Aug 28, 2012 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterIf change is good, then Riverton is good, at least as far as Riverton High School Athletics are concerned.
A lot has changed since one year ago, when the football Wolverines still called Tonkin Stadium home and Terry Snyder was working his first days in his new job as superintendent of Riverton's schools.
As the semester started last year, Snyder faced a somewhat controversial decision regarding whether the Wolverines would continue to play at Tonkin Stadium or move to Wolverine Field, where some seating had been installed on Riverton's showcase, artificial-surface, athletic complex. After considering ample public input, the superintendent was decisive in crafting a plan that gave Tonkin a fitting farewell and the team and community a nice transition to a new football home on the campus of RHS.
Even more impressive is that you started to see superintendent Snyder out in the community, at athletic events, even traveling to support the Wolverines and Lady Wolverines as they competed. Snyder was there and cheering as loud as other Riverton fans when Lady Wolverine Olivia Thompson was mowing down the Class 4-A's best runners in Douglas as a freshman on her way to winning a state cross country title for the Lady Wolverines.
He was in the seats watching the Lady Wolverines compete at their state volleyball tournament. He was at football games, basketball games, track meets and soccer matches, and probably caught a tennis match or two.
And his presence wasn't noted at just athletic events, Snyder supports all activities in person -- athletic, artistic or academic -- and that is a refreshing change.
The superintendent has many, many issues on his plate as he works to improves Riverton's schools. But his leadership in supporting and improving RHS athletics can't be understated.
Snyder led the delicate transition that resulted in the hiring of Riverton's new activities director.
His vision will be on full display Friday night when our football team hosts its first home game in an expanded and improved Wolverine Field.
More seating, including more comfortable seats with added legroom, has been installed for home-side fans and even more bleachers will be there for our visiting friends.
We're about to have indoor plumbing again and a nice concession stand at the home of our soccer, track and football teams.
Standing on the field, you finally get the feeling that you are in a stadium.
As RHS football coach Jeremy McCormick correctly noted, the seats are high enough that you aren't just looking at the school.
And much of the credit goes to Snyder, who, with the support of the Riverton school board, has expanded the facility within the means of school resources. Wolverine Field is nearing the point where the term "stadium" may be more accurate.
Snyder is a former coach.
He has expressed his commitment to supporting Riverton's athletes and believes in the vertical integration of athletic programs. In other words, Snyder gets it that our middle school and high school programs must work together in a planned way to give our athletes the best opportunity for success with programs, coaches and leadership crafted with concern for our student's future from the moment they enter the world of school athletics. Change is good.
Former Riverton High School activities director Bill Strannigan, a good man and my friend, passed away Monday. I will miss him.
Have a great sports week.
Go Big Red!
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