2015 Lifetime Achievement Award
John Moore was a staff member at Ritenour High School for 33 years. He is most widely known for his career as a wrestling coach at the high school, during which time his teams dominated the state of Missouri as they won 14 consecutive state titles beginning in 1948 through 1961. That makes Ritenour High School fourth nationwide as having the longest wrestling championship streak. He passed away in April 2001, but his memory lives on at the Ritenour football field bearing his namesake.
After graduating from the University of Missouri, Moore served as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. He received a Silver Star for his service in Okinawa during World War II before returning home and getting a job as a physical education instructor and wrestling, football and track coach in Ritenour. Despite knowing very little about the fundamentals of wrestling, Moore caught on quickly by attending clinics and bringing in people who could demonstrate techniques to the boys Moore could not teach them himself. Moore became engrossed with the sport and went on to turn many talented young men into true competitors. He coached 56 individual state wrestling champions, and his teams won many conference championships.
Friends and former wrestlers under Coach Moore say he was an incredible coach who knew how to get the most out of his athletes. Practices were long and intense, but his wrestlers often could not get enough of the sport, and, after practice, many would go straight to the YMCA to practice some more. Moore was the first wrestling coach to be inducted into the Missouri High School Wrestling Hall of Fame.
In 1966, Moore ended his coaching career and continued to serve Ritenour High School students as a teacher, athletic administrator and assistant principal until he retired in 1981. The athletic directors of the Suburban North League presented him with a plaque in appreciation of his 27 years of service in 1974. In 1981, the Missouri House of Representatives honored Moore with the Resolution Silver Scroll in recognition of his achievements as a teacher, coach, athletic director and administrator. That same year he received a distinguished service award from the Missouri State High School Activities Association. In 1993, Moore was inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame.
Wrestling was not Moore’s only area of success when it came to Ritenour athletics. He also excelled in coaching football from 1950 to 1966. Ritenour Stadium was named John Moore Field in his honor in 1983. In 2009, Moore was inducted into the Missouri Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. That same year, he was also posthumously given the 2009 Lifetime Service Award. Today, Ritenour athletics programs continue to honor Moore’s legacy through the hard work and dedication of Ritenour students and coaches.
Class of 2007
Steve Cash is a two-time gold medalist for the U.S. Paralympics Sled Hockey Team. He has been the goaltender for Team USA since 2005 and was the goaltender of the Disabled Athlete Sports Association (DASA) Blues Sled Hockey Team from 2004 to 2013. Overcoming childhood cancer and a partial leg amputation, Cash has never let anything hold him back from reaching his dreams.
Steve Cash was a star hockey player from an early age. When he was just 14 years old, he began playing goalie for the DASA St. Louis Blues Sled Team. Within one year, he was invited to try out for the U.S. National Paralympic Sled Hockey Team, where he won the Bronze Medal in Torino, Italy at the age of 15. Cash graduated from Ritenour High School in 2007 after a successful year as captain of the varsity inline hockey team. That year, he helped lead the team to a second-place finish in the Division II state championship. In 2010, Cash did not allow a single goal at the Vancouver Paralympics, thus setting a world record and securing his first of two gold medals for Team USA. He was honored as Top Goalie at the 2010 Paralympics.
On top of his three Paralympic medals, during the course of his career, Cash has won a gold, silver and bronze World Cup medal and multiple World Championship medals, including three gold. In 2010 he won ESPN’S ESPY award for Best Male Athlete with a Disability. That same year, he was also awarded the USA Hockey Disabled Athlete of the Year award and was chosen as the U.S. Olympic Committee’s March Athlete of the Month. He helped the Blues win two adult sled hockey championships in 2012 and 2013.
When he’s not setting world records, Cash spends time pursuing his degree in business administration at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he also played hockey from 2007 to 2009. He is set to graduate in the fall of 2015. He is a St. Louis Ambassador for Shriner’s Hospitals and also volunteers at the Disabled Athlete Sports Association in St. Louis. He regularly provides words of inspiration to children diagnosed with cancer and their families.
Cash currently resides in St. Louis. He serves on the Ritenour Pride and Promise Board of Directors and has helped give back to Ritenour in several ways. He is an inspiration to all who meet him.
Class of 2000
Matt Flener is a four-time, Emmy-winning anchor and reporter at Hearst Television in Kansas City, Mo., and is the weekday morning news anchor for KMBC-TV/KCWE-TV. Through his high standards of ethical journalism, he has quickly become the voice of the people, advocating for victims of tragedy and holding the powerful accountable. He is a skilled public speaker and has emceed dozens of community events and fundraisers, including Ritenour’s Hall of Fame Ceremony on many occasions.
As a Ritenour High School student, Flener was active in extracurricular activities. He played football and baseball all four years, was on the debate team and performed in musicals. After graduating in 2000, Flener earned his Bachelor of Journalism, Radio, Television and Digital Communication from University of Missouri-Columbia in 2003. He went on to receive his Master of Arts in Media Management in 2008.
From 2002 to 2007, Flener worked for KOMU-TV Columbia as an anchor, reporter, videographer and producer. He earned his first Emmy Award there in 2005, contributing to the station’s Overall News Excellence entry. After spending the next six years in Austin, Texas, and Denver, Colo., as an anchor and reporter, Flener took his current job at Hearst Television in Kansas City, Mo.
As a broadcast journalist, Flener has reported on many compelling world events. He was the first on the scene of the tragic Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting, and he reported from the scene of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. In 2014 he returned to St. Louis to report after the civil unrest in Ferguson, focusing many of his stories on the positive side of Ferguson and the St. Louis community.
On top of his four Emmy Awards, Flener has won the distinguished Edward R. Murrow Award for writing, the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism, and awards from the Missouri Broadcasters Association, Society of Professional Journalists and the Missouri State Teachers Association.
Flener enjoys giving back to his community and teaching high school students the foundations of ethical journalism. As the Dean of Journalism for The American Legion Missouri Boys State, Flener leads high school seniors through daily production of a newspaper, TV broadcast and radio broadcast, along with social media updates about the youth government leadership program. He has served the Boys State program in various ways since he was a citizen in 1999. Flener also volunteers with numerous charities around the Kansas City metro area, including the United Way, the Dream Factory and the American Stroke Foundation. He is also active in his church, Liberty Christian Fellowship.
Flener resides in Kansas City, Mo., with his wife Carrie and three kids, Grace, Alyssa and Chase.
Class of 1976
Mark Griffard has been a television sports camera operator since 1987 and is widely considered one of the premier national sports cameramen in the country. Griffard is the Emmy winning talent behind the camera at major sporting events like the Super Bowl, World Series, Pro Bowl and the Masters.
As a sophomore in high school, Griffard wrestled on the varsity team that went on to win the 1974 state wrestling championship. After graduating from Ritenour in 1976, Griffard earned his Bachelor of Mass Communications and Marketing from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 1980.
Griffard started his career at Continental Cablevision in 1981, as a member of their Local Origination staff. In 1983 he was hired by Cencom Cable Television as their Studio Production Manager. For 10 years he worked in all phases of television production, including video, audio mixing, graphics, lighting, studio and remote camera operation. During that time he also freelanced for a number of stations, including KETC-TV (PBS) in St. Louis. He currently operates cameras for ESPN, ABC Sports, NBC Sports, Fox Sports and Fox Sports Midwest. He has shot everything from NBA and college basketball to NHL Hockey and Saturday night college football. He is known as one of the most valuable and talented camera operators for St. Louis Cardinals Baseball and NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
Friends and colleagues commend Griffard’s strength of character, creativity and friendly demeanor. He’s the kind of person you can depend on for a smile, and he always makes everyone around him feel welcome and important. Despite his incredible success, Griffard displays humility and gratitude in all he does. He loves to have fun and make others laugh.
Griffard is a family man who always made time for his children’s sporting events and school activities, despite the challenges of being a single father with a busy career through much of his children’s lives. He is a strong and loving role model for his children, all three of whom are now attending college.
Griffard currently resides in Bridgeton with his wife Dawn.
Matthew D. Shank, Ph.D.
Class of 1979
Dr. Matthew D. Shank grew up in Overland and graduated from Ritenour High School in 1979 after a successful academic and athletic career. In high school, he took part in orchestra and lettered in both soccer and baseball his junior and senior years. Off the field, he was inducted into the National Honor Society. His achievements on the field and in the classroom set the precedent for a lifelong career of strong leadership.
Dr. Matthew D. Shank is currently the president of Marymount University in Arlington, Va. Shank has already made huge strides for the university. He has improved the athletic program, the undergraduate student retention rate and has created numerous community connections with academic programs. In recognition of his focus on preparing students for the globalized environment of the 21st century, Dr. Shank received the 2012 Global Education Leadership Award from the World Affairs Council in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Shank is active in community and business organizations, serving on the boards of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, the Northern Virginia Technology Council, the Arlington Community Foundation, the Catholic Business Network of Northern Virginia, American University in the Emirates (Dubai), the World Affairs Council, Bishop O’Connell High School, Dominican Retreat House and Leadership Arlington. He is an ex-officio member of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, and a community advisor to the Arlington Free Clinic and Arlington Public Schools.
In the academic community, he serves on the boards of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, and the Washington Research Library Consortium. Most recently, Dr. Shank was named to the NCAA Presidential Advisory Group. As Marymount’s president, Dr. Shank is also a member of many academic organizations, including the American Association of Colleges and Universities, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.
Before coming to Marymount, Dr. Shank served for three years as dean of the School of Business Administration and professor of Marketing at the University of Dayton. Prior to joining the University of Dayton, he was a faculty member at Northern Kentucky University and chaired the Department of Management and Marketing. During the 2003-04 academic year, he served as an American Council on Education Fellow, assigned to the Office of the Chancellor at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Shank has also held academic appointments at the University of Mississippi and Southern Illinois University. He started his career on the corporate side by working as a marketing research manager at Maritz Inc.
An accomplished scholar, Dr. Shank has published numerous articles, presented at many conferences, and is the author of the book, Sports Marketing: A Strategic Perspective (5th Edition). He has consulted with over 75 organizations in the areas of marketing research, strategic planning, and marketing strategy. Dr. Shank holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Wyoming and a Master of Arts in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis where he will be receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award in September.
Dr. Shank has always made service to others a priority. Those who know Dr. Shank best agree that his enthusiasm and positivity, insightful nature and sense of fairness make him a leader worthy of the Hall of Fame.