McCreery legacy honored at G-R
Editor’s Note: The following is a dedication written and delivered by retired educator, coach, and Gladbrook-Reinbeck Athletic Director Terri Luehring prior to the Rebel’s home varsity football game on Aug. 27. Luehring was a longtime colleague and friend of the late Dick McCreery who was honored at the game.
Tonight, we honor Dick McCreery for his 50 plus years of service to the athletic teams of our communities by naming and dedicating the football field press box in his name. Dick passed away unexpectedly in April 2020, at the age of 82.
The G-R Athletic Department and G-R Booster Club are proud to remember and honor Dick tonight by naming our press box, the Dick McCreery Memorial Press Box. Over fifty years ago, Dick started keeping the official book for Gladbrook basketball games. That is a lot of points and fouls to record over the years.
He made the score sheet on the night of the girls national scoring record game a thing of beauty all on one sheet with 240 points scored between the two teams.
Dick cherished the memory of keeping the scorebook for the Rebels boys state basketball games in Des Moines as well. Dick was also a bus driver so he would drive to away basketball games and keep scorebooks, sending one of the girls coaches out to start the bus during the 4th quarters of the boys games so that it would be warm for everyone to ride home in.
Dick became the announcing voice of the starting lineups for those basketball games leading him to move on to announce football games also.
He was the “Voice of the Gladbrook Panthers” for many years and then the “Voice of the Gladbrook-Reinbeck Rebels” for 31 years.
Dick announced at junior high, freshmen, and JV football games with the same dedication that he had to the varsity games.
He arrived early enough to chat with the opposing coaches or managers for pronunciation of names and to get rosters.
At the end of each game, you would see check marks besides each player’s name on those rosters if you happen to be in the booth with him.
You see, it was always a goal of Dick’s to make sure that every kid’s name, including managers, was announced over the PA system at least once during that game.
What a tribute to our kids and what a big heart Dick had for each of them during their events!
He had a nickname for many, including players, managers, sportswriters, and even color guard members. Many of us will remember those.
Dick also had a love for baseball which led him to being asked to umpire all the high school baseball and softball home games for several years before his knees gave out and he decided there were other things he could do to help rather than being yelled at by spectators for umpiring calls.
Dick could also be counted on to announce at all home wrestling events during those early years as well. He loved watching those young men on the mats, many of whom later in life he had coffee with in the mornings as he made his way around town to check up on the happenings of our communities.
At home track meets, Dick was the discus man. He would arrive with his clipboard, wonder who would be helping him measure throws, locate the tape measure, and then head to the discus cage to get the event started. He was always proud to watch his son and daughter participate in the events and athletic competitions that he so enjoyed being a part of.
McCreery’s years of volunteer service did not go unnoticed either. Dick was the first recipient of the G-R Booster Club Volunteer of the Year Award.
Thirty-two years ago, Dick was also recognized by the Iowa High School Athletic Directors Association as their Volunteer of the Year at a ceremony in Des Moines. That was with 25 years of service and many years later, he was still going strong.
He also was honored as a Fan of the Game at Wells Fargo Arena during our boys state basketball tournament game.
So you ask…’Why would anyone want to announce and keep the official scorebook for well over 1,100 varsity basketball games, announce over 1,200 JH, JV, and Varsity football games, and work at many wrestling and track events over 55 years?’
Dick told me a few years back, “Because it keeps me young and I enjoy the kids!”
Dick, your Rebel fans are proud of your service and will remember you in our hearts as we dedicate the G-R Press Box in your name tonight.
A special thank you to his family for joining us and for sharing their father with our athletic teams for many years. Rest in peace, Tricky Dick!!