'I watched the old Leavenworth Braves. I thought I was rich when I returned foul balls to the dugout and collected a nickel for every returned ball.'
Residence: Leavenworth/ Lansing
Favorite high school: Immaculata High School
Favorite collegiate team: Auburn University
Favorite pro team: Kansas City Royals
To begin with, how long have you been a fan of the local sports scene?
I started realizing what sports were all about at the age of four and attending games at the old VA Stadium. I watched the old Leavenworth Braves. I thought I was rich when I returned foul balls to the dugout and collected a nickel for every returned ball.
Looking back over the years, what are the best local games you’ve ever seen?
I enjoyed watching the American Legion ball through the late 50’s and 60’s. I watched Jerry Richardson, Herman Rathman, Bill Geiger, Sonny Dix, the Danaher brothers, Larry Brown, Skip Jahn, Ray Graf, Jerry Schneider, the Rettele brothers and on and on and on.
On the high school scene in football and basketball, I remember watching the undefeated Immaculata team and the “Fab Five” at Leavenworth High School.
I also remember individuals such as Oliver Gillom, Ray Simpson, Pete Coan, Pat McGlinn, Kenny Kersten, Pat Taylor, Jerry Reilly and Steve Wagner.
I also recall some of the great high school coaches in Leavenworth such as Bill Young, Earl Johnsmeyer, Larry Widlowski, Vaughn Kimbrough, Wayne Seymour and Bob Hudgins.
I remember many of the men who dedicated their time coaching in the youth sports such as Larry Sanders, Ken Kenny, “Cat” Harthorn, Walt Montgomery, Chief Peters, Walt Beckerjeck and Guy Tinder.
Of the local players you have watched, who sticks out to you as one of the best all-time?
Being a proud, prejudiced parent, my favorite athletes were Tabe (all-state soccer), Carah (all-state soccer) and Troy (state runner-up in wrestling). Every time they stepped on the field or mat was memorable for me.
What was the best local team you ever watched?
The undefeated state basketball championship team from Immaculata in the early 60’s. I remember the packed gym and having to sit on the floor because there were no other seats.
I do not remember a star on the team. I remember how well they played together as a team.
For you personally, what do you like most about high school sports? Why do you follow/enjoy it so much?
When coached correctly, sports have the capability of teaching so many life lessons. It teaches determination and the importance of striving to be the best.
On the other hand, it has the capability of teaching sportsmanship, humility and how to graciously accept defeat.