Jay Long, the “Voice of the Wildcats,” received the Dave DuVall Award from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association District 1 athletic directors Thursday, Aug. 23, in Mount Vernon.
The award honors individuals who have, over a long period of time, been instrumental in serving Northwest District 1 or a particular school.
District 1 includes 60 high schools and 57 middle schools, all north of Seattle.
DuVall, who spent most of his years at Mount Vernon, worked in public education for 43 years as a teacher, coach and administrator.
Long has been the public address announcer for Oak Harbor High School football and basketball games for 28 years. His talent behind the microphone earned him the opportunity to announce state 3A and 4A basketball games for the past 15 years, as well as other WIAA tournament events.
His service to athletics goes beyond announcing. He worked as a softball official on the local, state and national level. Last week, he umpired at the state Special Olympics.
Long is a 1969 graduate of Oak Harbor High School and majored in broadcasting at the University of Washington.
Long said he was “humbled and honored” to receive the award.
Long dedicated the award to the one person who has been at his side throughout his career, his wife of 38 years, Suzie, who died recently after a 3-and-a-half year battle with ovarian cancer.
Suzie sat beside Jay in the football announcer’s booth running the score clock and next to Jay at the officials’ table in basketball.
“She was my No. 1 supporter and best friend,” Jay Long said. “She was truly an angel among us.”
Long is the fifth Oak Harbor resident to receive the DuVall Award since its inception in 1985.
Pete Hulswit, an athletic trainer, and Dr. Warren Howe, a team doctor, won the award in 1986. The pair not only worked with Oak Harbor athletes but shared their talents at the state wrestling tournament each year.
Bernie and Mary Lange received the award in 2007. The Langes are Oak Harbor’s biggest Wildcat fans, supporting the teams since the 1940s.