The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

February 11, 2013

Don’t be shocked by the Coker T-shirt

By Charles Curcio, Sports Editor

Sunday, January 27, 2013 — If you see me wearing a Coker T-shirt sometime around town, here is why.

I try not to emphasize my announcing  too often in the paper, but when I am emotionally moved about something that happened at a game I announce, I feel moved to share it with you.

I have been announcing basketball games at Pfeiffer since my sophomore year at school there, which was 1994-95. I started doing the women’s games while helping Dr. Don Jackman announce the men’s games for years, then announced the games for nearly all of the years since.

If you are counting how many years that is, and my lumbar vertebrae are after carrying the gear all these years, that’s 18 years worth of sitting at the scorer’s table in Merner Gym.

I have seen a lot of wins that brought joy to my heart, as well as a lot of losses that, as the great Lewis Grizzard would say, tore out my heart and stomped that sucker flat.

Winning and losing means less than the relationships that you build and maintain with coaches, referees and athletes over the years.

I got a reminder of the impact of those relationships Thursday when Coker came to visit Merner Gym.

The Coker men’s basketball team has been coached by the firey Dan Schmotzer for 26 seasons.

This is Coker’s final season in Pfeiffer’s conference  as the Cobras move to the South Atlantic Conference next season and Coker will not play at Pfeiffer as a regular-season conference game anymore.

Coach Schmotzer came up to the scorers’ table and shook my hand, as he always does, then proceeded to give me two Coker T-shirts in a bag that said “Thanks for the Memories” on the outside.

Coach Schmotzer is a class act and has represented Coker with fire and passion for many years, garnering the respect of his coaching peers along with one truly humbled Pfeiffer public address announcer.

Thanks, Coach.