Spirit Dude 2

Reporting by Keith Dobbins
Writing by Savannah Bullard

For most local communities, Friday night lights means high school football, and it’s the biggest event for the town. Two Jasper sports fans work to make the games special for those who are unable to attend in person.

Eli Gold, Jim Fyffe, Chris Stewart and Rob Bramblett are radio sports announcers that fans of their teams are familiar with. But for fans of Jasper Viking football, it just means more.

Johnny Elmore and Woody Wilson are longtime radio announcers for the Jasper, formerly Walker, Viking football team. While the two have been announcing games for 40 seasons, their start in radio began much earlier.

“It was a real radio station in my house, a pirate radio station,” Wilson said. “We got on the air with the thing. This was around ’67, ’68 and ‘69 and so that was good training for eventually what we got into for real.”
And as the old saying goes, the rest is history.

Along the years, while the duo have seen many great teams, they think this team is something special.

“Well, coach David Campbell, who I mentioned earlier had some good teams,” Wilson said. “But Bubba Davis had a run here of 10 years I guess, and our last undefeated team in ’99 was under him. Had some great teams then, never made, you know, the big game, the championship game, but this team has all the ingredients.”

Despite never having made “the big game,” Elmore said this year is special.

“This team could win a state championship,” he said. “They’re 10 and 0 coming into tonight and it’s been a very fun season for the broadcast crew.”

Throughout the decades, Elmore and Wilson’s name have become synonymous with Viking football. But, Jasper athletic director Johnathan Jordan said they’re important to more than the football team.

“We can’t really put into words all they mean to our community and to our football program,” Jordan said. “We’re so excited to have them be a part of it and continue to be a part of it.”

And for the two of Jasper’s most beloved sportscasters, it is more than just the football games that make it enjoyable.

“Just being a part of this special program,” Elmore said. “Everybody is involved in the program. Coach Moore makes an effort to involve everyone, the broadcast team, the fans, the band. We’re all a big family here.”
It’s the beauty of Friday night lights, and that’s the spirit of Alabama.

If you have a story you would like to see featured in our Spirit of Alabama report, email us at spiritofalabama@wvua23.com.

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