How Glenn Cowham informs, entertains Lightning fans at the Leesburg ballpark

LEESBURG — General public address announcers are the unsung heroes at the ballpark.

The very best of them, nevertheless, generally develop into an integral portion of the sport-day experience, providing followers with starting lineups and factoids, all while entertaining everybody with tunes — old and new — involving innings.

Leesburg Lightning followers may well be amongst the most privileged in the Florida Collegiate Summertime League. Due to the fact the Lightning performed their to start with match in 2007, the Lightning Country has been addressed to two of the ideal stadium voices in the FCSL.

Although the personalities, vocal mannerisms and intonations of Chuck Johnson and Glenn Cowham could not be more distinct, their variances are their contacting playing cards and created each and every equally properly-favored and helpful.

Glenn Cowham works the mic at a Leesburg Lightning game on Friday at Pat Thomas Stadium-Buddy Lowe Field.

Glenn Cowham is effective the mic at a Leesburg Lightning match on Friday at Pat Thomas Stadium-Buddy Lowe Field.

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A unique style than Chuck Johnson

Johnson manned the stadium mic for the Lightning’s initial 13 many years. An unabashed — and unapologetic — homer, Johnson was a lover favorite recognised for his booming voice that rarely expected a microphone to be listened to close to the ballpark, especially when he and umpires didn’t see eye-to-eye.

In fact, Johnson is the only PA announcer in league background to be thrown out of a video game.

Cowham, the Lightning’s recent announcer, will never be mistaken for Johnson. Now in his third season with the group, Cowham speaks in much more calculated and less frenetic tones.

Chuck Johnson, Leesburg Lightning public address announcer from 2007 until 2019, introduces players during a team preseason function in 2015.

Chuck Johnson, Leesburg Lightning community deal with announcer from 2007 right until 2019, introduces players for the duration of a crew preseason purpose in 2015.

Johnson’s large-strength commentary made enthusiasts believe Lightning game titles had been the significant factor on the world at that minute. Meanwhile, Cowham’s comforting narration reminds fans that it’s only a single sport, and there will be another a person tomorrow.

“I sense like my occupation below is multifaceted,” said Cowham, who produced his year debut Friday after lacking the to start with week of the common year immediately after he and his wife contracted the coronavirus. In his absence, Johnson stepped in and stuffed the void for the Lightning’s very first 4 house game titles.

“I want to be informative and let lovers know when recreation time is and give them with any other facts they might require, like our concessions, and workforce store. And I also want to enable all people have as considerably exciting as achievable by actively playing audio amongst innings and commenting on our many supporter-interaction pursuits.”

Like Johnson, who is an lawyer, Cowham has a working day job. He is a certified real estate agent and residence manager.

Glenn Cowham also voice of Lake-Sumter University and Auburn Tigers

Cowham’s function at the rear of the mic initial commenced around a 10 years back, when he began “perfecting a very little craft” with the Very first Academy of Leesburg athletic method. He worked basketball, volleyball and soccer game titles for the Eagles, frequently calling football games from the back of a flatbed truck at the Sleepy Hollow and Susan Street sports activities complexes.

In latest yrs he has turn into the voice for Lake-Sumter State University volleyball and baseball video games, and due to the fact the 2020-21 school year, he’s designed weekend outings to Auburn University — his alma mater – to function soccer, swimming and diving, volleyball and softball games.

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Glenn Cowham looks out on the the field while holding his game script before Friday's Leesburg Lightning game at Pat Thomas Stadium-Buddy Lowe Field.

Glenn Cowham appears out on the the industry even though holding his match script just before Friday’s Leesburg Lightning match at Pat Thomas Stadium-Buddy Lowe Area.

Although Cowham functions Lightning game titles strictly for entertaining, he ways the job professionally. His aspect of the push box seems like a business enterprise office cubbie. On a wall to his left is a paper with a listing of the concerning-inning functions and situations that he coordinates with crew interns, and in front of him is a multi-web site script that he writes just about every working day.

In addition, he courses the computer that plays stroll-up songs for each individual Lightning batter with the stroke of a “scorching vital,” as effectively as rhythmic tunes developed to get enthusiasts concerned by clapping in unison or yelling “charge”. There are also seem consequences, such as a window remaining smashed when a foul ball leaves the stadium, and celebratory melodies when the Lightning rating a operate or make a vital engage in.

“I’m a scripted male,” claimed Cowham. “I like a acquiring a recreation program and I try out to comply with that video game plan as intently as I can. Like most people right here, I’m a homer I usually want the Lightning, or the (LSSC) Lakehawks, or the (Auburn) Tigers to acquire, and followers know how a game is heading alongside by the strength in my voice.”

Cowham admits to working with classes discovered from listening to Carl Stephens, a previous longtime PA announcer for Auburn football and Ric Smith, the Tigers’ announcer now. He stops brief of imitating both, but takes snippets from each individual and mixes them with his have identity to create style — and level of energy — that is all his individual.

No make a difference the distinctions amongst Cowham’s and Johnson’s methods, Lightning administration agree that each attain their objectives.

John Meier, Lightning statistician and member of franchise’s board of directors given that it was established, has sat beside both of those for all but a few property online games considering the fact that Lightning debuted. As a workforce and league statistician, Meier works carefully with the PA announcer, giving a variety of statistical notes in the course of video games, such as scoring conclusions.

“Chuck and Glenn always want to tell and entertain, initially and foremost,” claimed Meier. “Chuck has constantly been really passionate about the Lightning and I consider has a certain aura about him, the recreation and, primarily, the admirers. He often had the skill to join with the followers, particularly when we ended up setting up out.

“Glenn, meanwhile, is additional even-keeled about the way he functions a recreation. He’s passionate, like Chuck, and he slants his phone calls toward the Lightning, which is what we want. But, if an opposing player would make an exceptional perform, Glenn also will compliment that player.”

Cowham hopes to continue performing with all a few corporations — LSSC, the Lightning and Auburn — for the foreseeable upcoming. He’s hired an assistant to help preserve up with the working day-to-working day requires of genuine estate operate, and his employer has been accommodating about permitting him to do the job from the street when essential.

His primary occupation, immediately after all, however pays the expenditures and places foods on the table.

“There only are not numerous NCAA Division I general public tackle announcers in faculty who can make a at ease living strictly at the rear of the mic,” said Cowham.

But, he can aspiration.

“Right now, this is for enjoyable,” Cowham claimed. “I’ll preserve performing at it and with any luck , acquiring much better and who is familiar with what can transpire? I’d love for this to change some thing much more than it is right now.

“And even if it does not, I’m owning a wonderful time.”

This post initially appeared on Day-to-day Industrial: Higher education baseball: PA announcer informs, entertains Leesburg Lightning supporters