December 6, 2022 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

On the call: Sjuts delivers in PA role for Spartans

Even if you don’t know his name, chances are you know his voice.
For nearly 20 years Keith Sjuts has been the voice of St. Joseph-Ogden football and basketball.

Sjuts, who grew up near Flatville, is comfortable speaking in public and used to do announcing for youth football. When his son Ryan was a sophomore at SJO he was asked to take over announcing at the varsity level.

As with every job, there are special moments, and Sjuts recollects several during his 19 years behind the mic.

“Definitely the championship runs, and of course, getting to call games involving my son have been the main highlights,” he said.

Sjuts said calling games involving his son were emotional.
“But you cannot get caught up in it too much, because that comes through the microphone,” he said.

Sjuts said there are also stand out moments with the large roster of strong players the Spartans have had over the years including Brian Royse, Isaiah Olson and Zach Becker.

“(Those) also stand out as memorable moments that I’ve been fortunate enough to call,” Sjuts said.

Sjuts said he couldn’t do announcing alone. He has someone that oversees the offensive plays, one person paying attention to what happens on defense and someone that watches the officials for their motions on penalties.

Sjuts also has someone stationed directly behind him in case a play is missed, so hopefully it will be caught by the second person.

“You’re only as good as the people that are around you, and I’ve had some of the best surrounding me throughout the years,” Sjuts said.

Sjuts does his homework before every game, going up to the opposing team to find out pronunciations of players so he can get them right when he calls out a tackle or a play from scrimmage.

“Believe me, if you get a name wrong, you might hear about it from a parent on the other team, so you learn to get names right the first time,” he said. “That’s what preparation does for you to ensure that we get things right because you are essentially presenting the game to the people watching.”

Sjuts has learned a lot throughout the years behind the mic, most notably the art of neutrality.

“I’ll admit that when I started, I probably talked too much and was biased toward SJO, but you learn as you go along that being neutral is the best course of action,” Sjuts said.

Even though he angers some SJO fans but congratulating an opposing coach or team when they have a particularly good play or game, Sjuts said he feels its the right thing to do.

“It’s the professional thing to do,” he said.

According to Sjuts, Friday nights in St. Joseph is an atmosphere like no other, and just like the players and cheerleaders, he gets charged before a game, especially the big ones.

“It’s awesome to see the fans getting ready for the game once the team comes out of the locker room,” he said.

Sjuts said that the fan base in St. Joseph-Ogden is extremely loyal and that helps create a positive, fun atmosphere at the games.

“You really notice the that fans still come to games long after their kids are out of school,” he said. “And here at SJO, there are many of those people, so the atmosphere is fantastic and it keeps me connected to the kids.”

But how long does Sjuts intend to continue behind the mic? Like many that do a similar job, he’ll know when it’s time.

“I don’t plan on doing this forever, but I think that when it becomes more of an obligation and I’m not having fun with it anymore, then it’ll be time to step away,” he said. “I’ve often said that if there is someone that is willing to do games, I do not mind sharing the mic on given nights.”

Banner
Related Posts

Scholarship honors, remembers Dick Duval: ‘His legend will live on in St. Joe’

October 5, 2021

October 5, 2021

If you want to know who Dick Duval truly was, all you have to do is ask St. Joseph-Ogden Superintendent...

Smith combines love of running and charity

June 6, 2019

June 6, 2019

Keely Smith loves to run. You see it in her Twitter handle which is keelyruns101. You see it after talking...

Athlete of the Month-Hannah Dukeman

August 29, 2019

August 29, 2019

Every month a committee of coaches selects a student-athlete of the month from nominees in–season coaches supply. We then ask...

Red-hot SJO volleyball faces St. Teresa for regional championship

October 28, 2021

October 28, 2021

The St. Joseph-Ogden High School volleyball team concluded August with an impressive three-set win at St. Teresa. If the Spartans...

Public Statement from Dan Vogelsang

December 23, 2019

December 23, 2019

It was with a heavy heart that I submitted my resignation to the Saint Joseph-Ogden High School Board of Education...

Kern leads SJO golf during first week of season

August 25, 2021

August 25, 2021

The first week of the season saw the St. Joseph-Ogden High School golf team play in its first tournament and...

Izard, SJO boys’ basketball rolls in postseason opener

February 26, 2020

February 26, 2020

It wasn’t even close. The St. Joseph-Ogden High School boys’ basketball team picked the perfect time for its most lopsided...

‘Genuine excitement’ for SJO football heading into 2019 season

August 29, 2019

August 29, 2019

Lofty expectations are attached to the St. Joseph-Ogden High School football team every year. This season is no different for...

Mabry, Stegall pace SJO boys’ cross-country to regional title; sectional meet up Saturday

October 30, 2021

October 30, 2021

The St. Joseph-Ogden High School boys’ cross-country team has shown the capability it could win a state title all season....

5 Question Friday with senior Jackson Greer

September 2, 2022

September 2, 2022

Every Friday we are asking an SJO junior or senior athlete five questions. This week we talked to Jackson Greer....

SJO football looks to bounce back against Olympia

October 15, 2019

October 15, 2019

The playoff mentality will need to start this week for the St. Joseph-Ogden High School football team. Why? Because the...

Athletic complex to be dedicated tonight

April 16, 2021

April 16, 2021

 The St. Joseph-Ogden School District will honor Glenn Fisher tonight.The district voted in June 2020 to name the athletic complex...

Burnett, Steinbach key as SJO volleyball wraps up season this week

April 22, 2021

April 22, 2021

Normally, 20 matches in a season means a high school volleyball teamis just rounding into form, ready to make a...

SJO Board to discuss basketball at November meeting

November 4, 2020

November 4, 2020

Basketball isn’t a sure thing at St. Joseph-Ogden High School this winter. The district will have to decide whether to...

Kern, Atwood help SJO golf pick up two wins

August 31, 2021

August 31, 2021

Jacob Kern is continuing to lead the way for the St. Joseph-Ogden High School golf team. Kern and teammate McGwire...

Comments
Leave a Reply