PORT ISABEL, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Port Isabel community is celebrating Gualberto “Wally” Gonzalez’s five decades of service.
“It’s been exciting,” said the longtime public address announcer at Port Isabel football games. “Especially from support I get from fans of Port Isabel.”
Gonzalez is in his 50th year of announcing football games at Port Isabel High School. The longtime public address announcer also works at other Tarpon sporting events.
A 1971 graduate of the school, Wally helped out at football games in anyway possible after he graduated.
“I’d come help for JV games as an official or the yardsticks,” Gonzalez said. “In 1972, I started going up to press box. Principal by the name of Christensen said why don’t you start talking into the mic Gualberto, so I did.”
Wally became began working as the public address announcer on a full-time basis in 1974.
“That was first year we went to playoffs,” Wally said. “We won district. We played Freer at Sams Stadium.”
Wally has witnessed many great Port Isabel games.
He can rattle off names of past players and memorable experiences, such as seeing the Tarpons reach the state semifinals three times.
One of the games that came to his mind when we chatted with him was a contest between the Tarpons and Los Fresnos in the early 1980’s.
“We were losing to Los Fresnos and Donald Guillot was the quarterback. The last play of the game, he had a lot of speed, he played baseball for Pan American University, he did a 76-yard run for a touchdown. I went crazy in the press box. I went crazy, started yelling in the mic.”
While players and coaches have come and gone, you can always count on Wally’s presence at Port Isabel football games.
“I left in ’94-’95,” said current Port Isabel football coach Tony Villarreal. “I came back and I hear his voice and I’m like, I’m back home. I should have never left. It feels right. He brings a lot of color and experience.”
“I didn’t expect all of this,” Gonzalez said. “I just did it because I loved it. I love doing it for high school kids.”