F-M sports announcer earns national award

The voice of Fayetteville-Manlius School District athletics was recently recognized by a national association.

In November, the National Association of Sports Public Address Announcers (NASPAA) named Mr. Thomas Winiecki its 2016-17 Bob Sheppard High School PA Announcer of the Year Award recipient. The award is the heart of the organization’s national recognition program for sports public address announcers, according to NASPAA.

“We could not be more thrilled for Tom,” said NASPAA Executive Director Brad Rumble. “Like Bob Sheppard, he represents the best in announcing.”

For more than 50 years, Mr. Sheppard was the stadium announcer for the New York Yankees. His professionalism became the standard for sports announcers and he is considered to be one of the best sports announcers ever, Mr. Rumble said.

“Being given an award named after someone as iconic and professional as Bob Sheppard is a tremendous honor,” Mr. Winiecki said.

Mr. Winiecki teaches physical education at Mott Road Elementary School and for more than 35 years has been announcing F-M varsity football and basketball games. He also announces field hockey, baseball, and boys’ and girls’ soccer and lacrosse games at F-M, has announced New York state championship soccer and lacrosse games, and is the commentator for field hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse games at Syracuse University.

“As a public address announcer, being mentioned in the same breath as Bob Sheppard is like being compared to John Wooden, Walt Alston or Vince Lombardi as a coach, or Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan or Jim Brown as an athlete,” NASPAA Board of Directors member Jeff Kurtz said. “There could be no higher form of praise in this field. It means you are recognized as one of the best at what you do.”