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The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

‘The Voice of Prosper’ brings life to stadium

From being a high school DJ to helping students globally, Manto shares joy for announcing
Sofia Ayala
As he looks out to the field, Eric Manto prepares to announce the next play. Manto is the official announcer for PISD’s Children’s Health Stadium. He is also known as ‘the voice of Prosper.’ Manto announces at every home game including all of the varsity football games for PISD high schools.

Leaning into the microphone, ready to announce the start of the match, the players rush onto the field as the voice of Prosper – Eric Manto brings the game to life.

Manto began his adventure as an announcer back in 2004 when he moved to Prosper with his family. Having his two boys involved with many school activities including the PHS football team, which was the same time that Manto was introduced to announcing at football games – and now has done it ever since the first time he stepped into a press box. 

“At some point, around 2004 the regular announcer at the old Prosper stadium had to be out of town, and they needed someone to fill in and he said, ‘Hey, I got a guy, you know?’ And he asked me – of course, I’d love to do it,” Manto said. “And I did a game, but then, the next year, the gentleman actually wound up moving away so I took over in 2004 and started doing the PHS games, of course, and I did that up until 2016.”

Manto first started his journey in his hometown of Miami in high school as a DJ skater at school and all across town, and that led him to what he loves to do today. 

In my high school in Miami, we had up to two level kinds of atriums outside, and I used to play music during lunchtime, right? Because I was a DJ skater and I played music during lunches and things like that – So it was always a lot of fun,” Manto said. “I’ve always been around it. But, I’ve never really felt like it was a job that was too overwhelming. I just come in and do what I do.”

In 2016, before the new Children’s Health PISD stadium opened, Manto pursued new passions as he made new travels across the continent to Asia. Manto visited countries all across Asia, some being Japan, Korea, and Singapore. Manto focused on helping students with graduation preparations, as well as other activities like building class rings, and leatherman jackets to ensure he could fulfill all of these kids dreams while he was there.

Part of the thing I love about him is he’s part of almost like the OG Prosper, where he’s the guy that has been here before Prosper got so big, and he still has that small town feel to him,” Hatch said. “He has that history to him, just kind of like the small town charm which is one of the reasons I fell in love with Prosper, and why I was so happy working here is because I grew up in a town like that, and he reminds me of so many people that I grew up with, and even with all of the growth, he is still the foundation and anchor of Prosper.

— Michael Hatch, Eagle Nation News advisor

“I am the leather jacket man. So I do all leather jackets with the schools all around North Texas. I get to interact with kids all day long on helping them build their leather jackets. I have done a lot of things with graduation products, class rings, caps and gowns, and all that was here in Texas,” Manto said. “I have had a large territory in Asia. So I was traveling to Japan, Korea, Singapore, and working with kids in American schools in those other countries. Going to the American School of Singapore or the Seoul foreign school in Korea.”  

When the new stadium in PISD finally opened in 2019, Manto got a call to audition for the role as the stadium announcer. 

“I was traveling to Asia in the spring so I wasn’t really around for football games, but then when they opened the new stadium, they asked me if I wanted to apply to audition for the new stadium,” Manto said. “Uh, yeah. Hello – So I did, and I’ve been doing the big, big stadium ever since. That’s kind of how that job began.”

Before the big audition, Manto went out and got his certificate in public announcing, which was required in order to be eligible for the role. 

There were three or four people that auditioned if I’m not mistaken,” Manto said. “ I had to go out and actually get my CPA, Which is sort of my public address announcer training and certificate. I went online and did that. I’ve done prosper football, Prosper baseball, Prosper Wrestling, basketball games, and I mean, people know who I am so that was kind nice.”

The First football game was on Aug. 30, 2019 – marking the first game Manto announced at the new stadium. 

“It’s a 48 million $50 million Stadium, it was very exciting,” Manto said. “We had a lot going on. Of course, the weather was a little sketchy that day, we were supposed to have a layover, which eventually did occur. There was just a bunch of stuff happening. So it was just more of excitement in opening the new location, and, gosh, just being a part of all that and the festivities was really pretty cool.”

I have a lot of fun working with Mr. Manto, he has a great attitude, and he’s just a fun guy,” Logan said. “And he’s really good at his job so it makes the experience to work at the stadium that much better.

— Michael Logan, Audio Video Production

Announcing is something that Manto has always had a ‘spark’ for which led him to follow his passion for announcing over the years. 

“I’ve been fortunate, so I’ve been announcing right now for probably about close to 20 years here in Prosper,” Manto said. “And I have a long history of being a roller skating DJ back in the 80s. So, I enjoyed my high school days. I’ve got pictures. I’ll show it in my Hall of Honor.” 

“Two weeks ago when they had the Hall of Honor announcing going on when I was down the field, my own son, Mike Lewis, was up in the booth announcing my name,” Manto said. “And so here it’s kind of come full circle now.”

Manto is featured in the Prosper ISD Hall of Honor, alongside others, to admire their accomplishments and contributions to PISD.

“Certainly being a part of the excitement of game days is one of the most valuable moments. And, especially special event days, like we have senior nights and things like that,” Manto said. “I mean, I have parents that like gosh, I hope you get to announce my kid’s name for their band senior night or football senior night. So being a part of that.”

Working as the announcer for Prosper, Manto has had the privilege to meet many students in the district whether it’s for senior night, football games, and even other sporting events that Manto gets to announce.

“In a town like this, it’s really kind of special for me. I get a luxury apartment because all three of my sons graduated from Prosper High School in 2009, 2010 to 2016 [and it’s special] being up in the booth, and announcing their names for their senior night festivities. My middle son was a homecoming king, and I got to announce that.”

After being in the Town of Prosper for many years, Manto mentioned that the memories he has created are valuable and special to him.

 “I know the guys that are the officials that run the clock and the scoreboard for the for the official. I know those guys and have chats with them. Brian Sutcliffe and I worked together when I announced baseball on the radio. He and I did baseball games for plaster on the radio, on the internet radio jammer screen. So I like to chat with him a little bit, Miss Paul Adams, Tina Brock, and we all kind of laugh and of course, Mr. Logan, Mr. Hatch and people like that. We’re all kind of just getting familiarized and of course, the stadium’s crew. I mean, I love working with the kids because y’all are at the leading edge here. (When) I was in elementary school I was on the AV team, like projectors in fifth grade. I’m a nerd at heart.”

We primarily work with Manto during the pregame show, timing our graphics and our cameras with his words. During that time though Manto is the one who has the most energy up in the press box, and it’s contagious. I don’t know how he does it, but there have been days where I have been really tired before games, and after talking to Manto for 30 seconds I am immediately ready to work. He always greats the crew and the staff as he comes up to the press box, making it feel less like a job and more like a big group of friends coming together to do something we all love.

— senior Coleman Meier, Film director

In 2008, when Manto still announced at the old Prosper HS stadium, he got to witness the very first win against Celina High School. Manto mentioned that this is one of the most memorable moments throughout his time as an announcer. 

“It’s always the big games, and I think that probably the biggest game at the time that I got to announce at the old stadium was back in 2008 when we were playing Celina High School,” Manto said. “We played Celina back and up until that day, we had finally beat them after 23 years really. We thought of it you know, as the Prosper rivalry, right? But they can say this one is not a rivalry. Right? We always win.”

Manto’s son was on the varsity football team back in 2008 when the team won the 3A state championship, which was also the same time Manto was announcing at the football games. 

“Here I am in the booth and I’m announcing this game,” Manto said. “And I turned to the guy next to me on the clock and it’s 23 to seven and during the last few minutes, we win the state championship – the 3A state championship in Texas. One of my sons, he was part of that team. So it was crazy.”

Manto has recently experienced the victory against Denton Guyer after finally beating them in four years. The student section ran across the field after the game was over making it an experience to remember. 

“Like last Friday night’s game for Prosper vs. Guyer,” Manto said. “That was the biggest victory we’ve had against Guyer ever. We’ve never beaten them before. So those kinds of things tend to stick with me and I love when we win a big game.”

The PHS varsity football team won 32-28, taking the lead during the third quarter.

“In the old stadium, it was really kind of quaint and much more intimate because of the blocks. We sat right above the top row of the of the bleachers, and I could open the window if I didn’t know somebody’s name,” Manto said. “So I mean, back in the old stadium, it was like, ‘Hey, who’s wearing number two today?’ So I don’t have that ability here (in the new stadium) and people would know who I am because after the game, I’d walk out of the booth.”

Manto has the opportunity to work alongside student videographers who work at the PISD Children’s Health Stadium as part of the ‘Stadium Crew.’ Manto and the stadium crew make sure to organize the graphics that go on the Jumbotron and align them with his commentary. Throughout the game, the stadium crew and Manto work endlessly to ensure the game is even better for the fans to enjoy.

Children's Health Stadium Crew

Here we’re kind of isolated with a big tower,” Manto said. “And we will go out through an elevator and see ‘the voice.’ So a lot of times when I do a leathermen jacket I want to get your name right because I want to make sure I announce it right.”

When the fourth quarter ends, and the fans begin to leave the stadium. Manto wraps up with the final words of the game and prepares to go home until it’s time for the next game.

 “It’s fun. It’s fun when people find out who I am,” Manto said. “The voice of the stadium.”

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About the Contributor
Sofia Ayala, Assistant Print Editor
Sofia Ayala is a junior at Prosper High School. This is her third year working for Eagle Nation Online. She currently serves as Assistant Editor for Eagle Nation Times, and served as the Feature editor in the past. Sofia is part of the varsity PHS Talonettes where she enjoys to work together with her team. Outside of school, she enjoys going out on runs, reading, and listening to music.  
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