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October - Pflugerville High School
Posted by Marcial Guajardo on 11/19/2015 5:00:00 PM
The man behind the microphone
C.J. King has been the football team’s announcer longer than he can recall
Pictured: C.J. King calls a play during the first quarter of the Panthers’ 33-13 victory over Rouse on Sept. 18. (Photo courtesy Panther Prowler)
Editor’s note: The following article is reprinted with permission. It originally appeared in the October edition of the Pflugerville High School newspaper, the Panther Prowler.
By Casey Aguilar
Panther Prowler news editor
They might not recognize his name, but fans of the Panther football team know his voice, as well as his signature catchphrase: “First and 10, Panthers!”
C.J. King cannot recall exactly how long he’s been the Panther football team’s announcer. He just knows it’s been a long time.
“I don’t have a clue,” said King, a 1963 PHS grad. “I think it’s over 25 [years], but I’m not positive.”
Part of King’s motivation for taking the job was hearing opposing announcers mispronounce the last names of Pflugerville players.
“And I felt like we should get them right,” King said. “I love the game. I love watching the kids play.”
Over the years, King has developed an enthusiastic style and one signature catchphrase.
“It just seemed like one night the fans were kind of dead,” King said. “They weren’t cheering as much, [so] I just hollered out, ‘First and 10, Panthers!’ and everybody cheered. It worked, so I kept going.”
King has four children and 10 grandchildren. One of his favorite memories was announcing the game when his youngest daughter was crowned Homecoming Queen.
“He has been a Pflugerville Panther for almost all of his life,” said Melissa Malinowski, King’s daughter and a P.E. coach at Dearing Elementary. “I just know that he really loves it. … If I had a dollar for every time that my dad made someone laugh, I would be a millionaire because he always knows how to make people feel welcome or just feel good.”
King was a member of the PHS football teams that set a national record with 55 consecutive victories from 1958 to 1962. During the streak, the Panthers won five district championships, two bi-district championships and four regional championships. The streak ended with a six-point loss to Holland in the 1962 bi-district round of the playoffs.
“It [was] unbelievable,” King said. “I started playing football for Pflugerville in seventh grade, and I only played one losing game. That was No. 56.”
King recalls how different the town of Pflugerville was back when he was in high school.
“Timmerman Elementary was the edge of town,” King said. “There was nothing [East of there]. No stores, no gas stations, nothing. The population was 345, and now it’s like 57,000. It’s grown a lot.”
Over the years, King has volunteered in the Pflugerville fire department and been a Pflugerville postmaster. He also helped found Pflugerville’s Little League softball program after his daughters were told they couldn’t play Little League baseball.
On Friday nights, though, King is simply the man behind the microphone.
“They always call me and say, ‘You still gonna announce this year?’” King said. “I always tell them, ‘Until I die or you fire me.’”