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Coatneys show SCHS pride

October 11, 2018

How closely connected are you to Schuyler Central High School football games? Let’s find out.

Meet Ben and Matt Coatney. The pair possess special talents that make Warrior football games different than ANY … yes … ANY other football games in the state of Nebraska.

Ben is in his second year as the band director of the Schuyler Central High School Warriors marching band. As you may have noticed, this most energetic young man had done a tremendous job of rebuilding the high school group in his short stint as band director.

Ben’s father attended each home football game this season. Yes, he certainly was here to watch his son and his band but he also had another unique reason for being in the stadium for each home game.

Matt was not only the “Voice of the Warriors” this year on the gridiron, he is also a broadcaster of various sports at the University of Nebraska. Now don’t you wish you had asked him for that autograph before his last appearance of the season on Friday night?

The energetic son and the talented father certainly did help to make Schuyler home football games very entertaining during the 2018 home football season.

Are you wondering how in the world Matt ended up as the voice of the Warriors? We have Activity Director Jim Kasik to thank for that.

“He reached out to me in August,” Matt said, “and said that their previous public address announcer had retired. Since I planned on coming to most of the games anyway as I love watching Ben and his band, I had Ben do some checking for me and saw this as a way of being useful and being able to help out. I was honored to have been asked.”

And he doesn’t limit his broadcasting to just one sport.

“I’m going into my 20th year on the Nebraska women’s basketball broadcasts, and I’m in the middle of my sixth year as the studio anchor for football.”

One of the things that is very noticeable when speaking with Matt and Ben is the incredible pride that they have for each other.

“My vocabulary isn’t broad enough to accurately express my pride I have for Ben and everything he has done with the band. He is the most focused person that I know and everything he’s ever told me that he was going to do in music, he’s done,” Matt said. “Every parent is proud of their kids, but knowing how Ben has earned everything he’s accomplished at each and every step puts it on a completely different level for me as his father.”

Ben talked of that same respect that he has for his father.

“Every time I hear his voice I think about the preparation and work he put into creating the final result. I think about when the rest of the Coatney children were younger and how he would have us critique his broadcast and ask how he could improve,” Ben said. “It’s still something that we still do from time to time, and it speaks volumes in the trust that he has in his family.”

As they share these special Friday nights together, Ben mentioned how it feels to share these experiences with his father.

“Never in all my life did I think we would be doing this together, and it’s a wonderful feeling to get to share something so unique together. It’s not every day you get to have your father announce your group and publicly be your biggest supporter.

“These games have allowed us to spend time together in light of our busy schedules while also letting us do something to contribute to Schuyler in a positive and productive way. It’s something I will keep with me for a long time.”

As for the feelings racing through Matt’s mind and heart before the first game of the season he admitted: “I had to really have a long talk with myself before Schuyler’s first home football game to make sure I didn’t crack up with emotion when I voiced the halftime show and announced, ‘Mr. Ben Coatney,’ as the band’s director.

“I’ve had some amazing shared experiences in sports with Ben due to his band career. A major thrill was having him in Indianapolis playing in the Nebraska pep band when women’s basketball won the 2014 Big Ten Tournament title. To have him there for that for almost a week going around town and having him there for the championship celebration was amazing.

“I enjoy sharing all of these experiences with him as much as anything I’ve ever done in announcing or broadcasting.”

Both of them had glowing comments about the community of Schuyler and the support they have received here.

“It has been a fantastic opportunity to be able to teach the students in Schuyler and it has been a wonderful opportunity to share some unique experiences with my dad for the benefit of the community of Schuyler,” Ben said.

Matt echoed some of those feelings when he stated: “I’ve been very impressed by the organization that the entire Schuyler Central staff has had and everyone that I’ve encountered has been great. I sincerely appreciate them letting me have the opportunity to be part of something with my son.”

We certainly hope that both Ben and Matt will continue to be an important part of Schuyler Central High School home football games for many years to come.

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