From booth to baseline, Walrath shines

Jenny King, Channels Contributor

Rick Walrath is more than just the announcer and scorekeeper for City College sports. He is a man of much wisdom and experience, one with nothing but good intentions for the students he works with.
“Doing this job has taught me that it doesn’t matter what you do to help the kids, just as long as you help them. Whatever you do will have an impact on them and they will remember you down the road,” he said.
Walrath started announcing sports while he was attending Dos Pueblos High School and thirty years later, is still their announcer. He said he loves announcing because he has always felt passionate about sports and wanted to be involved in some way.
Walrath started announcing for City College in 1997 after getting involved with the sports program when he donated money to the struggling volleyball team.
He was unsure about whether Dos Pueblos would still have a need for him at the time, so he applied for a job as an announcer at City College.
This year, Walrath took over as the announcer for the football team for the first time. He was called in with about an hour’s notice and arrived on time and ready to announce the season opener.
“He did a great job,” said head football coach Reggie Bolton. “We hope he’ll do it next year.”
A self-described “glass half full kind of guy,” Walrath has had to overcome a fair share of challenges to get to where he is today.
He explained that he was born with Spina Bifida, which has kept him wheelchair bound all his life, but quickly added, “That’s never stopped me.” He was also diagnosed with kidney disease in 1995 which added more complications to his life.
Walrath wants to make sure that his time spent working with the kids at City College is well spent and that everyone might be able to learn a few lessons from him. He said what he wants most is for everyone to realize that for most of them, sports is only a temporary part of their lives, but education is the basis for the future.
“The message I want to get across to the kids is that they need to have a backup plan. Education is the first priority. I have seen too many athletes get hurt and not know what to do with the rest of their lives,” he said.
He also wants to use the opportunity he has working in sports to make a difference. He feels strongly about the importance of women’s sports and wants to help put them in the spotlight.
Walrath has worked with female athletes in the past and has seen firsthand the passion and heart that they put into their game.
“One of the reasons I’m still involved with sports is because I’m a firm believer in women’s sports and I want to do what I can to promote them,” he said. “If I can do my part, I will. I don’t see the stands filled anymore. They’re missing good stuff.”
Walrath hopes to continue announcing as long as his health holds out and as long as City College wants to keep him around.
For him, being the sports announcer is more than just a job. It’s another accomplishment to add to his extensive list.
“I really value the time that I’m here,” he said.
“It’s not often you find a job where you get to wake up every day and feel like you’re doing something important. I really enjoy every minute of it.”
-Jenny King is a
Journalism 101 student