After 25 years as the Voice of the Cougar Dome, Lee Faris called his last game last Friday night, fittingly enough, the state semifinal contest between Quince Orchard and Northwest.
“It’s been amazing that someone will be allowed to spend 25 years having a lot of fun,” Faris said about his career at QO.
Faris was honored during halftime of QO’s playoff game against Walter Johnson last month, and received a warm ovation from the fans in attendance. Many students, who weren’t even born when Faris first took the mic, congratulated him as he returned to his perch in the press box to call the second half.
“I can remember some great times along the way and that’s the fun part,” Faris said. “The great people I met, the students, administrators, especially the Red Army. I was here when it started, and it’s grown dramatically and they are the backbone of the school.”
QO’s student cheering section, the Red Army, was formed in the mid-2000s and has been known for its size, devotion and enthusiasm. Faris helped drive that, encouraging the Red Army at key points in the game to raise the noise levels.
“He’s been a big part of that,” said QO Athletic Director Jeff Rabberman, who presented Faris with a plaque at the halftime ceremony.
Faris ticked off many highlights of his 25 years of service to QO, including watching the ups and downs of the football program.
“They’ve come a long way,” he said of the Cougars, now perennially one of the top football programs in the state.
He said he has tried to be “scrupulously fair to both teams. … A good play is a good play on both sides of the ball on both sides of the field.” He said he hoped that parents of visiting teams remember that he acknowledged good plays by their players. Faris may be leaving the press box, but he still plans to spend Friday nights at the Cougar Dome.
“I’ll be back at the games, but I think it’s time for them to start with a different shtick,” he said. “I hope they can keep it personable. That’s what I’ve tried to do.”
As to what he’ll miss most, he mentioned not only the football players, but the band, the poms, the cheerleaders, and the students who have all come to associate his voice with Quince Orchard football.
“I’ll miss these kids,” he said.