If you have ever attended a football game at St. Joseph’s, then you know Dave Estes. You may not have met him, but you know him, at least his voice. Dave is the one who has worked the PA system at the field since 2009. His is the voice heard whenever the Knights made a first down. “So and so carries the ball to the 33-yard line and another Knights … FIRST DOWN!”
It got to be so commonplace that the crowd would join in the call “FIRST DOWN!” That’s when you know you’ve made it into the fans’ hearts.
Unfortunately for future Knights, Dave and his voice are retired as “Voice of the Knights” as of this May.
It was with a distinctive flair and verbal flourish that Dave occupied the press box. As Knights Athletic Booster Club member Paula Bikulege said in a recent tribute, Dave has the ability to make “the home team feel exceptional without degrading the opponent. Win or lose, the atmosphere he creates is inviting for both teams.”
Perhaps he was enthusiastic for the Knights but he “maintained his composure despite the crowds.” Dave also selected the recorded music to play over the PA system. “His music choices are perfect for the moment,” Paula said. Borrowing ever so slightly from ESPN legend Chris Berman, Estes developed a knack for nicknames: Sugar Shane, Zach “How’s the Weather” Seidel, Fireplug and A-Train to name a few. “His Chilly Willy sightings will have fans guessing for years just what that might be,” Paula said.
The Knights Athletic Booster Club presented Dave with three mementos of his time at SJCS. First, there was a rendering of the school with the inscription: “David A. Estes Jr. In recognition for your years as the Voice of the Knights 2009-2016.” Second, he also received a microphone trophy with the words “David A. Estes Jr. the UNFORGETTABLE Voice of the Knights.”
Finally, Dave was selected as the second “Friend of the Program” recipient made by the football team. The award was a quote from St. Ignatius of Loyola: “Teach us Good Lord to serve you as you deserve, to give and not count the cost, to fight and not heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labour and not to ask for reward, save that of knowing that we do your will.”
We will certainly miss that booming voice echoing over the SJCS playing fields.