WILLIAMSBURG — Perry Woods always loved sports, but while he didn’t play much, he still wanted to contribute to aspects of live events.
Thanks to his grandmother and her muscular dystrophy awareness baseball tourney, he got his chance by calling games.
“I’ve always loved sports, it’s never been about just one sport either. My grandmother had started a muscular dystrophy benefit baseball tournament in the late ’70s. Once she had passed, my mother took over the tournament and we had some seven, eight, and nine-year-olds playing in the tourney and everyone wanted me to announce for the little kids when I was 16,” Woods said.
New to the PA announcing game, Woods had to get creative with making up phrases and antics on the spot. It was during that experience that he realized his trajectory in life.
During college, Woods announced games for the Newport News Apprentice School baseball team. He hasn’t stopped since.
Now, Woods has called games at places like Towne Bank Stadium, the Hampton Coliseum, Barclays Center, Carnesecca Arena, War Memorial Stadium, Hampton University, Long Island University Brooklyn, Norfolk State University, Lionsbridge FC, Saint John’s University, Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA, Christopher Newport University, and the NCAA Northeast Conference Volleyball Tournament, just to name a few.
Woods said he is living his dream, combining his love of sports and his love of using his voice.
“It all really started because I loved sports. As I continued, people were telling me how much of a good job I did and how much they loved my energy. I had always told myself ‘I want to bring energy to whatever game I’m calling, whether it be volleyball, football, or baseball, but I don’t want people to remember my name, I want people to remember the name of the group I am announcing for,'” Woods said.
Woods always wanted to be the PA announcer who added to the environment of the game.
“I never tried to take control and approach it as ‘I’m the announcer, you should be listening to me,’ it was more of, I want to give these players all of the respect that they deserve,” Woods said.
Many don’t realize that as the announcer, Woods is often in charge of playing the music, rotating the graphics on the Jumbotron, and reading the attitude of the crowd. Woods must also be knowledgeable about whatever sport he is calling.
“You really have to be a one-man show. Most of what I do is controlling the music, I’ll do all the art on the video boards, I’ll do all of that while I’m also trying to pay attention to the action on the court to provide the best experience for the crowd,” Woods said.
In terms of a dream PA gig, Woods has already crossed off a major one with Barclays Center, but he would love to get the nod to call any of the major NCAA tournaments.
“I feel like basketball has kind of become my favorite sport to announce live so I would love to call a game at Madison Square Garden,” Woods said.
Overall, Woods never imagined he’d be doing what he loves, but he’s grateful every day for the opportunities presented to him by various sports teams in the area.
“All of this feels very nostalgic to me. Not just for myself, but for the sports that I’m involved with. When they ask me to be their announcer, and the team does so well, it’s a special feeling to be a part of the ride. Whether it’s a good or bad season, I’m always going to be there to root for that home team as much as possible,” Woods said.
To keep up with Perry, visit his website at perrywoodsvoice.com.