Jayson Maddux makes transition from player to public address announcer
VANCOUVER — The passion to play the game was gone, but Prairie Pride meant Jayson Maddux had to stay involved. He just had to find a way.
So he found his voice.
A senior at Prairie High School, the former quarterback of the football team is now the public address announcer for the football team.
“As one final hurrah and to be involved, I asked Mr. Castro if I could do the announcing,” Maddux said. “I knew everybody on the team. No way I was going to mess up their names.”
Jason Castro, the school’s athletic director, liked the idea and put Maddux behind the microphone.
“My No. 1 goal was to get the crowd involved,” Maddux said. “I have a little bit of an advantage. I know what it feels like to be on the field. Crowd involvement is so underrated. If I can get the crowd to have more fun and want to cheer more, that’s going to make our football team better.”
A year ago, playing football was Maddux’s best option to help the team. His junior season was cut short, though.
“I played six games and nine plays,” he said.
Yes, he remembers exactly when he broke his collarbone in two places in Week 7 last season.
His immediate, emotional reaction right then was that he was done. After breaking a leg in sixth grade, breaking the other collarbone in the eighth grade, as well as suffering from concussions, he had had enough.
“After everything calmed down, I still wanted my last year. I still wanted to play,” Maddux said.
As his latest injury healed, he returned to the weight room. He was getting himself mentally prepared to return to the field, as well.
Then in early June, spring practice arrived.
“Why am I here?” he asked himself.
“I love everybody on my team. I like all my coaches. The game was not fun anymore, though.”
He was concerned with all the injuries he had in the past and the risks involved in playing one more season.
“From a long-distance health standpoint, that’s where I was at,” he said.
Maddux had a “very emotional” talk with his coach when he told Mike Peck he was going to walk away from the football field. A couple weeks later, Peck noted Maddux looked happier.
He was. Still a little sad over not playing but no longer under the stress. A football player must be all-in in order to excel. Maddux was not, and once he came to terms with that, his life improved, he said.
He was not completely done with football, though.
Maddux had volunteered to announce Clark County Youth Football games in the past.
“I had been told a lot of times I was pretty good at it, and I had fun doing it,” he said.
He figured he would ask to perform this talent for the high school team, his team, for his school.
He was in the booth for the first game of the season.
“Wow. It was really, really weird being up here and not down there,” he recalled thinking.
“That’s crazy. That’s not me,” he said, looking down on the field from high above District Stadium.
“It was definitely weird to see somebody else in my number,” Maddux said.
Logan Kimball, a sophomore, wears No. 18 this season for the Falcons.
“I joked with Peck that we should have retired it,” Maddux said of the number. “Didn’t happen.”
Maddux said he has had one embarrassing moment. He was a little too quick to ask for everyone to stand for the national anthem. Apparently, the anthem was still minutes away from being performed.
“Never mind,” Maddux said over the speakers. “You guys can sit back down.”
When Prairie hosted Battle Ground, he welcomed the visiting “Cleveland Browns” to District Stadium, an salute to Battle Ground’s new uniforms.
Maddux is part of the leadership team at Prairie. By being the voice at football games, he is hoping to achieve the goal set by the leadership class.
“We’re just really trying to make it fun,” he said. “We all have a say in making our school a better place.”
Everyone has a voice, after all.
It just so happens, Jayson Maddux has the added advantage of having a microphone, too.