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Longtime Winchester scorekeeper receives Clint Hill Service Award

Raymond Riley

Raymond Riley proudly displays a copy of the 2014-2015 JCNHS athletics schedule.

 

by Rick Nichols
Among some, 82-year-old Raymond Riley of Winchester will always be remembered as “that guy,” the man who cast the deciding vote to close the high schools in Winchester and Nortonville so they could be replaced by what was eventually to become known as Jefferson County North High School.
Fortunately, however, among many others, this Kansas native who was the “temporary” director of the Winchester Public Library for 10 years is readily identified in a favorable manner with the Winchester High School and JCNHS athletic programs through his involvement with them over a period of better than 60 years and counting.
In recognition of Riley’s unparalleled devotion to and support of the schools’ sports teams, the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association recently selected him to receive the Clint Hill Service Award for 2015. The award was presented to him Saturday afternoon in Salina during a reception at Kansas Wesleyan University.
“I very much appreciate receiving the award,” Riley said in an email sent to the paper in mid-June. “I have been so lucky to meet and get acquainted with so many good people through my work around high school athletics.”
Born in Atchison, Riley, who lived in Tulsa, Okla., during World War II, moved to Winchester with his family from the Tonganoxie area when he was a freshman in high school and graduated from Winchester High School in 1950. He began keeping statistics for the school’s football team, the Eagles, with the arrival of the 1950 season and continued to log the numbers up until just four years ago, when he decided it was finally time to relinquish his duties. During that 60-year period, by his recollection, he missed only eight games.
One game Riley didn’t miss was the contest between JCNHS and the Jackson Heights Cobras the evening of Friday, Sept. 16, 2005. That’s when the football field in Winchester was officially named Riley Field in his honor during a halftime ceremony. An attractive green and white sign just below the scoreboard that says “Riley Field” was unveiled for all to see at that time.
Riley told the paper last week that he ended up with the game ball from that game, which the Chargers won 8-6 by the way, and now keeps it on a bookshelf in his home.
When the painful decision was made to consolidate the Winchester and Nortonville school districts, Winchester lost its Eagles and Nortonville its Cardinals. But the new district still needed a name. Unbeknownst to Riley, who was on the school board at the time, his son, Tom, suggested the name Jefferson County North, but he was looking for a “more descriptive name” and consequently voted against what turned out to be the winning entry in the “name the school” contest.
Since the 1968-1969 school year, the year JCNHS came into being, Riley has kept stats for the boys’ basketball team and been the public address announcer. During the first 31 years of that stretch he kept stats for both the boys’ team and the girls’ team.
Since his association with the Charger basketball teams first began, Riley has “only missed a handful of games,” according to him.
The information Riley has compiled over the years includes a complete list containing the names, career point totals and graduation years of the 278 boys who have scored at least one point while playing basketball for the Chargers, a list he updates after every game. He also has a complete list containing the names and records of all of the boys’ basketball coaches.
After graduating from high school, Riley worked in Topeka as a bank bookkeeper and teller for 10 years. He then became the printing and mailing supervisor for the Kansas State Chamber of Commerce, a position he held for more than 34 years.
Upon his retirement at age 63, Riley agreed to be the “temporary” director of the Winchester library. It was during the 10-year period he was in charge of the facility that the present $600,000 building was planned and constructed. He continues to work at the library on a part-time basis.
For the past 50 years Riley has been the organist at the United Methodist Church in Winchester. On his 70th birthday, he was given a chance to play the organ at Kauffman Stadium, the home of the Kansas City Royals.
A big baseball fan, something he attributes to his father’s influence on him, Riley was in the stands for some of the playoff games when the Royals made their run to the 1985 world championship.
Riley and his wife, Marie, who accompanies him to just about every Chargers game, have been married for 62 years. Their union has produced six children, four of whom are living, as well as 11 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
The Hill Award is named after Clint Hill, who was instrumental in the founding of the KBCA and served as the executive director of the organization for 15 years. In 1984, he was inducted into the KBCA’s Hall of Fame.
A native of the Galva area, Hill attended McPherson College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1948, and later Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia, receiving a master’s degree in secondary education in 1967. He was a high school teacher and coach for 19 years and a school administrator for 21. The highlights of his coaching career include two basketball championships and a state cross country title. As an administrator, he served on the Executive Board of the Kansas State High School Activities Association.
Hill retired from the field of education in 1988.
Riley was nominated for the Hill Award by Steve Noll, the head coach of the girls’ basketball team at JCNHS.

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Posted by on Jul 7 2015. Filed under Featured, The Independent. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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