BY PHIL CUSTODIO
Clarkston News Editor
It’s the end of an era for Clarkston sports – Dale Ryan is retiring as the Voice of the Wolves after 29 years in the announcers’ booth.
“Mr Ryan will truly be missed,” said Jeff Peariso, teacher at Clarkston Junior High School, posting on The Clarkston News Facebook page. “I have taught at Clarkston for 28 years and getting to know him has been one of the great highlights of my career. He is a very caring and genuine person.”
The one and only Voice of the Wolves,” said Cheri Dacus.
“One of the greatest stories of humility, love of his community, excellence in all he did and dedication to the youth of Clarkston. A truly great man,” said Michael Blicher. “Thank you, Dale, and the great team in the booth that made it all seamlessly flow.”
“A legend! It won’t be the same,” said Kelly Hyer. “Not only does he have a great voice but incredibly nice guy too!”
Ryan, who retired from Sea-Ray boats in 1989, is retiring from announcing to spend more time with his grandkids, he said.
For almost three decades, he announced varsity, junior varsity, and junior high football, as well as boys and girls basketball.
“These kids really want to achieve and they play their hearts out. The high school kids are the real thing,” he said. “It’s kind of neat. You get to watch these kids grow up and see what they become.”
He’ll still announce Clarkston’s Fourth of July parade and will stay active with the Clarkston Area Optimists Club.
“That’s one of my other passions,” he said.
“He has been great and will really be missed,” said Becky McChesney. “A long and memorable run! Glad he is still doing the parade!”
Organizers were looking for someone to announce a 1988 Powder Puff game when Dale’s wife Linda, who was working as an aide at the school, asked if he was interested.
“I said, ‘oh sure, I’d love to do it,” Dale said. “So I got up there and had fun and when they needed someone to replace longtime announcer Bill Foster, they asked me if I wanted to do it.”
He had no formal broadcast training, but his made-for-the-airwaves voice quickly earned him the “Voice of the Wolves” moniker.
“A very special voice of a very special community, literally,” said Paul Biondi. “Unequalled. Unmistakable. Unsurpassable. Would love one more season behind the mic so we can appreciate what we have and give him the send off he deserves. Go C Town! Go Wolves!”
“Loved hearing his voice – better than (sportscaster Jim) Brandstatter,” said Deborah Schram.
“‘Moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas.’ I still remember that all these years later,” said Brad Monastiere, former Clarkston News sports writer. “A great blend of objectivity and enthusiasm. Gave Clarkston athletics a first-class presentation.”
“There will never be another Voice of the Wolves,” said Karen Tinkis. “Great job, Dale! What an awesome accomplishment.”
“His voice seriously feels like home,” said Kristina Ronan.
“We love you Dale and we will definitely miss you,” said David Yarber. “You helped keep the chain gang on their toes! Go Wolves!”
Dale is a “one in a million,” said Kellie McClure.
“Definitely a voice for the ages,” McClure said. “Clarkston is a better place because of him!”
Dale and Linda moved to Clarkston in 1974, and sent both boys through Clarkston Community Schools – Jeffery graduated in 1990, Eric in 1993.
In addition to his volunteer work, Dale also stays busy managing a couple of local apartment buildings.
“He has been awesome! Congratulations Dale on your retirement,” said Sheryl Baron. “Once a Wolf, always a Wolf! We will miss him!”
“He will definitely be missed,” said Alan Bartley.
“The best,” said Sheila Hughes.
“I remember the Independence parade where he and our Shana sat in the speakers’ stand and she sang the national anthem before he announced parade participants,” said Cathy Albery. “Pretty sure that was at least 25 years ago.”
“I hope the transition is easier for him than it is for everyone else. Happy trails,” said Donna Clancy.
“Thank you, Dale, for all your years of service, you are awesome,” said Karen Zezula.
“Great guy,” said Sue Hora.
BY PHIL CUSTODIO