Breckenridge Texan

Lance Kitchens joins Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame

Lance Kitchens joins Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame
May 07
10:52 2019

Lance “The Voice of the Buckaroos” Kitchens received the Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame’s Lifetime Achievement for Media award Monday night, May 6, in Abilene.

Kitchens, along with 12 others, was honored at a Hall of Fame banquet at the Abilene Convention Center. The event also included the presentation of scholarships to 14 high school athletes.

A graduate of Midland Lee High School, Kitchens coached and taught in Childress and Quanah before moving to Breckenridge in the early 1970s. He started his broadcast career in 1981 after he retired from coaching and teaching in Breckenridge schools. For two or three years, he announced the Woodson games, which were recorded and played on the radio on Saturdays.

He started broadcasting the Breckenridge High School Buckaroos games live in 1984. Kitchens has continued as the “Voice of the Buckaroos” since then, except for a brief intermission in the fall of 2017. He returned to the airwaves just in time for the 2017-18 basketball season when Breckenridge’s KLXK-KROO Radio was bought by For the Love of the Game Broadcasting company.

Kitchens’ father, the late Herold Kitchens, was also a sports broadcaster, announcing the Childress High School games on the radio in Childress for many years. And, now, a third generation has joined the tradition — Kitchens’ grandson, BHS senior Kelton Wylie, often joins him in broadcasting some of the non-football games.

Earlier this year, when the Hall of Fame inductees were announced, Kitchens said one of the most satisfying things about being the Voice of the Buckaroos for over 30 years has been seeing so many Buckaroos grow up through the years. “I’ve been able to broadcast games for kids who have grown up, and now I’m doing it for their grandkids,” he said. “I’ve seen them grow, and their kids grow, and now their grandkids are playing. The longevity of it has been the most satisfying.”

In addition to broadcasting BHS sports games, in 1981 he also started working for Melton Funeral Home, which was owned by his in-laws, Don and Mary Melton. In 1988, Kitchens and his wife, Sharon, bought the funeral home and eventually changed the name of the business to Melton-Kitchens Funeral Home.

Recently, KLXK/KROO radio station began a scholarship fund to honor Kitchens for his contribution to the broadcast industry and the community of Breckenridge. A scholarship will be awarded to a BHS student and an Albany High School student. For more information about the scholarship fund, call the radio station at 254-559-6544.

Other 2019 inductees into the Hall of Fame include:

  • John Lackey, former Major League pitcher
  • Steve Warren, former Abilene High football coach
  • Julie Goodenough, current Abilene Christian University women’s basketball coach
  • Jackie Ramsey Cox, former national champion skeet shooter
  • Mark Oates, former state champion and NCAA champion gymnast
  • Stanley Whisenhunt, former Abilene Wylie girls basketball coach
  • Brothers Ernie, Charlie and Don Davis of Stamford, 2019 Legacy Award recipients
  • The late Elijah Childers, who played football, basketball and track at Abilene Woodson High School
  • The late Ellis Jones, a former Abilene High football player who played linebacker in the National Football League despite having lost an arm in a childhood accident
  • The late Myrle Greathouse, a former oilman and philanthropist who played football at the University of Oklahoma

Cutline, top photo: Lance Kitchens, left, receives his Lifetime Achievement for Media award and is congratulated by Al Pickett, chairman of the Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame, at Monday night’s banquet in Abilene. Kitchens has been the “Voice of the Buckaroos” for 35 years. (Photo courtesy of the Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame)

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