You’ve heard it. Volume level: -5

You've heard it. Volume level: -5

Jonathan Hartman

Middle School teacher Tom Oleksa poses by RIchland Senior High School’s athletic field sound system.

Julie Ciccaglione, Contributing Writer

The mystery is over; The voice we hear blaring through the trees on campus is that of Richland Middle School science teacher Tom Oleksa.

Sitting in a black leather office chair, he crosses his arms over his Steelers long sleeved shirt to tell his journey to the press box at the field across Highland Avenue from campus.

As a child, Oleksa and his cousin pretended to be disc jockeys at his house.  He said that is what inspired him to accept the job of being Richland’s sports announcer six years ago.

His voice reportedly can be heard at far-flung campus locations.

The volume setting? “Let’s check that out,” he said as he moved to a control board.  “It says it’s -5, and I have no idea what that means, but I guess it’s loud.”

Holding the boys’ soccer game’s roster, he says the hardest part of announcing is trying to correctly pronounce all the kids’ last names.

Even when Oleksa is at home on the couch watching the Steelers game, he can’t fight the urge to announce to his family what is happening.

He has always been involved in sports from the time he was playing football and baseball in high school.  Later in his life, he was a coach.

Richland Senior High School Principal Brandon Bailey, who’s football playing days were coached by Oleksa, said Oleksa is a big supporter of Richland athletes.

“He’s been the guy who steps up for the kids,” said Bailey.

Oleksa’s stepping up now seems to involve a volume setting.

“No matter what age you are, you can still be active in sports. Right now, I’m just choosing to be behind the scenes,” Oleska said.