Karl Lindholm: Ubiquitous announcer-man: Dave Sears

Editor’s note: Local sports figure Dave Sears died on Saturday at the age of 56 (see obituary on Page 6A). In February 2007, sports columnist Karl Lindholm offered this perspective on Dave’s generous, gregarious nature, and his powerful engagement in the community.
Every time I turn around I bump into Dave Sears. The man is everywhere. I think there must be three or four of him.
I stopped for a cup of coffee and a bagel this morning, and there he was in the kitchen of the Bagel Bakery hobnobbing with owner Jim Rubright.
Last week, I found him directing the human traffic at a frosh dorm on the Middlebury campus, helping out new students and their anxious parents, in his resonant announcer-voice, the voice of authority: “Yes ma’am. Up the stairs and to the right. Watch your step. Here let me help you with that box. You’re welcome! Have a nice day.”
Last time I went to the airport, who showed up at 4:30 in the morning at my house but Dave, driving for the local transit service. Dave Sears at 4:30 a.m. is a workout, but he let me sit in the front seat and we shared a detailed analysis of the Red Sox on the way to Burlington.
He enjoys substitute teaching in the local schools and at present is working at the Bridport Middle School. He’s taking courses, too, with the hope of becoming a certified driver education teacher here in Addison County.
Of course, he is a member of the Cornwall Volunteer Fire Department and the Middlebury Volunteer Ambulance Association.
So you never know when or where you’ll encounter Dave Sears, but most often it will be at a game. “I’m a sports junkie,” he says.
Take last weekend, for example. On Friday night, he worked the MUHS high school football game as a stringer for the Burlington Free Press. On Saturday, he was the public address announcer at the Middlebury College field hockey game against Connecticut College.
It is as the PA announcer at sporting events here and there and everywhere that brings him his greatest local celebrity: “Have voice; will travel.”
When I went to my first Frost Heaves’ basketball game last fall in Burlington, there was Dave Sears with a microphone in his hand introducing the Heaves’ mascot, Bump the Moose, and overseeing the hijinks on the floor when time in the game was out.
“I loved working with Alex Wolff (owner and general manager) of the Frost Heaves,” he says. “I got to ride up and back to games with (daughter) Megan who was an intern with the team. It was great hoop, and I’m a hockey guy!”
A hockey guy, indeed. When we attend Middlebury College hockey games at Kenyon Arena, Dave’s voice fills the place with information about penalties and goals scored, embellished with many an aural flourish.
What a great ride,” he says of his 18-year relationship to Bill Beaney and the Middlebury College men’s ice hockey team. “I worked every game of their eight national championships.”
He also enjoyed his two-week assignment in West Palm Beach, Florida, last March, announcing college women’s lacrosse games at the “Spring Fling” of Gene DeLorenzo, local coach and spring-training magnate, who puts together an early-season, warm-weather schedule of competitions for a number of teams.
“I liked Florida in March,” he says. “I did up to three games a day and met some great kids and coaches.”
Dave’s signature as a public address guy is his announcement at the end of games when he says: “This is your announcer speaking, have a pleasant evening (weekend) and drive safely.”
That always cracks me up. Who else would it be but the “announcer”? My mother? God?
Dave Sears was raised in Middlebury, graduating from Middlebury High School in 1977. He attended college for a year in Boston (“I liked that. I went to a lot of Red Sox games.”), but the school went under (Graham Junior College), so he returned to Middlebury.
He has been married to Sue, a second-grade teacher at the Cornwall School, for 25 years. “We met after high school when I was working at the A&P. I struck up a conversation. I was just being my obnoxious self.”
His love of sports really developed in high school. “I was just a little scrawny kid, so I kept the stats in football, and the book in basketball and baseball. In my senior year, I had my own five-minute sports show on WFAD when the station was owned by Mark Brady.”
Dave is the father of athletes, daughters Megan and Alex. A first-year student at Salve Regina College in Newport, R.I., Megan played three sports at MUHS — field hockey, downhill skiing, and lacrosse, and was captain in two of them. Alex is a 10th-grader and plays the same three sports.
“I love being around kids, kids at all levels,” he says, and the announcing allows him to do that. 
Dave Sears: the announcer-man-about-town.

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