By Mick Holien
One of several challenges, and maybe the most important, for a first-year student athlete entering college is academics.
In most cases being away from home for the first time has its temptations – I don’t think I ever made an 8 a.m. class remember, to the point where I just stopped scheduling them but of course sometimes you just do not have another choice.
But in the case of Polson’s Eric Rensvold, who along with Tanner Wilson are University of Montana signees, a recurring injury may have set him back a bit on the field but it sure had no affect on the studies.
It is certainly fitting that “Rens” was the inaugural recipient of the Ken Staninger Memorial Scholarship.
The irony is not lost on me since the Staninger family has long had a cabin on Grinde Bay and spent countless hours there together.
Eric is just the kind of player that Kenny would have chosen – focused on the task at hand, appreciative of results of his hard work, determined not to allow an injury to waylay his goal of getting on the field, an overachiever who refused to allow playing at a lower classification keep him from becoming a college player.
So an imo congrats and onward and upward.
Staninger, who tragically passed too young in 2003 , was a premier professional agent who represented a bevy of mostly northwest athletes including most Grizzlies who made it to the bigs.
Full well realizing that many players good enough to play on Sunday go undrafted, relying instead on the free agent route putting extra emphasis on the relationship between a team’s front office personnel and that person who is carrying a player’s water.
Staninger was highly thought of by owners and player personnel and can I say He ran with big dogs, never letting his guys be overlooked or underestimated.
For full disclosure, Kenny also was my agent for the majority of my radio career and also one of the first people who encouraged my work in the electronic field.
A couple of conversations stick out for me – He once said I was the best interviewer in the business and early on when I was holding a gigantic cellular phone courtside to broadcast he made sure he thought I was the quisivecential broadcaster.
His first client, said wife Mary, was multi Hall of Famer Guy Bingham, a 13-year NFL player who also became his Missoula partner in the refreshment distribution business that “Bing” still owns.
Along with Stinger Sports Group, Staninger also founded a quite successful real estate firm.
most noteworthy probably was Super Bowl XXVI MVP Mark Rypien of the Redskins after a stellar Washington State career.
Players that Staninger represented were able to visit him at his Grant Creek home before he died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 63. Many continue to be in contact with the family that includes three sons and a sister.
Promising players like Rensvold epitomize Staninger’s life well lived.
Late word and another RIP to Montana resident Margo Kidder (Lois Lane in Suoerman) who died Sunday at her Livingston home at the age of 69.
Beleaguered by bi-polar ailments herself she did much to bring publicity to the dreadful disorder known in my childhood as manic depression.
I met her at Missoula International Airport when she accompanied Jesse Jackson on his run for the 1988 presidential nomination.
Not only did I have some fun with the press plane when they asked grade schoolers how many candidates they had seen visit Missoula but Jackson also came across the airport meeting room to engage my 16-year-old son sitting in the audience.
As for the press plane I told them we just got the Bison off the runway so they could land. They have believed me.
Impressions by national media on this wondrous place we all live in is always to say the least comical.