Sports
July 11, 2020
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Sarlatte surprises the “voice of the Cougars”

  • Henri Sarlatte gives Wayne Thomas a congratulatory hug after presenting him with an award during the unveiling ceremony in which the announcers booth was named after Wayne. Photo by Robert Grant

By: Irene Hilsendager
October 11, 2019

Friday evening, Oct 4, there was a surprise on the field of the Cougars at the Rancho Cotate High School football game. Henri Sarlatte presented a trophy in the shape of a microphone to well-known football announcer, Wayne Thomas. Wayne started volunteering for the Rancho Cotate Athletic program in 1979. 

Thomas said, “Hank Sarlatte gave me the nickname of “The voice of the Cougars.” Wayne said he finished up announcing in 2017 but still fills in for his son, Jeff, when he is out of town. Wayne, being 74 years old, and his wife, moved into Rohnert Park in 1971 and has enjoyed the city immensely.  His real career was an engineer for Pac Bell or now AT&T. Wayne said, “Norm Hanson and Hank Sarlatte and Ed Conroy all had a hand into getting me to announce and make his presence known in the press box.” Thomas has also announced baseball, softball, soccer, wrestling and volleyball games over the many years.

Thomas said, “I enjoyed many years of young people playing ball through the highs and lows and especially with Ed Conroy.” Wayne also said that there will be a big plaque put on the wall of the press box to commemorate Thomas’ years of service for the Rancho High School teams.