Calling it like he sees it… Morgan enjoys being the voice behind the mic for Cloudland athletics

Published 12:26 pm Thursday, January 13, 2022

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As football season gets underway in Roan Mountain, one tradition is as familiar as the sight of players in helmets and pads: the voice of Scott Morgan streaming across the PA system on Friday nights.

Morgan, a graduate of Cloudland High’s Class of 1989, has been the Voice of the Highlanders for 33 years.

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“It’s kind of a strange story,” he said. “The guy that normally did it, something happened and he got mad and left and I was just coming to the game. I got my ticket and walked to the gate and Danny Winters met me at the gate and said, ‘Scott I need somebody to announce the game.’ I asked him what I needed to do and he told me just to introduce the players and the numbers … I did it that night and for the next few weeks, Coach Oaks always saw me at the store and asked me if I was going to do the games. It evolved from that to today.”

That was in 1990 and admittedly Morgan couldn’t even remember the team that had come to Roan Mountain — only the meeting at the gate with Winters.

Being behind the mic for all those years, Morgan has witnessed some of the most memorable games for Roan Mountain fans.

One of those games was the South Pittsburg game in 2001, a state semifinal contest with the winner advancing to the state championship. The second to come to mind was in 2000 when the Highlanders were in TSSAA Class 2-A.

The game was with the Oliver Springs Bobcats and the Highlanders were trailing 22-8 late in the contest. Cloudland quarterback Mark Byrd went to work and led his team back to an astonishing 24-22 victory.

Although many games have been played at Orr Field, those two were the two which stuck out the most to Morgan.

Morgan hasn’t limited his work to football. Shortly after starting, Rik Anderson approached Morgan and asked if he would be willing to help with basketball. That was in 1990 and Morgan called games for seven years before going back to school.

He has been back now for the last four years and also did a stint with Cloudland baseball when Coach Cory Rhodes was coaching.

The last couple of years have been challenging as Morgan’s oldest son, Colin, transferred to Hampton to play baseball when Cloudland’s baseball team got shuttered. Colin also was an instrumental part of the 2021 Hampton Bulldogs team that advanced to the Class 2-A State Championship.

With his son being at one school and he at another as the announcer, Morgan called the first five or six games of the 2021 season before a new teacher from Florida that came to Cloudland High took over for Morgan to allow him to be with his son for the remainder of his senior football campaign.

“Colin told me to continue doing the announcing at Cloudland because I had done it for so long,” Morgan said. “I told him this was his last year and I wanted to be there for him.”

The Cloudland community has a special place in the heart of those who grow up as a Highlander. Morgan said that the kids and the community are what keep him coming back year after year.

“The excitement on Friday nights is unreal,” Morgan said. “The only thing you talk about on Fridays is football. All the sports up here have brought the community together. I just started and I thought it wouldn’t last long. I enjoy doing it. Since I do live feed on my page now, it helps to generate a lot more excitement.”

Morgan also serves as the youth leader at Lower Shell Creek Christian Church. He had left the church for a 15-year span to work at Valley Forge Christian Church before returning in 2016 to Lower Shell Creek.

Currently, he ministers to approximately 35 young people and is always trying to do fun things with the youth, who range in age from preschool to college. He said that the church is blessed to have that many young people as many youth groups disappeared when COVID-19 struck.

“I think it really helps because they know me and my wife, Aleta, works in the school. Being there on Friday nights and then on Sunday they see you at church. I think it makes an impact and I think that’s what got Danny to ask me was because I started leading singing in church with my grandfather in the third grade. Kids are always looking for that connection with their youth leader.”

The Voice of the Highlanders has two other children — 15-year-old Eli and 13-year-old Kaylin. Eli plays basketball for Cloudland and Kaylin is a cheerleader and dancer at Watts Dance Studio.