Kilstrom Was Here
Anthem original retires from football announcing
By Garrison Murphy
For Anthem original resident Eric Kilstrom, community involvement is a way of life.
One of his favorite methods of involvement has been announcing football games at Boulder Creek High School. He has been doing this for 12 years, and this is his final season.
“I love it, I love the kids,” Kilstrom says. “But my son is a senior and he’s done after this year, so it’s time to let someone else have fun with it.”
Kilstrom was born in Upstate New York and moved to Arizona at the age of four. He attended Shadow Mountain High School. He later attended Northern Arizona University and is now the senior vice president of a mortgage company called VIP Mortgage.
He says he never played football or had experience announcing but became involved with the team because of his prior community involvement and a lack of dedicated announcers in the area.
“I flew by the seat of my pants,” Kilstrom says. “The first game (of the 2006 season) had so many complaints that by the next game (the school) asked me if I wanted to give it a try… I had no clue what I was doing, but I’ve been doing it ever since.”
Dave Montesano is Kilstrom’s co-announcer. He started with the team last year after replying to an email from the school requesting more involvement.
“Eric is a great guy. I was impressed as to how much energy he puts into it and how difficult (announcing) is. He always makes sure as many kids as possible get their names called over the loud speaker,” Montesano says. “He has this whole thing down pat; it’s actually very impressive to watch him do it. Now that I’m doing it, I’m paying attention to what other announcers are doing around the state, and I would consider him one of the best, actually.”
Both Kilstrom and Montesano have sons that play football on the Boulder Creek team. Recently, Kilstrom’s son caught two touchdown passes against top-ranked Chaparral High School.
Montesano previously knew Kilstrom through his community involvement and work. Kilstrom has been heavily involved in the town of Anthem since its inception.
Outside of football, Kilstrom has started a charity group, a Chamber of Commerce and the Business Network of Anthem, which is a leads group for heads of businesses in Anthem to meet and network.
The charity group is called “We Care Anthem” and exists to help families with children who have life-threatening illnesses or experience the sudden loss of a child.
He also taught courses at Boulder Creek. “I went to the high school and taught credit classes to the seniors for few years because they had no idea about credit or money,” Kilstrom says. “I tried to really get involved with the school district because it’s a course they all need.”
Now that he’s wrapping up 12 years of announcing football in Anthem, Kilstrom’s looking at the ways his adopted hometown has changed. “When Anthem was a young, small town and everybody moved there from somewhere else, you wanted to make connections,” he says. “It was fun and exciting being out in the middle of nowhere. It seems it was a lot easier to connect then.”
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