Article by: John Nee '93
When you think of St. Rita Football over the past 30 years, names such as Todd Wernet, Todd Kuska, Mike Kafka, Darius Fleming, Matt Conrath, Wade Weyer, Pete Balsam, John Foley, Ahmad Merritt, and Jim O’Boye among others come to mind.
Most of the names on that distinguished list of St. Rita legends made their names on the playing field as coaches and players, but one of those names never put on a helmet or coached a game for the Mustangs. That name is Jim O’Boye, “The Voice of the Mustangs” for the past 30+ years.
While most St. Rita fans and players may not recognize the face, you can be sure they all recognize the voice of Jim O’Boye. Jim began announcing St. Rita home football games in the mid 1980s when his son Jim was a player for the Mustangs, and since that time Jim’s voice has become synonymous with St. Rita Football.
While his part-time job as PA announcer for Mustang Football has made him a legend in the St. Rita Community, it’s his great work with the IHSA that has earned him great respect and admiration amongst the rest of the state. While Jim will tell you that he has overseen the telecasts of numerous IHSA State Finals events over the past 16 years, including Football, Boys Basketball, and Girls Basketball, the reality is that he WAS essentially the IHSA TV Network for the past two decades. With that being said, the IHSA has decided to recognize Jim’s hard work and dedication by making him a part of the third class of IHSA Distinguished Media Service Award Winners along with long-time Chicago Tribune prep sportswriter Bob Sakamoto, state historian Thomas McNamara, and the voice of high school sports in Springfield Tom Schweizer.
Jim will be presented his award on October 16th in a pre-game ceremony before the Mustangs host Loyola in a Catholic League Blue classic matchup.