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Kansas Pregame accepting nominations for fall Supporting Cast

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Kansas Pregame is seeking nominations for the 2024 Nex-Tech Wireless Fall Supporting Cast. From officials to administrators to volunteers and more, help Kansas Pregame and Nex-Tech Wireless recognize the generous individuals who make high school athletics a reality through countless behind the scenes jobs. Email nominations to by July 16th with details about the deserving nominee's important supporting role in the Kansas high school athletic scene.
Check out the stories of last fall's supporting cast below:

Dennis Reynolds, Hill City

Since 1972, “Welcome to Ringneck Country” is a phrase heard many times by fans of Hill City athletics, and can be traced back to one community icon, the “Voice of the Ringnecks,” Dennis Reynolds.

Reynolds was born and raised in Holton, where he graduated in 1961 and went on to marry high school sweetheart Sue Reynolds and start a career selling men’s western clothing in Ottawa, before eventually moving to Stockton five years later. It was then that Reynolds first got started as the public address announcer for  the Tigers.

Reynolds and his family moved to Hill City in 1972, where his voice has left a lasting mark on the community. 

Reynolds announced multiple junior high and high school sporting events for over a decade at Hill City, seeing his sons Jeff and Brad Reynolds both graduate in that time, before he and Sue moved on to Colorado Springs in 1984 after selling Den’s Clothing to continue Dennis’ retail career, seemingly leaving his announcing behind.

But in 2009, after retiring from a 48-year career in retail clothing, “Ringneck Country” regained its voice when Reynolds moved back to Hill City, and was immediately offered his old post back.

“Dennis and his voice are iconic to Hill City sports,” ninth-year Ringneck football coach Travis Desbien said. “He’s announced nearly every sport at some point in time, and he’s got the perfect voice to capture the action of sports. He’s been a part of the community so long that he knows most of the athletes and their parents personally. His passion for sports has even spread to his grandson, Tate Reynold, who now serves as the voice of Hill City’s Open Spaces Sports programming.”


Jennifer Sturges, Salina South

Growing up in Sterling, Kan., Jennifer Sturges has been around supportive communities and people for as long as she can remember.

“If you are raised in a small town, you know the whole town supports everything going on,” Sturges said. “My family was no different. I remember my mom always writing lots of notes. I didn’t really understand at the time why she did that.”

After earning her teaching degree from K-State in 1974, Sturges went on to teach at Salina South for 40 years, teaching both her daughter and son, who both went on to KSU. Sturges retired in 2014. In that time, she caught on to what her mom was getting at all those years ago.

“When our kids were at K-State, we bought season tickets to football games,” Sturges said. “I guess that is where I really found my passion for writing notes. I started writing to players if they were in an article in the Salina Journal. I cut out the article and sent it too.”

Sturges continued her tradition with an array of recipients, including local students participating in high school sports, drama, and other activities, but recently was faced with unfortunate circumstances.

“Since I never knew their addresses I would just take notes to school and the office aides would deliver them to the kids in class,” Sturges said. “I’ve been doing this for about 35 years or so. Had to quit doing it a couple of years ago because our Salina Journal doesn’t carry that kind of information anymore.”

Despite the setback, Sturges remains a key figure at South.

“She has been a constant among the South High community,” Salina South educator and coach Charlie Lynn said. “Not only is she a substitute teacher, but also, through all seasons and activities has taken time to clip those stories and letters congratulating students. Fantastic person to have in your school system.”


Elkhart school leaders

Elkhart fielded one of the top baseball programs in the state in the spring, taking third in 2-1A with a 21-2 record with multiple All-State selections, the Sports in Kansas 2-1A Pitcher of the Year, Kage Ralstin, and Coach of the Year finalist David Aranda.

However, in early May on their way to a matchup with Ulysses, the team bus suffered a tire blowout, and the Wildcats needed help from another team to get back on the road.

Maintenance and Transportation Directors Donald O’Connor and Andy Bane, Principal Jason Wilson, and Athletic Director Jhon Haehn all jumped into action to coordinate a replacement bus and a plan to get it to the stranded student-athletes.

Wilson and O’Connor drove the replacement north to Ulysses and reached the stranded bus, driven by Angela Nicholson, who helped keep the group calm while waiting, along with law enforcement, and were soon back on the road.

Though the team did arrive late, they still made it to the game, with the Wildcats handily beating the Tigers.

“Elkhart has always been a community that bends over backwards to help those in need,” Aranda said. “The school is no different. Whether it’s a family in need or recognizing someone in the community, Elkhart has always been there to show support to its citizens. It’s home and we all take pride in that!”