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Longtime Dobbs Ferry football announcer "Scotty" Shevlin passes away at 84

Eugene Rapay
Rockland/Westchester Journal News
David "Scotty" Shevlin was the voice of the Dobbs Ferry Eagles for 47 years.

Football games aren't going to be the same at Dobbs Ferry.

The town is mourning the death of the school's longtime PA announcer, David Shevlin, who passed away at the age of 84 on Thursday after a stroke.

Better known as "Scotty," a nickname for his Scottish roots, Shevlin was a fixture at the Eagles' home football games at Gould Park, where he announced for 47 years with a telltale accent.

"His legacy was his uniqueness," said former Dobbs Ferry athletic director Jim Lindsay, who also coached and taught in the school district for over four decades. "When he would be announcing a game, you never knew what description of a play, or what comment would come out of his mouth. Obviously, nobody will be able to replace him, his uniqueness was what made him who he was."

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Generations of Dobbs Ferry football players and fans heard Shevlin's voice throughout the years. Even as some alumni return to catch a game years after their playing days or even to watch their sons suit up for the Eagles, they continued to hear some of Shevlin's trademark sayings.

AG电子游戏攻略They can vividly remember the man with the brogue saying, "There's a yellow handkerchief on the field," when a penalty was called or, "Diddle, diddle up the middle," after a nice run. Aside from commentary on the game, he would even provide countdowns to Christmas in the month of September or sneak in some professional European soccer scores. 

AG电子游戏攻略"It's almost like Bob Sheppard, if you're a Yankee fan," said Justin Kamke, a 1995 Dobbs Ferry High School graduate who now serves as a police officer in the village. "Bob Sheppard called out for the Yankees for all those years and everybody wanting to be a Yankee couldn't wait to hear that. Same thing. You remembered playing Pop Warner thinking one day you'd be playing for the Dobbs Ferry Eagles and Scotty would be up there calling your name, your friend's name, talking about you and your family. It was like a rite of passage."

David "Scotty" Shevlin (left) poses for a photo with 1995 Dobbs Ferry graduate and police officer Justin Kamke (right) before a football game.

Although football wasn't his first love, he immersed himself in the town's tradition and love for the sport. He witnessed the Eagles rise into a perennial power during the 1980s, and stuck through the decline in the 1990s, when Dobbs Ferry had to merge with neighboring rival Hastings. He was excited for Dobbs Ferry's reboot and eventual ascension to state championship glory during the 2000s and was preparing for what would have been his 48th season this fall.

"He took pride in everything he did," said Betsy Gelardi, the former Dobbs Ferry police chief and close friend of Shevlin. "For the last few years, this is what he lived for, preparing for the football games. He would spend every evening, sitting at his desk and making notes about what he was going to say."

AG电子游戏攻略Through it all, he still remembered the names of former and current players, frequently running into some of them nearly every morning just outside his favorite deli, Hi-Smiley Mart, on the town's Main Street, where he would trade stories and read the newspaper while sipping on a cup of coffee.

"He was as sharp as ever," 2002 Dobbs Ferry graduate and current head football coach Joe Cox said. "The stories were as vivid as if they happened yesterday, these stories from 30-40 years ago. He could remember every detail. He has a better memory than I do, and he was almost 50 years older than me. It's just really sad."

David "Scotty" Shevlin photographed during his 84th birthday in June.

Away from football, he was active in the community, the American Legion, and at the town's senior center. 

"Scotty always had his sense of humor and one-liners, we'll all remember those, but one outstanding part of Scotty's personality was his kindness," said Abby Connett, director of the Dobbs Ferry senior program. "I really noticed in the later years at the senior center, if one of the other seniors was going through something, was particularly quiet, sitting alone, or not in for a couple of days, he would go over to that person. He would invite somebody to sit at the table. He would go out of his way to try and uplift their spirits."

AG电子游戏攻略Born in Scotland, Shevlin made his way to New York shortly after serving in the Vietnam War. He got his master's degree in education at Adelphi University. He taught at Dobbs Ferry High School and coached soccer there, before moving on to work for the city of Rye. Shevlin even made a few guest appearances as the PA announcer for Irvington football games during the 1980s. He was also the president of the Queens-based New York Shamrocks Soccer Club for 22 years.

AG电子游戏攻略The next time the Eagles play down at Gould Park, it won't be the same.

"You're gonna find a lot of people looking up to the scaffolding and for him to not be there is going to be a tremendous loss for the community," Kamke said. "For the football community, and everybody as a whole."

Follow Eugene Rapay on Twitter at @erapay5. Don't miss any of our exclusive content during the season. If you're not already subscribing, please click here to view our latest specials.

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