‘Krashing’ the party with IR football announcer
Every Friday night, a voice echoes over Frankford and Dagsboro. It’s Friday night football at Indian River High School, and announcer Steve Kraushaar is getting amped.
Known as “Krash” since the tenth grade, he’s been the voice of IR football for seven seasons.
“It gives me a chance to do what I do best: run my mouth,” Kraushaar said.
His long, gray hair reaches halfway down his back, always topped with a green and gold bandana, which he sewed together himself in 2011.
“I wanted something different to wear,” and when IR went undefeated that year, the bandana and green IR shirt became staples in his Friday night wardrobe, unwashed from August until the final game of each season.
As an electrician and school bus driver by day, Kraushaar arrives 90 minutes before kickoff to eat, breathe and review the rosters.
The press box looks like a short hallway with windows and countertop facing the field. Kraushaar ignores the folding chairs, preferring to stand (or pace, depending on how badly the Indians need a first down).
The box can hardly contain him. Kraushaar throws open the sliding window; even glass will not impede his vision. He greets every coach, official and broadcaster who climbs a ladder behind him to the rooftop.
His voice bounces to the microphone, even when he means to turn down the volume, which has accounted for a few errant broadcasts.
Kraushaar recaps every play, always naming students from both teams. Offense and defense get equal play in his book.
“You gotta try and not be biased. At the same time, it is our field, it is our stadium,” said Kraushaar.
“He tries to give the visiting team their dues, too,” said Ray Steele, head football coach
Over the loudspeakers he sounds fairly neutral, until IR scores, which merits an extra rumble, “Touchdowwwwn, Indians!”
But off the air, Kraushaar is any other football fan, quietly encouraging the team and loudly analyzing plays with other folks in the box, the scoreboard and broadcast staff,
“As you see, we probably have a little more fun than we should,” Kraushaar joked. “Who said anything about being professional?”
Plus, if the fans are getting a little too quiet, he’ll lean out and alert the top few rows or wake them up with a “First dowwwn, Indians!”
“He does a fantastic job,” said Steele. “I hear him pre-game. He does a great job getting the crowd going.”
His favorite play is when IR quarterbacks take a knee to finish and win a game.
Kraushaar likes to stay positive by highlighting good plays, not calling out players who make mistakes.
“Everybody saw who dropped it. These are kids. They’re not paid … a million dollars to play,” he said. “You don’t call them out when they drop the ball. It’s all in fun.”
The best moment of Kraushaar’s announcing career was actually a night he wasn’t working. He watched his son, an IR senior, play on the state championship team of 2011.
Now his son has graduated, and his daughter is an IR sophomore.
“I enjoy it. I’ll keep going ‘til I lose my voice,” he said. “It’s all fun.”
Kraushaar had also announced some Pop Warner football and IR baseball.
“It’s a great thing for him to give back to the kids,” said Todd Fuhrmann, athletic director. “We really appreciate everything he has done, and it makes the game go by smoother. He … really keeps things positive.”
After each game, Kraushaar turns off the microphone, tosses the rosters in a pile and closes the press box. He’ll be back the next week, ready to narrate the Indians’ next showdown.
“I’m still here because I enjoy it, and apparently everyone still enjoys it,” Kraushaar said. “It’s special. I’m only here because of the football team. … Those boys are what make it possible every Friday night.”