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 feature. Today’s feature is on Dickeson. Davis’s feature ran on Friday.
Q: How excited are you to begin your first football season with WEIS?
A: “I’m real excited. I’ve been doing football for a couple of years now, but excited to come over to WEIS. It’s a new opportunity to cover multiple teams. I’m from Cherokee County, so I’m familiar with all the schools. I’m excited to go back to all the high schools in the area and call teams I’ve played against or grew up watching.”
Q: Just talk a little about your background, maybe some ties to the area.
A: “I went to Spring Garden. I graduated in 2013. The last couple of years I got into broadcasting with WCKA calling Piedmont games. I went to Jacksonville State, so I’ve been a local boy the whole time.”
Q: You’re going to be teaming with another young up-and-coming broadcaster in Will Davis. What’s it like for you to be growing with someone close to your own age?
A: “I think it will be a fun experience. I’ve worked with a few different broadcasters. I never actually worked with someone my age. It should be fun working with a guy who’s close to my age. We’ll probably have similar mindsets. Being able to grow with someone, maybe become a broadcast partner for several years as we grow together and figure each other out, learn each other’s ins and outs, what makes us tick, maybe we’ll play off each other well.”
Q: Something unique you bring to the table is you have that perspective of an official. You’ve officiated games before. Could you talk about that aspect of what you bring to the table?
A: “I refereed football for two years and I’ve refereed basketball for about six years, maybe seven. It’s a different perspective. It’s not an easy job. I have a lot of respect for officials. I know they’re the easiest ones to blame. I have a deep respect for them because it is a hard job. I’ve done it. I was beginning to figure it out when I got into football broadcasting, so I had to quit that, but I still did basketball. I got into a few playoff games. I got into a sub-region game once. I understand the backside of the game, what the guys in the striped shirts are looking at, what they’re going through, how they prepare for a game, how they talk to each other. I know some of the more technical terms as well, some of the less commonly known rules and plays that confuse a lot of people. I had to learn them.”
Q: Just talk about getting your feet wet, so to speak, with that first game you’re going to do for WEIS. It’s a Thursday night game between Sand Rock and Spring Garden, two county rivals, and you’re quite familiar with Spring Garden since you graduated from there. How excited are you for the season opener?
A: “It is exciting for that to be the first game. It’s going to be fun. I know the rivalry that Spring Garden and Sand Rock have in football, basketball, all sports. It’s a big deal. Whether it was at Sand Rock or at Spring Garden, both sides of the stadium was going to be packed between the two. It didn’t matter if one team was having a down year, or both teams were having a down year. Everybody showed up because they wanted to beat the other team. You wanted to get that win in a rivalry game. It’s a big game for both communities. Both communities show up and show out for it.”
Q: What are some of the other games that are most intriguing to you on this season’s broadcast schedule?
A: “One that stands out is that Anniston-Piedmont game. I know it’s not a Cherokee County game, but I have called Piedmont games, so it’ll be fun to go back there in a different broadcast booth that night. That’ll be a fun one. Sand Rock and Cedar Bluff is another one of those games. I think it’s the week after the Sand Rock-Spring Garden game. It’s another one of those small community games where they both have that rivalry with each other. Both teams want to win, beat each other to get those bragging rights. You carry it over to basketball season, baseball season. Piedmont at Cherokee County is a big deal as well. That’s the battle of Highway 9, so you want to get those bragging rights.”
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?
A: “It is an honor. I’m definitely not those two guys. I’m not trying to be. They’re very well respected, very highly thought of. I hope to get in that conversation one day to be like that as a broadcaster. I’m not trying to take their place. I’m just hoping to get in the conversation with them and do my own thing. It is an honor though to be in the broadcast booth and work for a company that those two men have worked for.
“I’m just excited. I appreciate WEIS for bringing me on board. I’m looking forward to doing the best I can for all the county schools and the other schools in the listening area. I’ll do my best for both teams we have (each week) and give them the best coverage I can.”