Ebbert enjoys role of mat commentator
"Jack of all trades" is sometimes a phrase that can be overused in the sports world.
When it comes to Lehighton resident George Ebbert, however, that title is a perfect fit.
Area football fans may know Ebbert from his coaching days at Lehighton where he's been on the sidelines for over 20 years serving as the Indians' head coach the last four seasons.
Along with his teaching duties at Lehighton High School, Ebbert has another passion in his life. Ebbert's talents reach beyond the gridiron to the broadcast seat, where the past two decades he has been calling wrestling matches for Blue Ridge Communications TV 13.
Ebbert wrestled for the Indians in his high school days and along also served as Lehighton's head wrestling coach in the late 80's. Ebbert began his coaching career as an assistant at Lehighton after college and then took the Palmerton head coaching position before heading back to his alma mater.
Ebbert's broadcasting gig most certainly has an interesting story behind it and stemmed from his brother, Greg Ebbert, who called matches for BRC TV 13 as well.
"My brother Greg was doing matches for BRC TV 13 and he really didn't know that much about the sport," said Ebbert. "I actually used to write down wrestling moves on a sheet of paper and then sit behind Greg at matches.
"When a wrestler would carry out a certain move on the mat I would point to that particular move on the sheet and then he would relay it on the air."
When the opportunity arose to sit next to Greg on the telecasts, George jumped at the shot to join his brother.
"After helping Greg it really just snowballed from there," said Ebbert. "Somebody left and I got the opportunity to call matches with him. It was great, and obviously I felt comfortable because he's my brother and I think we did a good job together."
Over the years Ebbert has seen many gifted grapplers and memorable wrestling moments and mentioned that covering wrestling in the Eastern Pennsylvania area has been a delight because of the high-level of talent.
"The ability level around the area has always been great," added Ebbert. "I've seen so many good wrestlers it's hard to name just a few, but I think back to the early 90's when Northampton and Nazareth had incredible wrestling teams.
"They had some battles and I would have to say they were some of the best matches we've ever covered."
When Greg passed away in 2007, BRC TV 13 sports anchor Brian Unangst joined George for the 2007-08 season and Unangst has no doubt enjoyed his time calling matches with Ebbert.
"It's fun doing matches with George," said Unangst. "He knows everybody and a lot of the kids too, which is kind of cool when we go to matches. He's very knowledgeable and really gets into the matches. I always laugh when we get to the individual district championships. We're covering the 2A matches and George is so worried about who's doing what in the 3A matches that I have to nudge him a little bit and remind him we're doing the matches over here.
"I think we make a good team, he's more laid back and I can get pretty excited at times so our flow works well."
Ebbert is first and foremost a fan but has always been grateful for the opportunity to commentate the matches and enjoys just being involved in the sport.
"I love being around it," said Ebbert. "I still go to the state championships every year and it's great to watch these kids grow as wrestlers.
"Like I said, it's a great area for wrestling and it's an honor to be a part of it all."