General Beech Grove High School

Steve Nontell Press Box Dedication

By Quinten Starks | Mar 14, 2024 12:00 PM

Last month the Beech Grove School Board unanimously approved the naming of our stadium press box after Beech Grove High School alumni and community fixture, Steve Nontell. Through years of service and his dedicated commitment to the school, the students, and the community, Steve Nontell is well-known around Beech Grove. He stands out in a crowd, usually a head taller than most, dressed in head-to-toe black and orange. If you’re lucky, you’ll see him sporting his 1973 BG letterman’s jacket adorned with wrestling and scholastic badges. Nontell has amassed over 50 years as a public address announcer for Beech Grove City Schools. This includes 51 seasons of football, 41 seasons of wrestling, over 30 seasons of girls’ and boys’ basketball, and five IHSAA State Wrestling Championships. The list goes on and on. BGCS School Board President Rob Challis got nostalgic thinking of Mr. Nontell. “I can say that Steve Nontell is Mr. Beech Grove. I remember him from when I went to school here. He is a legend around Beech Grove,” reminisced Challis. In addition to announcing, Rob Challis recalled a memory from the wrestlers at Beech Grove. If you forgot your shoes for practice you’d have to wear “The Nonies”. They were an oversized, old pair of Nontell’s shoes from back in his wrestling days. Yet another example of the deep connections Steve Nontell has with his Beech Grove community. For Nontell, working as a PA announcer was more than reading off names and sharing announcements between time-outs. It was a job he took seriously, and he was committed to being the best professional grade announcer that he could be. “Professional announcers don’t showboat or cheer-lead. They commit to support the event, not take it over,” said Nontell. He was also diligent in his preparation taking painstaking care to ensure he had the proper pronunciation of student names, not just for the home team, but for the visiting side as well. Steve ultimately hoped that his announcing added to the contribution of student success and memories of the event. Nontell looked back fondly on the joy he would feel when alumni would come back to catch up and share their memories of him announcing their names at the game. Earlier this school year, Steve Nontell was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) which has affected his mobility and his ability to consistently announce games. The naming of the press box is a way for the Beech Grove community to show our appreciation for the years of dedicated service Steve has graciously given. BGCS Superintendent Dr. Laura Hammack enthusiastically stated, “The "Steve Nontell Press Box" stands as a tribute to the voice that has not only chronicled victories but has also been a beacon of encouragement during challenging moments. As the voice of Beech Grove athletics, Steve's legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.” To further honor Steve’s commitment to student-athletes and recognize all that he has given to numerous sporting events over the years, the Indiana Crossroads Conference has awarded Nontell the WEB4ME award. The WEB4ME award is named after the mantra of the late Matt English. As described on the ICC athletics website, “Its' purpose is to recognize a person from a member school who exemplifies Matt's approach towards serving others by selflessly and continuously supporting an athletic department, with no expectation of fanfare or recognition.” Our thoughts continue to be with Steve and the entire Nontell family as they work through this difficult transition in managing his ALS diagnosis. We hope that the legacy he has created will inspire others to uphold the same standards he set after decades behind the microphone.

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