Reaching a milli-stone – plus 200

Sierra’s Matt Folsom
By: Jeremy McDonald for the Placer Herald
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Broadcast No. 1,200 was the milestone recently attained by the voice of Sierra College sports, sports information director and public announcer Matt Folsom.

“It doesn’t feel like 1,200 games,” Folsom said. “I think that’s the main thing; it doesn’t seem like 1,200 games. It’s gone very fast. The next 1,200 games, since I’m doing a lot more games, will come a lot quicker.”

It all started Sept. 21, 2002; it was Sierra College football’s home opener versus the College of the Siskiyous. Folsom was the bookstore manager when then business manager Robert Wickstrom approached him and asked if he would be interested in doing some public announcing.

Folsom accepted the invitation and took the second half of the game against the Eagles. Since that time, he has never looked back. He did so well that he was then asked to take over permanently.

“So I said, ‘Yeah I’ll be happy too.’ So at that point, I started doing all the games for football and basketball,” Folsom said.

By 2003, Folsom added baseball to his announcing resume. His new career slowly mushroomed until he was doing all the sports for Sierra College.

During that time, Folsom continued to work in the campus bookstore. He did that until 2009, when health reasons forced him to give up that position.

Folsom had a passion for public announcing since his youth. He was inspired by listening to legendary Denver Broncos’ announcer Hal Taft back in 1961. Taft also happened to be the best friend of Folsom’s father.

Between 1979 and 1981, Folsom was an announcer and pseudo sports information director at Humboldt University. Adding that to his journalism degree turned out to be quite beneficial in advancing his career.

Between 1981 and 2002, Folsom stayed involved with sports while managing Palo Alto Bicycle in Palo Alto. He also worked for Barnes and Noble for 16 years before taking over as store manager at Sierra College.

“My wife got a job up here and saw an ad for a textbook manager at the Sierra College bookstore,” Folsom said. “I didn’t qualify as a textbook manager, but they needed a store manager for which I qualified.”

Folsom started his new job at Sierra College on Jan. 2, 2002, and he worked there until ’09. He then worked in admissions records and marking for a couple of years.

In 2013, while still commuting between Santa Cruz and Rocklin, the announcer also started Folsom Media. He began doing the CIF section playoffs, the Kendall Arnett tournament and the California Community College Athletic Association state softball championships.

Folsom has been calling the Kendall Arnett and CCCAA softball for over a decade.

“I love it. I think anything you love to do it leads to longevity because I’m in my element when I do it,” said Folsom. “I look forward to every single game; I look forward to getting behind the microphone.”

Folsom said he likes to make every single game an event and even adds music to show. He feels it is part of his job to try and set a new standard for community college public announcing.