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Ray Riley honored with 2017-18 Larry Neidlinger "We Care" Award

Former Scecina Principal Ray Riley (seated, with plaque) was honored as the recipient of the Larry Neidlinger "We Care" Award for his steadfast support of Crusader athletics.

On Dec. 16, Scecina Memorial High School again honored the legacy of late teacher, coach and administrator Larry Neidlinger with the presentation of the “We Care” Award. The 2017-18 “We Care” award went to Mr. Ray Riley.

The "We Care" Award is given annually to a supporter of the Scecina athletic program who, like Larry, cares so deeply for Crusader athletes that he or she goes above and beyond "to give that little extra" after the model of Father Thomas Scecina. Mrs. Judy Neidlinger and other members of the Neidlinger family again helped make the presentation with President Joe Therber and Principal Joe Brettnacher

Ray Riley has been a supporter of Scecina high school for over 50 years. He came to Scecina as a science teacher in 1957 and also coached football, basketball, baseball and tennis. He left Scecina in 1965 but returned as the fifth principal of Scecina High School in 1974 and remained for 12 years. His successor as principal was Larry Neidlinger.

"The best thing about this (award) is that it has Larry's name on it," said Riley, who was friends with Neidlinger.

During Riley's time as principal, he was a strong supporter of athletics and academics and started the first Special Education program, installed the first computer lab and oversaw the construction of Larry Neidlinger baseball field. 

Since leaving Scecina, he has remained a strong supporter and friend of the school. He and his wife, Barbara, has five children and seven grandchildren who are Scecina alumni. 

"You won't find anyone who loves Scecina more than my husband," said Barbara.

President Joe Therber (fifth from left) and Principal Joe Brettnacher (fourth from left) honored six Scecina "Super Boosters" on Dec. 16, 2017: (from left) Mike and Anne O'Connor; Kevin Egan; Kevin Klaiber, Judy Higgins, and Larry Lenne.

Scecina also recognized the contributions of six “Super Boosters” who have worked to support and build the Crusaders athletic program. 

Kevin Egan: Kevin donates his time to Scecina by volunteering as an assistant track and cross country coach. Kevin has served on the Scecina Finance Council and is a past member of the school commission. He is the father Scecina graduate Lydia '15 and Henry, a senior, and Walter, a sophomore.

Larry Lenne: Larry, father of Scecina graduates Hannah '14 and Jacob '17, has brought new technology to the Scecina track and cross country teams. Larry has successfully upgraded the timing and results software that is used for the Scecina Memorial Cross Country Invite and keeps both teams online website current with results and photos. 

Judy Higgins '84: A Scecina graduate and current parent, Judy volunteers often for the Scecina athletic community. During the fall, Judy can be found volunteering at the boys and girls soccer games. Two of Judith's children currently attend Scecina, Monica '18 and Anthony '21. Son Jonathan Higgins is a 2012 graduate.

Anne O’Connor: Anne started the Crusaders gymnastics team while her daughter Mary ‘17 was at Scecina. can often be found in the stands of our athletic events. Anne can be credited with the beginning of the Crusader Gymnastics teams. 

Mike O’Connor: Mike can be heard as the voice of the Crusader volleyball team during home matches. He and Anne are the parents of Mary '17 and Eileen '19.

Kevin Klaiber: Kevin, a Catholic Theology teacher at Scecina, can be found after school helping the athletic office and supporting all Crusader athletics. Kevin also has served on Scecina’s Mission Effectiveness committee. 

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