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Q&A with WEIS football play-by-play broadcaster Will Davis

New WEIS play-by-play football broadcaster Will Davis. Photo Special to WEIS.

For the 2022 high school football season, WEIS welcomes two new additions to the sports crew, 24-year-old Will Davis and 27-year-old Trent Dickeson. The duo will be on the call of the Foothills Tractor High School Football Game of the Week this season, beginning on Thursday, Aug. 18 for the Sand Rock at Spring Garden game.

“For the past 25 years, Nolen Sanford has been our anchor broadcaster, and he’s done an excellent job,” WEIS general manager Jerry Baker said. “Nolen wants to slow down a little bit and spend more time closer to home, but he’s still going to be with us for the first few games in a support and advisory role. He’s going to help acclimate our two new broadcasters Will Davis and Trent Dickeson. Will is going to be doing play-by-play and Trent will be our color analyst. I think both are very well suited for this situation. Both of them bring years of experience with them.

“Will has been broadcasting in Tennessee for several years doing play-by-play and as a color analyst. Trent who not only brings broadcast experience from other stations for the past three years, but he also has been an official on the football field and in the basketball gym. He brings a lot of experience with him to be able to do a great job.

“Trent, our color analyst, has just finished up his master’s degree at the University of Florida. He is bringing his master’s in sports management. Will is working on his master’s this year at Shorter, so he’ll be doing that while he’s broadcasting with us. Both bring not only a high degree of talent, but education.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have that quality. We’ve had top caliber people for years, and I think we’ve been able to match that with these young men.”

WEIS Radio Sports Director Shannon Fagan recently talked with Davis and Dickeson for a question-and-answer session. Today’s feature is on Davis. Dickeson’s feature will follow on Saturday.

Q: Will, how excited are you to begin your first football season with WEIS?

A: “I’ve had lots of experience. I’ve been to a lot of radio stations, and from what I can tell, Jerry Baker and a lot of the other staff at WEIS radio, I’m just really, really excited. Everybody’s happy. Everybody’s lively, friendly. It’s one of the most unique environments I’ve ever seen. I’m just super, super excited.”

Q: Just talk a little about your background, maybe some ties to the area.

A: “My grandparents (Phil and Margaret Davis) are from Centre. They’ve moved to Georgia. That’s kind of where they raised my family. My dad (Lance Davis) is from this area. So is my mom (Dana Davis). They kind of met in Cave Spring (Ga.). We’re around Centre a lot. I grew up here. I’ve been around Cave Spring. I’ve also been around Centre to a degree. We love coming down here all the time – Christmas, summer. It’s just a great environment and I’m just excited to be back and very, very happy.”

Q: You’re going to be teaming with another young up-and-coming broadcaster. What’s it like for you to be growing with someone close to your own age?

A: “That’s something I’ve had before. In the past when I’ve done broadcasting, I have a tremendous amount of basketball experience. I’ve broadcasted basketball for over seven years. For the last two years (at WZYX in Cowan, Tenn.), I’ve had my own personal color commentator, Amanda Rider. She has a lot of experience in basketball. She is a big softball player. We both met at Martin Methodist College. We love calling basketball. The last two years when I was in radio, I said ‘Hey, can you come along and broadcast with me?’ She filled in as a wonderful color. She was nervous going on the air, but I brought her along and absolutely love the way we banter back and forth. We really connect on the air. She was about a year younger than I was. To have somebody the same age as me, kind of a similar situation, that just speaks volumes to me and it really makes me know that things are going to be all right and we’re going to be able to work together.”

Q: Which games are the most intriguing to you on this season’s broadcast schedule?

A: “I’ve heard a lot about how good football is here in talking with Jerry Baker. From looking at the schedule with WEIS radio, it’s a jam-packed schedule with a lot of great games, matchups that people want to listen to and the people really support in Cherokee County.”

Q: Just talk about getting your feet wet, so to speak, with that first game we’re going to do. It’s a Thursday night game between Sand Rock and Spring Garden, two county rivals.

A: “There’s nothing better than starting out high school football season than with a rivalry. I come from rivalry football. You can compare this one to Alabama and Auburn. I graduated from Coffee County Central High School (Manchester, Tenn.). Our big rival was Tullahoma. Sand Rock and Spring Garden, that kind of matchup, I know everybody will be out for blood in that game. I’m super-excited to call that.”

Q: You’re going to be following a distinguished line of WEIS football broadcasters, with the last two being veterans Nolen Sanford and Mike Hathcock. How proud are you to be picking up and carrying that torch from veteran guys like Nolen and Mike?

A: “When I heard the years of experience both those guys had, I kind of said ‘How in the world am I going to fill those shoes?’ Hearing all they did and all the things those guys have accomplished, the experience they’ve had, that’s what’s motivating me. It’s kind of giving me a challenge. I’m always looking for the next challenge. I want to carry on that same legacy, just kind of continue on that and build, and make a great broadcast on WEIS.”

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

A: “With Trent being a high school referee, going around different ball games and being an official, that right there is one of the most important parts of a broadcast. That’s the biggest reason why I’m excited. He’s an official. He knows the rules. He knows the procedures, the flow of the game, everything that goes into it. One of the problems I have, being up in the booth, being up in the press box, some of my famous words are ‘I guess they saw something I did not.’ I’m very excited to have someone who can point out things like that. That is really going to fine-tune the broadcast and make everything just spectacular.”

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