BATON ROUGE - Passion. Energy. Volume. It's what makes watching an LSU game in Spanish an experience unlike any other.
Mario Jerez is using his voice and heritage to bring the all-American sport of football to Spanish-speaking homes across south Louisiana.
"I grew up here," Jerez explains, "and I grew up a big football fan, because my parents, being from Guatemala, kind of used LSU football as a way to ingrain themselves into the culture. They went to the football games a lot, socialized a lot."
Taking after his parents, Jerez became an LSU Tiger, and for the past 5 years, the journalism senior has been perfecting his craft.
"If you notice after I say 'touchdown,' I drag out the 'LSU,' because it's a way to let your audience know that LSU just scored, they made a big play," Jerez said. "Two, when you drag out the cheers like that, you relish in the moment."
And he does not hold back. To many, it sounds a lot like what you would hear during a soccer game.
"Spanish announcers are very loud," Jerez acknowledges, "but they own it, you know. It sounds good when they do it, and I think people who don't even speak the language, they hear the passion in their voice and they learn to appreciate it, so you know that's the style, and I try to own it."
For Jerez, his passion extends even further. Many of his Spanish-speaking followers thank him for representing the Latin American culture, their love for good sports, and the city they now call home.
Jerez plans to keep spreading the spirit, celebrating each and every touchdown.
Jerez has called every home LSU football game in Spanish since 2012. Once he graduates, he says he hopes to grow as a sports announcer.
Jerez can be heard on KLGA Radio 105.7 in New Orleans and KDDK 105.5 in Baton Rouge.
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