Under the Friday night lights, Chandler Ducote is gaining valuable experience that serves as the foundation for his bright future.
The 18-year-old Zachary High School student is known as the “Voice of the Broncos” as the play-by-play man for the baseball team and now the football team’s ongoing LHSAA playoff run.
Ducote, the school’s sports director, does extensive research prior to games.
“I do a write-up on the team being played, profile the coach, the team record, including strengths and weaknesses,” Ducote said to The Advocate. “We will be better prepared, so I won’t be saying ‘No. 24 is running down the field’. Or, ‘there is a Belaire Bengal running down the field.'”
Ducote worked his way up to play-by-play announcer since starting three years ago at WZHS, the school broadcast station.
In addition to listening to professional broadcasters to get insight, Ducote praises the Bronco’s coaching staff for getting him prepared for his role.
The determined Ducote made school history two years ago in the classroom.
“Chandler was the first sophomore that was allowed in the [journalism] program and it is extremely difficult as a sophomore,” Zachary High School journalism teacher Debby Lowery said to The Advocate. “The sophomores that are in are beyond mature.”
Ducote always goes above and beyond to provide the listeners with an informative experience.
“Each week, I try to do a stand-up because it looks better, but sometimes under a time crunch, you have to do a voice-over,” Ducote said to The Advocate.
Full Playoff Hype Video is on the Zachary High Football Facebook page! Credit to Chandler Ducote and PJ Cannon! pic.twitter.com/wCKOrq8X7a
— Zachary High Football (@ZHSBroncoFB) November 9, 2018
On a weekly basis, the ambitious student juggles school, WZHS and a part-time job as a busboy at Walk-Ons.
The defining moment that cemented broadcasting as Ducote’s path occurred a year ago when he heard a speech from CBS sports broadcaster Mark Grant at a Louisiana Scholastic Press Association.
“He was talking about how in high school that he got by doing the bare minimum,” Ducote said to The Advocate. “That’s a lot like me; if I’m not passionate about something, I’m not going to devout all this time to it.”
Grant was previously a pre-med major before discovering his passion for sports broadcasting which resulted in fulfillment in his life.
Ducote intends to enroll in Baton Rouge Community College in the fall and then wants to transfer to LSU or another broadcast journalism program to continue his budding career.
“It was just like he was speaking to me,” Ducote said to The Advocate. “Like, man this is my life 40 years ahead of time.”