The Voice of the Charlotte Independence

Matt Wojcikewych, Voice of Charlotte Independence Soccer. (Ed Berti)
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Matthew Wojcikewych has been the voice of the Charlotte Independence since the formation of the professional soccer club began in the local area in 2014.

His voice stands out and radiates throughout the Sportsplex at Matthews on game nights.  Especially when the Independence score a goal.  We wanted to interview the talented PA announcer with the familiar voice who is also a huge soccer fan and overall sports enthusiast.

Therefore, we asked Wojcikewych a series of questions and received interesting and insightful responses to all of them.

Q1. Why did you choose a career as a PA announcer?

MW: Honestly, it was not something I originally intended to pursue.  I have done voice-overs previously, so I have become comfortable behind the microphone and thought I would focus on it. As I did more PA announcing, I preferred the energy and excitement of live events, not to mention I get one of the best seats in the house.

Q2. How did you get into PA announcing?

MW: About 5 years ago, I was watching a Davidson College soccer game, so at one point during the first half I actively stared listening to the PA announcer and thought, “That was a pretty cool gig,  I think I can do that.”  The next day I sent an email to the college for a tryout.  I became connected with Jamie Hendricks, Assistant Athletic Director, who gave me my first shot.  I don’t remember much about my first game, however, I was certainly nervous and my voice was definitely shaking.  The game went well and they hired me on for several games that season.  The opportunity with Davidson College started my PA announcing career.

Q3: What attracted you to the Charlotte Independence?

MW: Being a huge soccer fan, I was really excited about the Charlotte Independence from the day the team announced it’s formation.  I knew I wanted to be part of the excitement of soccer fans in the city.  I reached out to the team with my announcing resume, demo and strong determination to be the teams stadium announcer.  They replied a few weeks later, they liked my demo and experience.  I would be announcing the teams first game on the UNC Charlotte 49er campus.  I’ve held the position as the stadium announcer for the team ever since.  It’s given me the opportunity to meet fantastic fans, athletes, sports writers and staff at stadiums all around the Charlotte area.

Q4. What other venues or sporting events have you done and currently plan on doing?

MW: I try to get as much experience as possible,  this is the only way to get better and improve.  I’ve done multiple sports for universities, Davidson College, Queens College, UNC Charlotte and spent a couple of seasons with the Charlotte Knights.

“One of my biggest thrills was being selected as the stadium announcer for all four International Champions Cup soccer games at Bank of America Stadium.  Hearing your own voice in a packed stadium of 60,000 plus fans is truly awesome and humbling experience.”

I still do as many events as possible, however, my Charlotte Independence season remains the most fun of all.

Q5.  How would others describe you?

MW: I hope others would describe me to be a funny and personable guy who always has a smile on his face and a coffee in his hand.  And the word “tall” would probably be peppered in their somewhere.

Q6. How would you describe yourself?

MW: I’m a friendly laid back individual who enjoys making other people smile.  I’m blessed with  an amazing family and support from friends.  I love coffee, and if you don’t see me with a coffee, I’m probably on my way to get another cup.  I would like to think that I’m a little witty too.

Q7. What are your career goals in announcing?

MW: I would like to announce as long as it remains fun.  As soon as it starts to be a “job,” it’s time to find something else to do.  However, my dream would be the stadium voice for a World Cup soccer game, as a soccer fan, there’s simply no bigger stage.

Q8. What is the secret to a successful career as a PA announcer or announcing professionally?

MW: Learning from the wisdom and experience of seasoned announcers is key.  Many are happy to share their experiences and tricks of the trade.  I learned a lot from Ken Conrad, the legendary stadium voice for the Charlotte Knights, for which I will always be grateful.  Also, the National Association for Sports Public Address Announcer or NASPAA who offer certification, workshops, newsletters and expert advice from some of the best in the country.

I would encourage in public address announcing to network with local high schools, colleges, and sports organizations.  There is no such thing as too much experience, polishing your style and delivery over time can lead to bigger opportunities and larger venues.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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