Gorman: New voice in the press box
Laura Thomson is at ease speaking in public and into a microphone, given her job as South Allegheny's public relations coordinator.
When Thomson takes the mic Friday night at Glassport Memorial Stadium, she will combine those skills to provide a rare female voice in a male-dominated position in the press box.
As the official public-address announcer for South Allegheny, Thomson is the voice for the Gladiators' football games.
“That makes me proud,” Thomson said. “We embrace that at South Allegheny — women in nontraditional roles — and I'm glad that girls and women can see me as a role model.”
South Allegheny athletic director Eric Roche said Thomson's involvement in the school district and upbeat personality made her a natural choice.
“I didn't really think anything of it,” Roche said, “but now that you mention it, I've been to many games and can't think of a female that does it.”
That makes two of us.
But that's the thing about the PA announcer: If they're good, you usually don't notice them. If they're bad, it can make for a long game in the bleachers.
A sports enthusiast whose promotional ability helped draw national news coverage when former South Allegheny soccer star/placekicker Audra Lewis won homecoming queen last fall, Thomson is taking it seriously.
An old pro shared this advice: You're not the show. The show is on the field. But you can make friends by introducing linemen or cheerleaders and always correctly pronouncing names.
“I'll know I'm doing a good job if nobody turns around,” Thomson said. “If everybody is looking straight ahead and watching the game, it's going OK.”