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Gorman: New voice in the press box

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Laura Thomson is a female voice in a male-dominated position as the public-address announcer for South Allegheny football games.

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Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014, 9:36 p.m.

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.”

Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.

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