The rain was driving hard on a cold, October night. The roof of the rickety “snack shack,” a makeshift announcer’s platform, shook with wind and the speaker system began to spark and smoke from the rain, coming down in sheets. The Warrenton Warrior football team, muddy and beleaguered, was down by a touchdown against their rival team, the Knappa Loggers. And when the wind knocked out the power, announcer Ed Chase, the “Voice of the Warriors,” simply had to yell his game commentary over the din of the soaked crowd.
Warrenton High School sports has grown up a lot since that October game (and now the announcer has his own booth in a real stadium), but Chase said he would still announce the game on the top of a snack shack, if he had to.
For 27 years, Ed Chase has been a Warrenton High School sports fixture, after being asked to announce sporting events by friend and longtime, esteemed Warrenton High football coach, John Mattila. Chase has been a steadfast presence in the announcer’s box, and figures he has announced at least 150 football games, as well as many basketball games.
For Chase, a Clatsop County native, the love of sports began very early. He fondly remembers trying to adjust the dial on his radio just right so that he could hear the play-by-play of the then Brooklyn Dodgers, and playing “cub ball,” a local baseball organization with “real uniforms.” Chase was a three-sport athlete growing up, and graduated from St. Mary’s Star of the Sea School in Astoria in 1956.
Following high school, Chase spent more than 20 years of service in first the United States Air Force, and then the United States Navy, which is when he became a lifetime fan of the Dallas Cowboys (then called the Dallas Rangers). “We were stationed in Texas at the time, and the Cowboys were really just starting out, and they were terrible. But they had a few guys on the team from the University of Oregon, which made us feel a little closer to home.”
In 1980, after retiring from the Navy and earning a teaching degree, Chase brought his wife and four children back to Warrenton, where he began his second career as a junior high social studies teacher at Hilda Lahti Elementary, and coach of football, boys and girls basketball, and track. Chase’s basketball record is one of the winningest in Knappa school history, and he played a large role in contributing to the “dynasty” of Knappa High School basketball, which won back-to-back state championships in the mid-nineties.
“Home” is what Chase describes as the “why” behind his many years of involvement in local sports. Though he did not attend Warrenton High School, he feels a tremendous bond. “If you look at the photos of the graduating classes that line the walls of the school, you’ll see my mother, my aunts, my wife, and my children. It is my family’s school.”
When asked about his passion for high school sports, Chase says there are lessons learned from sports that cannot be taught any other way. “Through sports, kids learn to win with grace, lose with humility, and they gain respect for both teamwork and hard work. In high school, kids are playing sports for the right reasons. They’re playing with heart.”
Chase also says he loves the small-town, community feeling of walking onto the football field every fall Friday night, and greeting the people that have become friends. “There is a feeling of kinship and working together toward a common goal, and a love for the kids and the game, that I love being a part of.” After retiring from teaching in 2000, Chase continued to substitute teach at Warrenton High School, and said it was because of the great staff and exceedingly respectful students that he continued.
Chase’s service to Warrenton High school athletics was recognized in 2017 with his induction into the Warrenton High School Hall of Fame. When asked how long he will continue to lend his “voice” to the Warriors, Chase says, “as long as I can still climb the stadium stairs!”