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By Steve Finley
Sports Editor 

The 12th man helps Culver City football off the field

 

November 30, 2023

George Laase

Culver City High School football announcer Mike Cohen just finished his 45th season as the voice of the Centaurs. Congratulations Mike (Mr. Culver City.

The National Football League (NFL) has the Seattle Seahawks that have the 12th man. Their 12th man is the Seattle fans in the stands that are so boisterous and supportive that they are called the 12th man. The game of football has 11 men on the field. Culver City High School football team has a supportive staff that makes the program one of the best in Southern California. Announcers, athletic director, administrative staff, the band, ground keepers, snack bar personnel, security guards and even the younger players who sell the game night programs. They are Culver City Football's 12th man.

"We run a first-class organization," said Culver City's head football coach Jahmal Wright. "I get a lot of credit but a lot of the credit should go to the people in the background. It is definitely a relief to see all of the people volunteer their time to make sure everyone has a great experience on Friday night. I think it is really important that we work together to achieve a common goal and that is to have a smooth operation on Friday nights. Everyone has a role and they all do a great job."

One person that has been doing his part is Mike Cohen. Known as "Mr. Culver City" because of his involvement in the community and his love for the city Cohen has been announcing Culver City football games since 1978. He also announces basketball and volleyball games.

"I love all sports and I still play all sports but Friday night football gets the whole Culver City community together," said Cohen. "To see the moms and dads, cheerleaders, pep squads, the players, coaches and the Centaur band makes the night come alive. Some of the coaches are Culver City graduates and now they have kids playing for the Centaurs. Coach Jahmal Wright is a graduate. Friday night is a great reunion."

After 45 years behind the microphone Cohen wants to keep going. "I will keep doing it until they kick me out." Cohen works with another announcer, Dave Detorre, who according to Cohen really gets the crowd motivated and excited. Cohen said there are also other people that help him in the press box. "Everyone that I work with during the game are really, really nice people."

With Wright it's a family affair on game nights because his wife, Monique runs the successful snack bar. "She really does a great job," said Wright. "It's awesome to have the support of my family. I don't have to worry about all of the other aspects of the football program. I can concentrate on coaching. I am very grateful to have my wife by my side."

Wight is also appreciative to have an outstanding coaching staff. "Being a public school, you are not coaching for the money," said Wright. "You are doing it because you want to serve and help. We love what we do. We work with the players and we become one big family. Coach Cornell Myles was instrumental in visualizing everyone working together to help young boys grow up to be responsible men. That's our duty as a Centaur coach."

 

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