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A Closer Look at the Life of Don Brooks, the Voice of the Chargers

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor
adam.brown@hottytoddy.com

Don Brooks is the voice of the Oxford Chargers. Photo submitted.

HottyToddy.com’s sports editor Adam Brown recently sat down with Don Brooks, the longtime voice of the Oxford High School Chargers. Brooks is a lifelong sports fan who is now fulfilling his dream of being a local sports broadcaster. 

Brown: Where did your love for sports come from?

Brooks: I fell in love with sports from the time I was about 7 years old. I started playing little league when I was 11 or 12. I would sit on the bed and get a Sporting News magazine that would have all of the MLB box scores in it. I would create a game right there and broadcast it on the bed.

At that time we didn’t have ESPN and we didn’t have sports 24/7. The only time I watched a game was the Game of the Week or the World Series. The teams I liked back then were the Dodgers, Phillies, Red Sox’s and the Braves. As I started getting older, I had one of those big stereos and I could listen to the games on the radio. The teams you could pick up locally where the Braves and the Cardinals. I listened to a lot of Skip Caray, Jack Buck, and Pete Van Wieren. I developed a love for it and put it on hold as I got older and played sports in high school. When I got out of college at Ole Miss in 1993 I was looking for something that I could do part-time that would be fun. I always wanted to be a broadcaster.

Brown: Where did you get your start?

Brooks: The Morgans in Bruce, Mississippi had a low-power television station on Channel 7. It would go out in an area that surrounded Calhoun County. The first game that I ever broadcast was a bowl game, “The Red Hills Classic” in Ackerman. It was Bruce vs. Kossuth. I enjoyed it so much that the following year in ’94 I was calling Bruce vs. Calhoun City. I then started broadcasting Bruce and Calhoun City exclusively for about four years. Calhoun City went to the state championship in ’94 and in ’95 lost to Taylorsville. Bruce won it all in ’96.

Channel 7 started to expand on some cable networks around ’97. I had already moved to Oxford and said that I would love to do Oxford and Lafayette sports. I began to develop friendships and got to know people in this area. In 1997 I started calling Oxford and Lafayette games. We would rotate each week with a tape-delayed cable television broadcast. 

Coach Johnny Hill came back to Oxford in 2000 and we developed a coach’s show that would have highlights and player interviews. During this whole time, Q 93.7 FM picked up Oxford and Lafayette games. They would alternate each week or pick the best game.

Brown: How did you become the voice of the Chargers?

Brooks: Coach Hill came to me in 2007 and said, ‘What can we do to get our own radio broadcast each week?’ After doing television this whole time we started looking for a radio station to broadcast it and Bullseye 95.5 FM was free every week with no Ole Miss games. I have called the Oxford games for 21 years, since 1997.

Brown: What has been your best game that you called?

Brooks: Each sport has a favorite game. In football, the 2015 Wayne County Championship game was my favorite as far as excitement and going back and forth…even though the Chargers lost. That was my favorite game that I thought Oxford should have won.

Denny Tosh and I were very fortunate to get to call three straight championship games in three places—the Picauyne game in Jackson, the Laurel game in ’14 was in Starkville and Wayne County was in Vaught-Hemingway.

Basketball-wise I have to say the championship game in 2001 against Lanier. Oxford only had nine players on the team and pulled off a win that nobody anticipated. The Chargers jumped out to a huge lead and they came storming back to where Oxford had to hold them off in the end. It was such a great atmosphere that Lanier had 90 percent of the fans. 

As for a home game, it was 2007 against New Hope. That was the loudest I have seen the gym at Oxford. We where doing TV then so I would have to turn my headset up as loud as I have ever had it into the monitor just to hear myself think. 

Baseball-wise would be the Chargers first championship in 2005. There really was never a doubt who was the better team against Petal at Smithwills as Chad Cregar hit the grand slam to give him the single-season RBI record. That was a special moment to call the grand slam.

The 2015 team was pretty special with a streak of connective wins going. In February and March, everybody knew the team had a chance to have something going. I don’t think anybody knew just how good the club was going to be. With a one-two punch of Houston Roth and Jason Barber, we won 32 games in a row. That game was a walk-off win by Ben Bianco against New Hope and the best call I ever had. The Chargers lost game two on a walk-off down there and came back and won game three at the Moak. I would say 2005 was fun, but the 2015 title was special.


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