The Legend of Waterford’s Oran Adams

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In a sport where consistency is preached by coaches, one team in the TVC-Hocking finds this quality in an unexpected place.

Since the inception of Waterford’s football program in 1973, one man’s voice has become synonymous with the Wildcats. Oran Adams, 79, has kept the stats and served as the stadium’s public address announcer for every single game in Waterford’s history.

A Waterford High School graduate, Adams kept stats for Waterford’s basketball team while he was still in high school. After attending nearby Marietta College, Adams returned to his hometown of Waterford in 1958 to teach at his alma mater.

He was quickly recruited by the basketball team upon his return.

“I went to college, and when I came back, the coach asked me to [keep the stat book],” Adams said. “That’s was in 1958 and I’ve kept it ever since. I still do.”

For Adams, some of the most important things in his life have revolved around the school, including the beginnings of his family. A few years into his tenure at Waterford, he met his wife-to-be.

“He was my English teacher,” Judy Adams said with a smile on her face.

More than anybody in town, Judy understands what Oran’s voice means to the community, and to Oran himself.

“He’s the only one that’s done it,” Judy said. “It is hard to say what it would be like with someone else doing it. There is one gentleman who calls [Oran] the voice of the Wildcats.”

His prominence within the community was put on display on Oct. 25, 2013 during Waterford’s homecoming game. Judy caught wind of a special ceremony which was in the works to honor Oran and gathered the entire family.

Just prior to kick off, Oran was invited down to the field, and he hadn’t the slightest clue of what was about to occur.

“When I got down [on the field] they unveiled it,” Oran Adams said. “It was stunning.”

The “it” Oran to which he referred was the banner which runs the length of the press box. The banner read in bolded caps, “ORAN ADAMS PRESSBOX.”

“It was quite rewarding,” Judy said.

Waterford had two plaques created, explaining Oran’s accomplishments of consistency and thanking him for his dedication to the program. The twin plaques are separated but both remain in the town, one hanging in the press box, and the other in Adams’s living room.

Roger French, a teacher at Waterford and one of Oran’s assistants, summed up Oran’s commitment to the Waterford community better than anyone else could.

“Years ago I began to call [Oran] Mr. Waterford,” French said. “ He has done so much for the community and been a great supporter of the athletic teams.”