It's become a staple of Friday nights in Wagener. Whenever the War Eagles have hosted a football game over the past six years or so, the fans, the players and even some of the visitors have come to expect it.

And then, with the first crushing hit or big tackle, Darryl Bynem lets out a thunderous call from his perch in the press box: 

"Boom shakalaka!"

The two words have become sort of a catch phrase for one of the area's most distinctive high school football public address announcers.

"Everybody wants to hear the 'boom shakalaka'. If it's not that, they want to here the 'ooo wee,'" Bynem said. "That usually means something good just happened."

Bynem's unique style as the PA guy has led to several people visiting the press box on Friday nights to see the voice of Wagener-Salley football. He said he's had visits from opposing fans, and S.C. Rep. Bill Taylor stops by every time he's in town for a game.

Bynem has seen a lot of football in the Wagener area. He said the fierce play of the War Eagles year after year is what makes his job easy. Players like R.J. Tyler, Cam Shiffner, Malcolm Stroman, Tyquan Williams, Eric Corley and Quintez Barnes have been a few of the names to produce some of the memorable moments for Bynem.  

"We've always been full of talent in Wagener. It's been so many to play through the years," Bynem said. "They're the ones who inspired all the things I say."

Bynem has had the added bonus of being able to watch several family members play while announcing during games at Wagener-Salley. He grew up in the area, and his son played for the program. He currently gets to watch his nephew Jeremiah play as he announces.

Bynem's Wagener roots run deep. He was a quarterback for the Wagener-Salley football team in the mid 80s. His brother Leonard — Jeremiah's dad — was one of the stars of past Wagener-Salley teams.

"He was the one that made my job easier as the quarterback even when I was just learning stuff," Darryl said. "He made sure nobody hit little bro."

Bynem said the camaraderie and friendships he built growing up playing football in Wagener are some of his favorite memories. He still stays in touch with several of his teammates.

Bynem's love of the game never faded. He coached at the middle school and youth levels in Wagener. That's also where he first started announcing games.

"We also try to make sure we instill that in the players now," Bynem said. "Wagener has always had a rich tradition of football. You see a lot of the support from the town. People are always going to come out and create a great atmosphere for football."

​Eric Russell is the sports editor at the Aiken Standard. Contact him at 803-644-2396.