Kay earns coveted SCFOA scholarship

David Kay and his mother, Corinne Rouse-Kay, await the presentation of scholarships at the Snohomish County Football Officials Association Hall of Fame Banquet in Everett. - Ben Watanabe / The Record
David Kay and his mother, Corinne Rouse-Kay, await the presentation of scholarships at the Snohomish County Football Officials Association Hall of Fame Banquet in Everett.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

David Kay was speechless after hearing his name called to receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Kay, of Bayview, and his mother, Corinne Rouse-Kay, enjoyed salmon and prime rib dinners while they anxiously awaited the presentation of scholarships. At the 29th annual Snohomish County Football Officials Association Hall of Fame Banquet, held Wednesday in Everett, they listened to the guest speaker, Garland Bryant, a businessman and former NFL player. Bryant shared his cautionary tale and urged the young men to put their education first and make a plan “A” and a plan “B.” The Kays enjoyed chocolate-raspberry cake, but knew winning one of the scholarships would be much sweeter.

Five scholarships were available, so Kay’s odds were good. Then the South Whidbey High School senior listened to the accolades and accomplishments of the other 38 high school seniors from Snohomish County, and was unsure how he stacked up.

“He’s a really inquisitive kid, and a really, really good student,” said Kay’s football coach and teacher Andy Davis.

Kay had his plans set out. He’s a member of National Torch Honor Society, a volunteer club, and Interact, a junior division of Rotary.

Since August, he has volunteered at the University of Washington Medical Center as a patient escort, on top of playing football as a wide receiver and cornerback for South Whidbey, maintaining a 3.89 grade-point average while taking advanced placement classes in statistics, Spanish and world classics in literature. He plans to apply to the University of Washington and Stanford University enroute to a medical career as a surgeon.

“I think I’d like the rush,” Kay said.

Kay anticipated a question on the similarities between football and surgery.

“I thought you might ask that,” Kay said. “When the ball’s in the air it’s one of the most intense feelings.”

During the football season, Kay had his first varsity start in the season opener against Bellingham High School. His most memorable moment was that first varsity game. He sat in the locker room, nervous, and fiddled with his mouth guard and his belt. Once the game started and he ran his routes and covered his receiver, the nerves faded away.

“The responsibility felt good; making sure big plays didn’t go over the top of you,” Kay said.

Davis nominated Kay and Tyler “Chuck” Norris for the scholarships. Davis described his joy watching Kay “blossom” from his first year as a football player to his senior season.

“Both kids I’ve known for a long time, both in the classroom and in the athletic arena,” Davis said.

Norris was joined by his father John and his mother Heidi. Davis called the two-year associated student body president a role model. His own son bought a shirt with the original Chuck Norris screen printed on it in homage to Tyler.

“If kids had to pick a leader, who’s the kid that they look up to, he’s the one they’d probably [pick] most often,” Davis said.

The players then submitted resumes and were selected as 2010 scholar-athletes for the banquet in the Edward Hansen Convention Center in Comcast Arena. Nominees submitted their academic, athletic and extracurricular achievements and activities for review.

“We don’t care if they scored one touchdown or 100. We look at what they do off the field,” said SCFOA board member Robert Sund.

Sund has been on the board of directors for 20 years, is a retired Washington State Patrol officer and has officiated football, basketball, wrestling, baseball, volleyball and soccer contests. He’s also a national track and field official.

Damian Greene and the Association of Falcon Football Alumni sponsored South Whidbey’s table.

“Without them, we wouldn’t be able to do this,” Sund said of the event’s sponsors.

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