By Benjamin Ramirez
Students hear his voice bellow through the metal bleachers in John Elway Stadium on warm Friday nights in fall, echo through the league and city championship banners in Bryce Schurr Gymnasium during the winter, and enlighten spectators and players alike at Darryl Stroh Field in the spring. Armed with a seemingly bottomless knowledge of sports, and a voice meant to project, Granada Hills Charter High School’s sports announcer, Steve Brevidoro, 60, is truly at home behind the mic.
At the end of the 2016-2017 school year, Brevidoro will have completed nine years as a volunteer announcer and does not plan on turning off the mic any time soon. Still full of life, he is yet another example of how sports keep people young.
“[Announcing] keeps me young and in touch with what is happening with the young people,” Brevidoro said.
Inspired by the great Los Angeles sports announcers like Vin Scully and Chick Hearn, and being a tri-sport athlete in high school, Brevidoro considers himself to be a sports junkie. He volunteers as the school sports announcer, and has for nine years, because of the joy it brings him.
“If I had known that I would enjoy it this much and that my voice over the microphone works like it does, I would have done it in high school. Now, I am just doing it for fun. Capturing the excitement for the crowd excites me,” Brevidoro said.
Brevidoro becoming the school’s announcer was almost a fluke. He was not originally asked by the athletic director or scouted out by someone on one of the sports teams, he was in the right place at the right time.
Whilst talking to him on a bench behind the endzone on the football field, he cracked a smile as he began telling the story. Despite being my third time hearing it, I was eager to hear him paint the picture yet again.
To get a closer look at the game, Brevidoro snuck onto the football field during the game. Originally, he was asked to leave the field, but the athletic director at the time, Richard Hulse, called him back and gave him a field pass, allowing him to stay.
“I do not know why he did that. He let me stay and we became friends [as well as with] the other athletic director Rick Charls, and then I began announcing,” Brevidoro said.
Brevidoro began with introducing names at the beginning of girls volleyball games where his daughter was a member of the team. Hearing his voice over the microphone, he realized that he knack for announcing. He began bugging Charls to allow him to announce for basketball.
“He finally allowed me to do that and that is how I got into announcing. [I went] from being asked to get off the field, to being asked to announce all the sports,” Brevidoro said.
He is now the announcer for football, basketball, and baseball, as well as soccer, stunt, volleyball, and track and field, occasionally.
The 2016-2017 school year has been different though. Coming as a surprise this past November, Brevidoro underwent quadruple bypass surgery; a procedure meant to fix arteries in the heart.
“The heart surgery snuck up on me. I did not realize what was happening. I have a greater outlook on life now and I do not take things so seriously,” Brevidoro said.
In light of his heart surgery, Athletic Director, Christina Scotti, and Student Services Director, Norm Holloway, asked me to fill in for Brevidoro until he returned from recovering.
Walking toward the scoring table prior to the first boys basketball game of the season against Grant High School, I heard a man ask someone for the microphone – at the time I did not know what Brevidoro looked like – and sit down, pulling out his roster sheets and glasses to prep for the game.
Coming just weeks after his surgery, Brevidoro did not miss a beat. Nor did he miss a single game. He made it clear that he was not ready to give announcing up just yet.
Now in the midst of baseball season, he sits with his mic in hand at the announcer’s table next to junior pitcher, Jake D’Ull, who is currently sidelined with an elbow injury, comparing scars and cracking jokes throughout the game.
Brevidoro is a model for how a love for sports can morph into an amazing ability. He continues to be a heartwarming familiar voice for Highlanders of past and present, and will be an enduring presence around Granada Hills Charter for many years to come.