Finally, anthem singer in purple

John Urban tries on his new Wildcats’ hat at his Kiwanis club meeting. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth)

By John Eisel: CNJ sports writer

John Urban has been a key part of Clovis High School football for 45 years. That’s his voice across the intercom before the game and during the halftime shows.

For the past 31 years, he’s also sang the national anthem on the field. He’s scheduled to perform those duties again at 2 p.m. Saturday when the Wildcats host La Cueva in the Class 5A state championship game at Leon Williams Stadium.

Like most people who perform in public, Urban is subject to criticism. And he has been hammered for his efforts at times. Nobody complains about his singing; it’s his hat that’s caused the controversy.

When the season winds down and the air nips at the skin, Urban has dawned a red, white and blue ski cap for his pre-game performance.

“I wouldn’t be caught dead in it,” said Clovis fan Jim Cowman.

Cowman described Urban’s head covering as a multi-colored mess and the “world’s worst ski hat.”
“It’s terrible,” Tracy Kimberly agreed.

Urban said the hat was floppy, but not nearly as bad as the critics claimed.

Still, Cowman and Kimberly, both members of the local Kiwanis Club along with Urban, decided to do something about their friend’s apparel.

The search began for a purple Wildcats ski cap.
“I would think they’d have a beer case of them, but they don’t,” Cowman said.

But like a determined Wildcats running back, Cowman kept searching for paydirt. After hitting six or seven stores, he finally scored.

At Wednesday’s Kiwanis meeting, Urban received a new purple ski cap. It has “Wildcats” adorned on the brim.

“Pregame ceremony come Saturday, he’s going to be in the right hat,” Cowman said.