Clint Rider is the new head football coach at Hesston High, it was announced on Tuesday.
Rider said it was a long day of epic mixed emotions, as he told the current Southeast football team about his decision and current players, former coaches, former players congratulated Rider on his opportunity.
“Talking to the kids, 25 freshmen through juniors, it wasn’t easy,” Rider said Tuesday night. “It’s not only difficult for me, it’s an uneasy time for a 15- or 16-year-old kid and you don’t want to see kids in any type of pain. I’m definitely excited about the opportunity but it’s a difficult kind of day.
“It was definitely something I wanted them to find out in person from me. You don’t want your kids to hear about it through the grapevine or find out in the media. They deserve the respect to find out from me before somebody else. Any time you can do those things in person . . . I wanted to do it the right way. I wanted to tell them like I would want somebody to tell me.”
Rider, the current athletic director at his alma mater Southeast, was the Lancers’ head coach the past two seasons and guided the Lancers to a 7-11 overall record, including 6-3 this past season as Southeast surprised those who only remembered 1-8 two seasons ago.
The three losses came against state playoff teams Girard, Galena and St. Mary’s Colgan.
Southeast returned nearly all of its starters on both sides of the ball, including quarterback Josh Thompson, wide receiver Daniel Peak and lineman Justin Galloway. Younger players Ryan Rakestraw, Caleb Biancarelli and Colton Charlton, for example, developed and the Lancers clicked.
“The kids there are talented kids and have a strong work ethic,” Rider said. “They will definitely be successful the next couple years no matter who comes in. I’ll be their biggest supporter from afar.”
Rider said he gave his decision a lot of thought, as he moves from his alma mater to a smaller 4A with a winning tradition.
“I’ve heard that it’s a good place to be,” Rider said. “Everybody I’ve talked to has had good things to say about the town, the school, the district. They have a very good administration and staff around them. As long as I can remember, they’ve not had a losing season and they do have high expectations. They’ve had some success and hopefully, we can build on it from there.”
The Swathers (what a school name and school logo) play in the Central Kansas League along with Hillsboro, Nickerson, Smoky Valley, Pratt, Halstead, Haven, Kingman, Lyons and Sterling. Hesston fits in the South Division with Nickerson, Pratt, Haven and Kingman.
Page 2 of 2 - Rider said that he will finish out the school year in his capacity as Southeast athletic director before heading out for Hesston.