Team manager honored at Senior Night
Tonganoxie High basketball manager Rhett Clark was the focus of an unexpected ceremony -- at least to him.
Clark, a senior at THS, joined dance team and girls and boys basketball seniors for a Senior Night ceremony between the boys and girls basketball games Friday at Phil Lobb Gymnasium.
Public address announcer Phil Williams read through lists of accomplishments and plans of several seniors. When Clark was introduced, however, a different list was read. Williams read a light-hearted list of accomplishments for Clark involving his basketball-managing career. He has been a basketball manager since eighth grade at Tonganoxie. Basketball coaches have found Clark extremely helpful with recording basketball statistics for both teams the last four years, Williams said.
But on Friday, he was at center-stage. A red-and-white warm-up top with "Clark" on the back was hung from a side backboard in the gymnasium. After Williams spoke about Clark, the backboard was mechanically raised and the uniform was displayed high above the court. During the ceremony Williams said Clark's "jersey" was the first to be retired in the gymnasium.
Of course, the jersey's hang time was short-lived as the goal is used during basketball practices.
"I was kind of disappointed they didn't read off the list I had written, but that's fine," Clark said.
The list Clark prepared included that he was a member of debate and forensics teams, among other things, and that he planned to attend Kansas State University.
But Clark went along with the jersey retirement.
In fact, he said he wouldn't mind if the warm-up top stayed in the rafters.
"It'd be pretty sweet if it did," Clark said.
Although the uniform won't hang from the backboard, THS boys coach David Walker said plans were in the works to hang the jersey somewhere in the gymnasium.
Walker said Clark has been an asset to Tonganoxie basketball.
"He's been tremendous," Walker said. "It's very hard for people to understand all the things that go on behind the scenes. Everything from laundry to cleaning up after practice to making sure I'm on schedule."