A True Professional
Packer Athletics honor Doug Harmon
By Ken DeLaat
It was halftime at the Fremont/Tri County boys basketball game and I was sitting next to Doug Harmon who had been ensconced behind the microphone since before the earlier girls game preparing for the evening's events.
Actually Doug has been in that seat quite a bit longer. For over a quarter of a century Harmon has been announcing Packer athletics and on this night unbeknownst to him there was a bit of a surprise in store.
As the teams exited to the locker room for intermission Former Packer Coach Pete Zerfas appeared at courtside, picked up a mike and delivered a tribute to the man who has givenn a voice to Packer athletics since the mid 90’s.
“Welcome to everybody here from Fremont, and our sports community. Today we’re taking a moment to recognize the contributions of an important member of our Fremont athletic organization, who has been a crucial part of our sporting events for 27 years. I’d like to recognize the work and dedication of the one, and only, Doug Harmon at the announcer’s microphone.”
As Doug looked over at Pete he also saw his family enter the gym and take their place at center court. As he scanned the area he also saw friends from throughout the community who may not be regular attendees at the games but showed up to honor the man who brought a level of dedication and professionalism to the high school athletes that compete on the court or football field. He then joined his family at center court after receiving a plaque to commemorate his tireless efforts over the years.
Harmon is a true professional. Over the years of covering sports I’ve had the privilege of sitting beside him courtside or being on the field and listening to his announcing from the booth. A master at his craft he seems to effortlessly work his way through the games, injecting the occasional PSA and playing a pre-planned series of musical interludes during breaks all the while giving life to the game and credit to those who play it.
But don’t be deceived by the ease with which he performs his tasks. Harmon does his homework. From the programming and timing of the music to ensuring the names of the participants are pronounced correctly he prepares for each contest with the professionalism he brings to any task. In his introduction Coach Zerfas spoke to how Doug has always treated every athlete coach and official with a heightened level of respect. This is who Doug Harmon is.
Having known him for many years and witnessed him in action as he serves the community through many committees and boards as well as pitching in at various events throughout the area, I have been continually impressed with his good nature, his work ethic and above all his integrity.
These are all elements Doug has brought to the sporting events he has been announcing since his own children wore the Packer uniform.
Coach Zerfas: "For all the years I coached Doug was a fixture at the table announcing our players and coaching staffs. He has been a constant and important piece of Fremont Athletics. Though he has announced basketball and football games for the past 25 years, his service to our community and our school system goes far beyond that. It is almost impossible to put into perspective all the community service, time and energy he has given to our community.
"The games were always important, but when you heard Doug's Voice, 'The Voice of Fremont', it just felt like the game was that much bigger.
"It was always nice to see Doug before the game and talk about fishing, hunting and the outdoors. Doug is a pillar of our community and I am lucky enough to call him a friend.”
After the presentation Doug was obviously touched by the outpouring of appreciation received. But there was a second half to play and with the task at hand he settled in at the mike and, as always, seamlessly called the rest of what turned out to be a Packer victory.
Catching up with him later he gave us this response:
“I was humbled and was feeling blessed. Family and friends, coaches, staff and players surprised me with a presentation of a plaque and kind words from former boys coach Pete Zerfas. Totally caught off guard, I thought maybe I was getting my walking papers. It was a wonderful expression of appreciation for 27 plus years of announcing Fremont sporting events. I have been blessed to have the support of my wife Holly and family for all of the years of my involvement.
“Working with so many wonderful people over the years, coaches, officials, staff, players and scoring table volunteers has been such a positive experience.
“I thank everyone for allowing me to be a small part of the local athletic experience. In my heart there is nothing better than high school sports.”
In any community there are the people who step up. Those who can be counted on to help out in any way they can.
Doug Harmon is such a person.
And the community is better for it.
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.