Within the last month, we have seen a few Clarkston legends retire as Voice of the Wolves Dale Ryan and long-time head coach for Clarkston Boys Varsity Basketball Dan Fife stepped down for more time with family, especially the grandkids.
Both will truly be missed.
Listening to Ryan at home football and basketball games was always a joy. He has a very distinctive voice and I did miss it when at some away games I could barely hear the school’s announcer.
He always had a smile and a hello during the game. Plus, the shout out to The Clarkston News at the game was always a bonus.
I remember the first time I met Dan Fife. It was my second day on the job at The Clarkston News in 2007. I set up a time to meet with Fife at the Clarkston High School Athletic Office, as he was athletic director at the time. It wasn’t anything major – just a “hi” and I introduced myself as the newest reporter to the editorial team.
Covering basketball, I got to know him as a coach and the kind of values he passed on to his players not only during the season but leading the younger players in McGrath Basketball League, Fife Basketball Camp and Fife Fundamentals Basketball Camp.
The biggest thrill in the last 11 years was watching Fife achieve his dream of winning a state championship. A dream which began to blossom when he was playing basketball for Clarkston.
When the boys went to the Breslin Center in 2017, there was a breath of relief as they won the semifinal game. Then, came the championship game and watching in anticipation of what the end result will be. But as the end of the game got closer, watching Fife and his reactions was awesome-because you knew this was it – the Wolves were bringing home the championship. The smiles, the hugs, the energy – it was amazing. I still get a little emotional thinking about it.
It took a while for dream to be accomplished but it showed everyone to just keep working hard, keep pushing and you can get there.
Dale and Dan, we will miss you. But enjoy your retirement, enjoy your time with your family and enjoy watching those grandchildren grow! This is your time!