groups at the district golf tournament last fall — was self-deprecating (as usual) about the honor when he realized what was going on in-game.

“I always thought when I left, maybe they’d name a bathroom after me,” he joked. “The pleasure has been all mine.”

At the annual Orange Belt Conference Athletic Awards banquet Monday, Osceola School District Athletic Director Ryan Adams presented Garber with a crystal microphone and a St. Cloud trophy helmet signed by all the Bullodogs coaches as a lifetime achievement trophy.

“We thank you for your service to our county and our athletes,” Adams said.

Garber had the pleasure of calling many Bulldog athletic highlights. Early in his P.A. tenure, in 2008, the football team claimed a district championship and playoff berth after consecutive losing seasons. (They returned to the playoffs in 2009). The softball team won a handful of district championships, and the girls basketball team, state champions in 1994, fell into a bit of a rut then rose back to prominence under his watch.

Due to physical ailments affecting him and his wife this year, he did not call softball this season. Those medical pitfalls were part of his reasoning for retiring from SCHS this year.

“It wasn’t about the kids,” he said. “It was just time. I’ve had a lot of fun.”