Kansas Pregame & Nex-Tech Wireless are joining forces to recognize the individuals behind the scenes who help area school sports teams achieve success. Administrators, team managers, assistant coaches, booster club members and more.
Please email nominations for the Nex-Tech Wireless Spring Supporting Cast to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 1st, 2021, and check out our Winter Supporting Cast below.
In a 15-year career with Eagle Radio in Hays, Dustin Armbruster has earned a reputation for excellence as the award winning play-by-play voice for the Hays High Indians and a color analyst for Fort Hays State University athletics. He is also the co-host of the “Bull Morning Show” on 101.9 The Bull.
But Armbruster has also earned an excellent reputation for his role as a volunteer coach for youth sports in Hays, where he coaches The Tribe, a youth basketball team.
Lisa McGrath, a parent of one of the girls in The Tribe program, calls Armbruster an enthusiastic and caring mentor for the young athletes on the team.
“Dustin is very passionate about sports in general, not to mention extremely knowledgeable,” McGrath said. “In addition to those qualities he demonstrates excitement and enthusiasm when he coaches which encourages the athletes to be enthusiastic and excited as well.
“He genuinely cares about each and every athlete and wants to see them all have success and meet their potential,” McGrath added. “He teaches other important aspects such as good sportsmanship and teamwork as well.”
And if that’s not enough, Armbruster is one of the many volunteers who helps with distribution of Kansas Pregame Magazines each year.
Like most of the athletic directors in the state, Beloit’s Kyle Beisner had a unique set of challenges to face this year given the COVID-19 cris. The only constant, was change.
But Beisner attacked each week with a vengeance and made sure the Trojans could participate in as many activities as possible.
“Kyle did a fantastic job leading the athletic department through the fall sports season,” Beloit football coach Brad Gober said. “He was vigilant that COVID protocols were being followed because he wanted to ensure that our kids had the opportunity to take part in athletics and activities.”
A mid-season COVID related football cancellation forced Beisner to spring to action. The game was cancelled at 11:30 a.m. on gameday, and Beisner secured the Centralia game an hour later. The team left at 2 p.m.
“When our game vs Norton was cancelled he immediately came to me about finding a game,” Gober said. “When we found out that Centralia was open, we jumped at the opportunity. He even drove the bus to all our games. He is a great leader and we are extremely lucky to have him here in Beloit!”
Beisner spent 11 years teaching and coaching at Lakeside High School in Downs, before joining the Beloit district as athletic director and assistant principal in 2015. He also serves as an assistant basketball coach.
Hillsboro Booster Club
Like so many small-town booster clubs in Kansas the
Hillsboro Trojan Booster Club is an essential part of providing the students of Unified School District 410 with a quality athletic and academic experience.
Hillsboro Athletic Director Robert
Rempel provided a list of just a few of the many important tasks the club completes each year, including: Organize workers and hospitality for the Trojan Classic mid-season basketball tournament, organize and prepare team meals with parents and raise funds for related expenses, purchase numerous items for teams as the need arises, collaborate with Hillsboro Ford to organize the Drive 4 UR School fundraiser, organize preseason events to recognize teams, and much, much more.
The booster club board is made up of eight to 10 people annually and currently includes Dawn Helmer, Kelly Linnens, Lena Kleiner, Jan Hanschu, Karrie Rathbone, Elizabeth Potucek, Charla Duerksen, Tracy Hefley and Caren Funk.
“I have enjoyed working with the booster club’s executive committee and seeing their passion for the kids, community and school turn into great things,” Rempel said. “They put in countless hours of work to help our programs and all with very little recognition. Thank you, Hillsboro Booster Club for all you do.”
Few Kansas sportswriters have produced as much quality high school sports content in the past decade as Conor Nicholl. A native of St. Louis, Nicholl covered high school sports in western Kansas for The Hays Daily News for several years before embarking on a new career as an employment specialist with Kansas Works. Nicholl worked as a freelancer for several outlets while working for the Hays Daily News and with his job change he expanded those roles.
Nicholl’s byline can be found above stories on Catch It Kansas, Kpreps, Sports in Kansas and in the pages of Kansas Pregame.
Everett Royer of KSportsImages.com travels to games with Nicholl to “tag team” events and provide photos to complement Nicholl’s writing. He calls Nicholl a “walking encyclopedia” of high school sports.
“Anyone that knows Conor knows that he is a passionate supporter of high school sports in Kansas, and his enthusiasm for covering sports is unmatched,” Royer said. ”For Conor, it’s not just about reporting the stats and the scores from the games, it’s about telling the personal stories of the athletes and the coaches that compete.”
Kpreps.com editor Matt Gilmore may have summed it up best by saying, “I’m not sure what Conor Nicholl means to Kansas high school sports can be put into words.”
About Nex-Tech Wireless
Nex-Tech Wireless, owned by Nex-Tech Inc./Rural Telephone, Golden Belt Telephone and Tri-County Telephone is a premiere wireless provider offering high-tech wireless solutions to residents in over 40 counties of central and western Kansas as well as local coverage to 4 counties in Colorado. Nex-Tech Wireless focuses on providing its customers cutting edge technology including data and mobile services, as well as the latest wireless equipment and competitive wireless plans that provide nationwide coverage. For more information, visit www.nex-techwireless.com.