Timber Lake’s own, Jay Rokeach (aka JayRo), has recently landed a job as the announcer for the NHL Florida Panthers, and we couldn’t be prouder. In fact, if you can’t hear us, we’ll shout a little louder!
JayRo started in the broadcasting industry when he was a teenager. As JayRo said, “If you know at an early age you aren’t going to be a great athlete but you love sports, you look for different avenues to get involved.” He was his High School basketball team’s manager and soon after he began announcing the games himself. He went on to the University of Miami and looked to get involved there as well. In typical JayRo fashion, when asked about which sport he approached first when he wanted to help out, he said “Basketball. They went to Hawaii and had a great road schedule. Couldn’t pass that up!” Although the basketball team already had people in place, JayRo landed his first gig as the school’s Baseball PA announcer in 1968. Soon after, he got promoted as the PA announcer of the school’s basketball, football, and volleyball teams.
JayRo started at Timber Lake in 1972 as Jay’s counselor. He was involved in the Teen Division and eventually became TLC’s Program Director for many years, before ending his tenure in 2006. JayRo continues to come back to camp every summer for Breakout and Marathon. To say that his celebrity status up at camp is still alive is a major understatement!
JayRo is most remembered at TLC for his booming voice and marvelous calls during the Gordon, Jacobs and Melter Cup tournaments. When asked about his favorite part of announcing the inter-camp tournaments, JayRo responded by saying, “Any game where we win. I know that the kids that participate in these tournaments really put in an incredible amount of extra time. When we win, it gives the kids a real feeling of satisfaction and it definitely boosts the camps morale.” TLC alumni (and some current staff & campers) have distinct memories of the Timber Dome going crazy after a TLC goal score followed by “He put the biscuit in the basket!” in JayRo’s infamous voice.
The only way to end this article is to use this quote that JayRo made famous at our Gordon Cup Pep Rallies; “Heroes are remembered, but legends never die.” JayRo is a true TLC legend and we wish him the best of luck on his new endeavor down in sunny Florida!