Editor's Note: Kansas Pregame is seeking nominations for the Nex-Tech Wireless Supporting Cast. The first ever Nex-Tech Wireless Spring Supporting Cast was released in the Spring Sports Preview and more details can be found in the magazine and the article below. Kansas Pregame continues to expand our coverage of sports across the Sunflower State. Nominations received so far include football team managers, public address announcers, statisticians and other volunteers and support staff. Please consider nominating worthy volunteers and support staff for all high school sports in Kansas, and not just volunteers and administrators, but cheerleaders, band members and role players for all sports and teams of all sizes across the state. Nex-Tech Wireless and Kansas Pregame are dedicated to recognizing the essential contributors to team success beyond just the star players and head coaches.
You can submit nominations for the Nex-Tech Wireless Supporting Cast by messaging Kansas Pregame on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, texting or calling (785) 524-6019 or mailing a nomination to Kansas Pregame, PO Box 186, Lincoln, KS 67455.
Thank you to long-time Kansas Pregame sponsor Nex-Tech Wireless for making the Supporting Cast feature possible. For more about the outstanding products and service provided by Nex-Tech Wireless visit them online at www.nex-techwireless.com or find them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
First ever Nex-Tech Wireless Spring Supporting Cast announced, nominations sought for fall
High school athletics is one of the most exciting and engaging forms of entertainment in Kansas and in the eyes of coaches and many teachers an extension of the educational experience. But, it takes a lot of work behind the scenes to make sure the student-athletes translate their hard work into success. In most cases that success is measured in the form of wins, but that success can take many other forms including team and individual bests, academic success and work-school balance.
Those measures of success are not attainable without tremendous support behind the scenes.
Kansas Pregame and Nex-Tech Wireless are teaming up to highlight those “unsung heroes” and all that they do to make team and individual success a reality. Those essential contributors include athletic directors, cheerleaders, band members, statisticians, role players, team managers, assistant coaches, athletic trainers, sportswriters, broadcasters, booster club members and many more.
"The new Nex-Tech Wireless 'Supporting Cast' is one of my favorite features we’ve ever done," Kansas Pregame publisher John Baetz said. "The success of a team or school is far more than the contributions of a few star players or a head coach. It's the administration, the parents and perhaps most importantly the unsung volunteers who make the job of the coaches and players easier."
Spring honorees in the initial Supporting Cast include Carol Swenson, Melissa Williamson, and the South Gray High School band. Check out their features on page three of the all new spring edition at this link, or find a brief snapshot of each honoree below:
Swenson is a well-known statistician from McPherson who is perhaps most active during state track and field time.
Swenson is a 2017 KSHSAA Hall of Fame inductee. He has been compiling high school statistics throughout the state for 44 years.
Swenson is one of the most well-respected figures in Kansas high school sports and a quintessential representative of the “Supporting Cast” award.
Williamson is a senior at St. John High School. She is the student manager for one of the most successful basketball programs in the state in addition to being a standout student.
Williamson’s teachers describe her as “helpful,” “responsible,” and “self-motivated.” St. John boys basketball head coach Clint Kinnamon praises her work ethic. Key traits of any member of the “Supporting Cast”.
Rarely is a high school band credited with a key role in team’s success. But the South Gray band is an exception.
In 2018, South Gray went undefeated en route to the 1A-Division I state championship. Afterwards, head coach Mark Applegate lauded the band.
“If you’ve ever been to the state tournament (with South Gray in it), the excitement is really high,” Applegate told the Garden City Telegram after being chosen the newspaper's Coach of the Year for 2018. “Our pep band adds to it. They get wrapped up in the excitement. They just want to be there – every year. . . I can’t say enough about our fans and our pep band. They really add to the excitement and the environment.”
Applegate also credits long-time band director James McMillian for the high-quality performances put on by the South Gray band.
At South Gray High School, the band is an essential member of the “Supporting Cast”.
Nominate a key supporting cast member from your community and they might earn recognition in an upcoming issue of Kansas Pregame, on KansasPregame.com and at a Nex-Tech Wireless location.
You can submit nominations for the Nex-Tech Wireless Supporting Cast by messaging Kansas Pregame on Facebook or Twitter, emailing email@example.com, texting or calling (785) 524-6019 or mailing a nomination to Kansas Pregame, PO Box 186, Lincoln, KS 67455.
“We're excited to partner with Nex-Tech Wireless to recognize the key students and community members who are an essential part in the success of the team,” Baetz said. “Nominate a Supporting Cast member from your community and give them the chance at some much deserved recognition.”
Gallagher Martin is a sportswriter for Kansas Pregame and the McPherson Sentinel.