Little Elm senior Pierce Lisner admitted that he had goosebumps leading to the first playoff game for the Lobos baseball team since 2019.
“It was definitely one of the biggest moments in my announcing career,” he said. “I don't think I've ever announced a playoff game at Little Elm for baseball, basketball or volleyball or football. Last year, we hosted some playoff games, but it wasn't for Little Elm. Now having the home fans, I'm going to get them pumped up for that one.”
Little Elm played District 6-6A champion Hebron in Game 1 of a Class 6A bi-district postseason series on May 4. Lisner was the public-address announcer at The Backyard for playoff games for other teams last season, including for Game 3 of an entertaining, three-game regional quarterfinal between Coppell and Prosper.
“I had someone tell me that we sold 1,000 tickets for the game,” he said. “I thought the stadium holds 1,000 people. He said, 'No, the stadium holds 800 people and there will be 200 people that will be standing.' I was like, ‘Oh my gosh.' We've never had a full stadium in which people were shoulder to shoulder. Seeing all of those people, the nerves set in but I knew that I had to go to work and be my best.”
But last week’s game had a different vibe.
Lisner is a student at Little Elm. Naturally, the thrill of being the PA announcer for the school that he attends got him more fired up than usual. And it was a night that the Lobos won’t soon forget. Senior Irvin Leonard hit a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning, as Little Elm rallied for a 6-3 victory over Hebron.
The journey to being a PA announcer began the summer of Lisner’s sophomore year.
He was situated in the press box for summer-league games as the scoreboard operator, but not as the PA announcer. Once the game was over, Lisner walked to the field and picked up his glove as he was scheduled to pitch in the next game.
At least that’s what he thought.
“One of my coaches comes up to me and says, 'Was that you talking in the booth?'” Lisner said. “Of course, I didn't want to lie to the coach and get in trouble. He was like, 'Yeah, you're doing the 7:30 game.' I was like, 'What do you mean I'm doing the 7:30 game?' He goes, 'You're announcing it.' I said, 'I'm game, let's do it.'"
Little Elm hosted summer-league games each of the next two days, but Lisner didn’t pitch either day. Lisner told Lobos head coach Matt Harbin that he thought that it was his turn to pitch; both times, though, he was told that he would announce the games.
Lisner played baseball his entire life. His father, David, served as his little league coach. Pierce said what he appreciated about his father was the lessons of tough love. Pierce could usually be spotted in the batting cages, and he worked hard at his craft. But on the teams that he played for, he was one of the shortest players.
During his freshman season, Lisner played at second base before being moved to the outfield. In his sophomore season, he was moved to pitcher. However, Lisner never made it out of JV II, and if he would have continued to play baseball, would have been promoted to JV I his junior season, but likely would not have received any playing time his senior season.
Lisner was just fine serving in his newfound role as a PA announcer.
“I don't ever want to call myself a bench guy or a bat boy,” he said. “I want to be known as somebody that is good at what they do and that 100% for me is announcing.”
“He is the best in the state of Texas, high school kid or not,” he said.
Lisner never received any vocal training growing up or wasn’t in the school or church choir. He and his two sisters and father always sang on car rides. Pierce and his father listened to the song “Highway 20 Ride” by Zac Brown Band and “Before These Walls Were Blue” by Wade Bowen.
“As a family, we always sang, ‘A Million Dreams’ from the movie, ‘The Greatest Showman,’” Pierce said.
When it comes to announcing, Lisner is his own worst critic; he is hard on himself but because he wants to get better at his craft.
One of the best moments in Lisner’s rise as an announcer came last August when he met Chuck Morgan, the PA announcer of the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field.
Every time that Lisner attends a Rangers game, he sits in the booth that Morgan occupies. The first time they met, they exchanged a handshake, took a picture and chatted for a while before Morgan had to assume his position for the game.
The second time that they met, Morgan and Lisner started to converse in the third inning. Lisner initially thought that the chat would be over after one inning. Instead, Lisner and Morgan talked until the sixth inning.
Morgan gave Lisner the best advice that he would ever need to hear about announcing.
“One thing that he said is that you can't make a living off public-address announcing,” Lisner said. “He always told me to get into broadcasting and try to be a manager and work your way up in the ranks.”
Lisner has followed up on Morgan’s advice. He has been asked to announce for live shows of “Avon Four Comedy” on Spotify, which has 1.6 million followers. In addition, he will broadcast high school football games for the Denton and Little Elm school districts. Lisner plans to attend Collin College before transferring to North Texas to earn a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting.
But for someone who sounds like he has been a professional broadcaster for a long time, Lisner is shocked when people see him and realize that he has yet to graduate high school.
“It's definitely something that I get a lot,” he said. “I've heard it every single time that I announce. There was one time when I was sitting in the press box and it was a half inning.
“One of the players came up and said, 'Hey' I need you to come with me. Some guy doesn't believe that you're a kid.' You should have seen the look on the guy's face. He was shocked. It was just an amazing moment. I always want to be known for who I am."
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