New announcers carry on the torch following the Mark Slattery era


As a whole, athletes thrive on hearing their name announced over the loudspeakers, especially when they hear a familiar one. That voice becomes part of their routine, part of their game. It’s safe to say that Larned athletes got used to hearing Mark Slattery’s voice over the years, and the absence of his voice created a whole new feel at LHS sporting events. As the years go on, the torch has to be passed from one announcer to the next, despite how much the previous announcer will be missed. The torch now has been passed onto Jennifer Fitzpatrick and Ryan Webster. Both Fitzpatrick and Webster have been announcing since 2021 to present time. 

Pastor Mark Slattery was Larned High School’s sports announcer for over ten years. He announced football games and basketball games as well. Pastor Mark was passionate about announcing, and even after he was diagnosed with cancer, he still found the energy to come support our athletics. When he passed away, everyone knew that someone had to step up and fill the position and become the new “voice of Larned.”

Towards the middle of Mark’s battle with cancer, Chemistry teacher Jennifer Fitzpatrick took it on herself to take on some of Pastor Mark’s announcing responsibilities. When Fitzpatrick was interviewed by The Tribe Times, she described her decision to take over the basketball announcer role as follows: “I chose to help out for basketball because Mark was sick, and I figured he needed the help, so I started doing basketball.”  Fitzpatrick is Larned High School’s chemistry teacher and is known around the school for always being willing to lend  a hand, and the community appreciates her choice to step up and take on the torch Pastor Mark passed down to her. 

Another well-known announcer that has stepped up to the plate was Pastor Ryan Webster. He started his announcing career ten years ago as well, and was side by side working with Mark. Ryan had helped Mark call the game, and he was responsible for watching who was making tackles or running the ball. He would pass the information to Mark and Mark would announce it to the crowd. Over the last three years, Ryan had started announcing middle school games when Mark wasn’t able to. He wanted to help out as much as he could and support Mark during his fight with cancer. After Mark passed, he was asked by our athletic director if he would like to be the new announcer for our football games.

“I chose to announce simply because I love supporting LHS athletics. It’s a great honor to continue the traditions Mark started years ago, and probably one of my greatest joys in announcing is being able to call one of my own kids names over the mic,” commented Webster. 

It’s definitely a change for our new announcers, but it’s also a new change for the athletes as well. They know that Mark is thankful for them stepping up, and he also knew that passing the torch to them was the right thing to do. All three of Mark’s sons, who play football, were asked what it was like hearing someone else’s voice other than their dad’s over the loudspeakers, and they all responded in different ways. Junior Ricky Slattery responded with “it was different that’s for sure, and also pretty sad.” Christopher Slattery, sophomore, replied “It was hard for the first game and I got more used to it as the games went on, but it was definitely hard especially during the moment of silence we had for him.” Lastly Christian Slattery, freshman, commented “it was very sad. It wasn’t really a new environment for me, but it just made me miss my dad more.” 

All LHS athletes are extremely grateful for Mark’s commitment and faithfulness towards our Larned athletics and are very thankful for those who took the reins and filled the big shoes that Mark has left here for the rest of us.