BAR HARBOR — For the past 12 seasons, his has been the booming voice echoing across the Mount Desert Island High School football field and into the stands.
He is there at every Trojans home game, announcing every down, every tackle, every scoring drive.
You can’t see him from his press box perch, but you know he’s always there. He’s like a voice from on high – sporting a Red Sox cap.
Norm Fineman is, as MDI High School Athletic Director Bunky Dow calls him, “the voice of the Trojans.”
The retired Pemetic Elementary School French teacher inadvertently took on the job in 2004 when both of his twin sons, James and Paul, were still students at the high school.
“Bunky approached me once at Little A’s when I was having lunch with my son,” said Fineman. “He said I had a decent voice and that I knew football, and would I like to announce on Friday nights.”
Fineman originally turned down the offer, but somehow wound up in the position anyway.
“I came to a game to try it out once, and here I am 12 years later,” he said.
But if Norm Fineman is the voice of the Trojans, then Lori Fineman is the eyes and ears.
“I’m the ‘voice’ because I’m always the big mouth,” said Norm Fineman.
The husband and wife duo works together so he doesn’t miss any plays.
With her head and shoulders leaning out of the press box window for a better view, Lori Fineman watches each game like a hawk in order to determine which player was in on the tackle, received the ball or scored the touchdown.
She quickly says the name of the player and where the players are on the field. Her husband then repeats it into his microphone for the crowd to hear.
Lori Fineman said when her husband volunteered as the Trojans’ announcer over a decade ago, she naturally wanted to be right there with him.
“We’ve always worked well together,” she said. “We met while working at Xerox in Massachusetts 31 years ago, and we are both French teachers – and now this.”
Also in the booth with them for many years is Duffy Ackerly of Bar Harbor who operates the game clock and scoreboard. He has helped officiate at swim meets statewide for 40 years.
Lori Fineman has been a French teacher at MDI High School for 17 years. Because she watches the football players walk the halls each day, she can often determine which Trojan makes a play on the field even with pads and helmets.
She is a longtime Trojans fan – she graduated from the school and watched their two sons wrestle and play tennis for MDI High School.
Although their sons didn’t play football, the Finemans are big fans of the sport.
“I grew up loving football,” she said.
Lori and Norm Fineman’s knowledge of the game allows for players’ parents to hear their sons’ names when they make a big play.
Lori Fineman scours the opposing team’s roster and is able to memorize many of those players’ numbers so her husband doesn’t miss any of the visiting team’s plays either.
Norm Fineman also takes precautions to make sure he pronounces every player on the opposing team’s name correctly.
“I go over their names with the coach before the game,” he said.
“I don’t want to get their names wrong.”
Lori Fineman’s quick thinking and Norm Fineman’s booming baritone make for a perfect match.
While Norm Fineman has announced thousands of exciting plays and hundreds of talented players’ names, the most exciting thing he gets to say is “Touchdown Trojans … touchdown Trojans!”
The keeper of the clock
There is another important figure in the Mount Desert Island High School Trojans’ press box.
Duffy Ackerley has been running MDI’s scoreboard and play clock every other Friday night in the fall for more than 30 years. He listens for every whistle and each referee’s signal so he knows when to stop the clock, reverse it or move it forward.
Keeping score is in Ackerley’s blood. He has been an official at Maine high school swim meets for 50 years, including high school state championships, national YMCA meets, NCAA meets and USA Swimming.