13-year-old takes over as play-by-play announcer for high school football games

Inside the booth with Grant Dahlstrom. (KWQC)
Published: Sep. 30, 2023 at 12:28 AM MST
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MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC/Gray News) - On Friday nights during football season, play-by-play announcer Grant Dahlstrom sits high above Browning Field in Illinois.

“You will have the best opportunity to get to a bigger level,” Dahlstrom said. “The only way to do that is to get experience.”

Dahlstrom is just 13 years old but already has years of experience broadcasting on YouTube.

“It’s something I want to do with my future, so why not start young?” Dahlstrom said. “The ability to be a part of the excitement for the games that I get to broadcast (is cool).”

Recently, an opportunity presented itself in the form of sports platform QCSportsNet.

“To say (Grant) is polished well beyond his years is an understatement,” said Ken Jacoby, owner of QCSportsNet. “He’s kind of our unicorn because you don’t usually find broadcasters anywhere near this young who have that much ability.”

Dahlstrom said his play-by-play style is a combination of a few different announcers, including the Chicago Cubs’ Jon “Boog” Sciambi. His preparation for a Moline game doesn’t start the day of but days prior.

“Usually, I get rosters sent around Tuesday or Wednesday and then I start doing some research on the big players like running backs, quarterbacks, and like the leading receivers,” Dahlstrom said. “I get stats sent to me later on the week as well. Then I put that into the roster, and they all kind of mesh together.”

“He doesn’t miss a beat, and when that microphone goes on, and it is time to talk, you can tell that he is ready,” Jacoby said.

Similar to other well-known broadcasters, Dahlstrom is constantly looking for areas where he can improve.

“Being more descriptive and saying the score more and all that,” Dahlstrom said.

“You can’t teach somebody to just be a good play-by-play announcer. You have to have a gift, and he’s got the gift 10 times over,” Jacoby said.

Dahlstrom said, down the line, his dream is to call a big sports event like the World Series or Super Bowl.