People ask me all the time who or what inspired me. Inspiration is short lived if you do not surround yourself with things and people who live inspiring lives daily. I set out years ago to want to inspire stylist and never did I imagine where life would take me and how many lives I would touch. I wanted to write about someone that inspires so many and shows through his life and actions that you can do/be anything you want to be. You may know Wayne “the Voyce” Matthews or maybe you have just heard of him. He is the amazing, wait…amazing doesn’t even begin to describe him😜. He is by far the BEST youth sports team announcer that has ever existed. Some of us know him personally and some just know the “voyce” behind the mic at the games. Either way, he is a man that touches so many live and probably has no idea about the masses that he reaches. I just read a post that he put up on Facebook telling the story of a young boy having troubles in life and school that Wayne had encouraged him along the way and how because of his words this boy wrote him years later thanking him for his kindness and guidance. How he was getting ready for college and looking at scholarships. It made me think back to when I would sit in the announcing booth with Wayne and watch him announce the game as I video taped it. After every game he would call the “players of the game” up to shake there hand, congratulate and take a picture. The excitement was obvious in these boys. Maybe not at that particular moment but as they left with there parents you could see and hear how excited they were. On several occasions Hunter “BOOM” Robinson (my personal MVP) was called up to the booth. As a parent I thought that I would explode with excitement, but of course I kept my cool and snapped the pictures like it was my job. Hunter and Wayne is first season as a War Eagle (2015…5th grade)
Wayne’s love and devotion to the sport as well as to the kids is obvious to all that come across him. What many people probably don’t no or see is how wonderful and caring Wayne is when he isn’t behind the mic. When I first heard Wayne I remember tweeting “Gin and Juice are in the booth announcing the game”…within minutes he acknowledged it. Over the next few seasons he became familiar with who my kid was and was always so encouraging to him. We would say hello every time I would be in the booth but Wayne never really knew who I was. Until one VERY cold December football game. Yes, December! Those who know me will tell you that I attend every possible dance my daughters team performs at or football game Hunter plays in. Beginning the fall of 2015 season I was moving pretty slow post surgery but picked up my pace and recorded the games like always. Needless to say I had not a hair on my head much less by body. To the average player or parent they had no idea that I was sick and going through Chemo. Actually people would tell me how great I looked…I guess weight loss was one of the benefits😜. As the season went on and the temps dropped I moved my way back into the booth to record. During one of the last games Wayne looked over at me and said “momma…you need a tissue over there?” I was beyond mortified😱. I apparently had a nose that was leaking out of control. (You never really realize how important that nose hair is till you don’t have any) I really can’t remember what was said after that or if I even told him why I looked like a toddler with a runny nose. I think That I just went along my merry way all embarrassed. Lol.
Shortly thereafter I started to hear from Wayne. We were friends on Facebook but he had not seen my post and blogs. I guess finally one day my post caught his attention and he realized what I had been going through. Wayne reached out in the most amazing way. Not just once, but many times. He was always so full of encouragement and admiration for me as a fighter as well as a mother. Here is the first note that I got from Wayne that made him not just a hero to those boys on the field, but also to this mom that was fighting to win her own game/fight.
You are INCREDIBLE!
I watched you run from pillar to post with these kids every weekend & NEVER ONCE.. Did I ever IMAGINE you were fighting illness.You are a SUPER WOMAN!!!I am AWESTRUCK right now!.. I Love Ya, Momma! If there is EVER anything I can do to make YOU smile tell me? Lol, WoW!Thank You for all the things YOU DO! It is appreciated so much. I hope you ENJOY the show Thursday.
I watched/followed Wayne on social media while he was working to build his career. Balancing his family life, work life and love of the sport. This man was ridiculously busy but took time out of his day time and time again to send me encouraging notes and Wonder Woman post. (If you had not of guessed it…just like the player on the field get nick names so did I, Wonder Woman) when Wayne left the league that I had met him in it saddened me but I knew he was growing larger in his own game. He had gotten his own radio show which I had the pleasure of being on several times. He would have the player on the show as well as guest speakers. I think I was probably more excited then any of the kids!!!! By this time I was working hard on my Leukemia Lymphoma Society’s Woman Of The Year campaign. I had excepted the nomination the day before my first chemo treatment to participate in this 10 week fund raiser. (I raised a total of $101,000.00 during those 10 weeks). Wayne was so supportive, he wanted not only people to hear my story but to also get the word out about my campaign. During the entire campaign he would constantly mention it on his show as well as post to his social media. Again, here is a man that I barely knew and was supporting me beyond belief. He even drove down to Purcellville Va for my final fundraising event. I hosted a “Duck Derby” where I adopted out 1000 rubber ducks and launched them into a pond to race to the finish. This was well over a hour drive for him but he did so with a big smile on his face and adoption cash in his hand.
I am happy to say that Hunter’s LoCo War Eagle football team has joined up with the league that Wayne moved to. I am so excited that we will not only be given the chance to listen to the entertaining announcing of the games again but that Hunter will have such and amazing roll model to play in front of. I truly do not think that Wayne has any idea impact that he has had on me or my family. He would tell me that my fight inspired him….yet he inspired me every day. I love this little clip of a encouraging note he sent.
“I was So Mad when I found out.. but Now, I’m blessed by it. Because I saw what YOU BECAME!” (My family felt the same way when he left our football organization)
I am sure that I am not alone in my appreciation for just how wonderful he is to not just our sons but to everyone he comes in contact with. To me….Wayne is a true superhero to not just me, but to youth sports….maybe just here in the DMV today, but I don’t just believe….I KNOW that it will be around the country one day soon.
Thank You Wayne “the Voyce” Mathews
❤️, The Robbie’s