Miller has his own style of announcing
By Holly Neumann
Now that the football season is underway, Manawa fans are not only look forward to seeing the Wolves on the field, but also hearing the voice of Mike Miller.
“I have always loved to announce and when you get to announce something you love, the love shows through it,” he said. “I have been doing it for over 15 years.”
Manawa football coach Brad Johnson, believes Miller brings enthusiasm and life to the field on Friday nights.
“From the opening announcements, you can hear the excitement for the evening,” he said. “He always finds a way to get people excited about football and the little things, even if it is a one-sided affair.”
Manawa players love running out or scoring a touchdown when Miller is announcing, according to Johnson.
“They say it is one of the craziest feelings when he announces their name and drags it out as loud and as long as he does,” he said. “They can almost feel the vibrations and energy.”
Even the crowd comes alive when they hear Miller’s long, drawn-out “touchdown Manawa” when one of the Wolves finds the end zone.
“I wear the badge of the voice of Manawa proudly,” he said. “I will do it until my voice doesn’t let me do it anymore.”
Miller said he enjoys hearing stories about Manawa youth playing football in their backyards.
“It’s nice to hear that when little kids score a touchdown, they too scream, ‘touchdown Manawa,’” he said.
Miller also announces at basketball and softball games.
“When Mike announces games, he adds to the atmosphere,” former athletic director Nate Ziemer said. “He has created playlists for pregame music and for time outs or down times at games. All this he does to make the event that evening as enjoyable for everyone in attendance as well as to make it fun for the athletes.”
Ziemer has had several visiting coaches ask Manawa continue to host certain events because their team had so much fun due to the atmosphere Miller helps create.
Without a doubt, Miller enjoys what he does.
“It comes natural,” he said. “I have a good, deep voice and a sarcastic, fun sense of humor.”
Along with the job come some embarrassing moments as well. Not for Miller, but sometimes the athletes, fans and even the referee.
“I might have embarrassed some people on the field all in the nature of good fun,” he said. “For example, we had a rainy night and the field was slick. A Manawa player was running down the field for a touchdown. The referee was following behind and he fell hard. After I finished with the ‘touchdown Manawa,’ I said, ‘Don’t worry referee, nobody saw it.’ The crowd laughed.”
Why has Miller kept at it for more than a decade?
“It’s as simple as I was asked,” he said. “I believe in giving back to the community that I have been a part of my whole life.”
Little Wolf High School’s senior class is giving back to Miller as well, as students have chosen him as grand marshal for this year’s Homecoming festivities.
“We asked the kids to think of someone who bleeds Manawa,” class advisor Jill Krause said. “Someone where Manawa is home to them.”
Miller fit the bill.
“As a teacher and coach, I have always enjoyed Mike’s eagerness to come and support our student-athletes at their sporting events,” Krause said. “He makes them feel special.”
Miller is honored by the request.
“I graduated from Manawa in 1986,” he said. “To be the grand marshal 31 years later is just incredible.”