By Scott Warden
SHINGLE SPRINGS — For decades air waves have been graced with the smooth Shakespearean eloquence of Vin Scully, the outrageous, exciteable tones of John Madden, the cool, calm delivery of the irreplaceable Harry Kalas and the speedy wit hammered out by Chick Hearn.
Each one will be forever remembered for their own distinct and unforgettable style of announcing a game.
There is a man in the heart of Shingle Springs, however, who could have held his own with the likes of Scully, Madden, Kalas and Hearn. Known simply as the voice of the Bruins, Jack O’Camb, in his 35-year career announcing Ponderosa football games, has delighted Bruin fans with his style that combined excitement and fun.
“Over all the years what has been the most important thing is that we have always had fun. There also have been great memories and moments that I will always remember,” O’Camb said during his final stint behind the mike.
One of his memories centers around a playoff game a long time ago when the press box was still a rickety, little wooden booth. The wind was blowing and the rain was falling and then the lights went out. The teams were determined to play the game and after three hours of waiting the lights came back on, illuminating a field that looked like a lake. The game was suspended anyway.
O’Camb enjoyed all the people he met through the years and of course, the cookies the cheerleaders brought to the booth for every game.
Asked why he was stepping away, O’Camb said, “Well they finally found someone to take the position after all these years. I only took the announcing position until they were able to find someone else.”
That was how the “Sound of the Bruins” got his start — filling in temporarily until the school could find someone willing to commit to a season of Friday night games. With his great sense of humor, smooth delivery and tremendous feel for the game O’Camb just kept announcing year after year.
Now he’s ready to let someone else step into the role and O’Camb is looking forward to watching the games from the stands in the future.
There will never be another Jack O’Camb, however. The “Sound of the Bruins” will forever echo through Shingle Springs as long as there are football games on Friday nights.
Thanks, Jack, for the many years of great moments and memories.