ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – With his deep raspy voice that’s familiar to Abilene High fans, Chuck Statler has seen it all over the years.
“I’ve been doing Abilene High and AISD sports since 1990,” said Chuck Statler.
From championship victories to heartbreaking losses, his passion for the game is evident in every word he speaks.
Statler said, “This is kind of my hobby with a free chili dog every Friday night.”
This year marks the 43rd season for Statler to announce sports, including Abilene High School football. His first broadcasting gig came in 1981 for the same Breckenridge radio station that occasionally called his name.
“After I finished my career in the Army, I went back to my hometown of Breckenridge and had an opportunity to go into radio
sales,” said Statler.
“Well, anybody that’s ever been in broadcast knows if you do something once, you’re expected to do it forever. That includes taking the trash out or maintaining the transmitter. And I got to do a football game and I just from then on, it was my job to play by play.”
Since 1998, Statler has served as Taylor County commissioner for prescient 4.
“Well with my day job with the county I normally walk through our juvenile detention facility once or twice a month. And whenever I see those kids and I come out here, we’re seeing good kids doing good things and behaving themselves. And I just hope that the entire community appreciates the good kids,” Statler added.
But as the sun dips below the horizon and the stadium’s lights come to life casting a warm glow over the field, it’s time for Texas high school football.
“I’ll see people in the grocery store or in the church parking lot, and they go, hey, I really enjoyed you talking about how the two defensive ends said I’ll go to the left, you go to the right, we’ll meet as the quarterback. So there’s a lot of good stories that we could use.”
And the thrill of being in the press box behind the mic is still there.
“Let’s go back to 2009, Abilene High versus Cedar Hill and they’re playing in Birdville,” said Statler. Cedar Hill, one of the running backs
got stopped at the five yard line. So the Eagles lined up and their version of the Wildcat, they called it the Dirty Bird. Herschel Sims stepped to the right and went down the hash line and you could tell he going to blitz and he just got it in. That’s still the most exciting call I’ve every been blessed to be able to share with the audience so, that’s my favorite play.”
He’s the voice of the Eagles, and his four decades of dedication to his work is as unshakable as the West Texas wind.
“Mothers, grandmothers, friends, they want to hear what’s going on. And I hope that storytellers have another generation and the one after that,” Statler said.