‘Bonner’ ready to take on Bonner
Just call him Bonner.
Chris Ridihalgh, a senior offensive and defensive lineman for the Tonganoxie football team, is most known for his nickname.
Ridihalgh went to school in Bonner Springs from the sixth through eighth grades before transferring to Tonganoxie his freshman year.
That's when his nickname came into play. Ridihalgh wore a Bonner Springs T-shirt to a weightlifting session, a decision that didn't go unnoticed.
Former players Andrew Miller and Chuck Riddle started referring to Ridihalgh as "The Bonner man."
From there the nickname evolved to Bonner.
On Friday, Bonner the player will meet Bonner the football team.
Tonganoxie will play at Beatty Field against Bonner Springs in the first week of districts as Ridihalgh will take on players he once played with in junior high.
"It makes it pretty special just to know how they're doing now," Ridihalgh said.
Although Ridihalgh doesn't know every player on the Bonner Springs roster, he does know a handful of players from when he went there.
The game has playoff implications for Tonganoxie, but it also has a deeper meaning for the senior lineman.
"Some of them used to be my friends and some of them used to be school bullies and stuff," Ridihalgh said. "And now I'm getting payback on the field."
Ridihalgh's current team is 5-1 overall and 5-1 in the Kaw Valley League. His former school is 2-4 overall and 2-3 in the KVL.
Although Tonganoxie has a superior record, Bonner Springs has improved since last year when the team went 1-8 and fell to Tonganoxie, 49-16 in the Week 1 of districts.
In Ridihalgh's mind, the records won't mean much when his former and current teams square off in Tonganoxie.
"We've got to be focused for the game and we have to do our best to beat them," Ridihalgh said.