Darrel Sybrant of Broken Bow and Joe Renteria of San Diego, CA were inducted into the Arcadia Huskie Wall of Fame at a ceremony on Saturday, September 1st in the gym at Arcadia Public School. The following information about these two individuals explains why they were selected as members.
Darrel Sybrant grew up on a farm north of Arcadia and graduated from Arcadia High School in 1958. Darrel was active in sports at AHS and was a member of the 1956 Nebraska High School Hall of Fame Football Team, which was the first inductee in the Huskie Wall of Fame. In addition, he was active in music, school newspaper, the school yearbook staff, and school plays.
Darrel completed his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Kearney State College in 1964. That fall, he started his teaching and coaching career at Merna Public Schools. He taught Biology, Typing, and Bookkeeping. He coached football, basketball, and track and was the senior class sponsor.
In 1970 Darrel accepted a position with the Broken Bow Public Schools that lasted for 29 years. He taught Biology and Life Application Science. He coached junior high football, wrestling and girls’ basketball. Darrel then served as the senior high head coach for football and track, plus many years of assistant coach duties in wrestling and football during his tenure at Broken Bow. He always had a very deep interest in his students, whether on the sports field or in the classroom, encouraging each one to reach deep and go the extra mile. Darrel developed the first Life Application Science course which encouraged seniors who were interested in the medical field into an apprentice program in the community. After teaching 35 years, Darrel retired in 1999.
Darrel was honored by the Nebraska Coaches’ Association for his longevity and service after completing 25 years of membership. In 2004, he was inducted into the Broken Bow Athletic Hall of Fame.
Darrel’s activities have reached far beyond the classroom. He has been a sports announcer for the last fifteen years on KCNI/KBBN radio out of Broken Bow. He is on the Broken Bow City Library Board and the Arcadia Huskie Wall of Fame Selection Committee. Darrel volunteers at the Sandhills Visitors Center, has served on the Broken Bow committee for downtown improvement, and was on a recent school bond committee in Broken Bow. As an active member of the Gideons for the past 20 years, he has served as president and has visited many schools, motels, churches, hospitals and retirement homes handing out Bibles and speaking. Darrel has been an active member of the Berean Church for over 40 years where he has taught Sunday school classes, led prayer meetings, served as an elder, and served on the mission board. He has participated in several mission trips, the latest of which was to Haiti. Darrel spends many hours a week visiting hospitals and rest homes to minister to the sick, aging, and dying and has conducted several memorial services in this area.
Darrel has been married to his wife, Donna, for over forty years. They have three grown children and four grandchildren.
Joe’s family ancestors, of Native American heritage, were on the “Trail of Tears” through Kansas when they managed to escape. He was born July 17, 1917 in Kansas. His father died when he was two. Joe was an only child. When he was four, his mother, who obviously knew that she was dying, took him to a Catholic orphanage. While fighting off a bully, at the age of eight, he accidentally broke the bully’s arm and was sent to the State Orphanage. Faced with very tough conditions, Joe ran away at the age of eleven.
The authorities noticed him and sent him to Father Flanagan’s home in Omaha, currently known as Boys Town. From there, Joe was placed in various foster homes where he was expected to work hard for his keep. Eventually, he ended up with a family in Arcadia. However, they too needed him to work and would only let him participate in one sport in high school. The school recognized that he was an outstanding athlete and managed to get him a home with the Don Rounds family where he could be a brother to Downing. He stayed with them, played football without a helmet (so he could see and hear better), and graduated from Arcadia High School with the Class of 1936.
Following graduation, Joe returned to Boys Town. He wanted to join the Army but was not yet of age, so they signed for him. He served three years in the Army and 17 years in the Navy. Whatever project Joe was assigned to, he always tried to find an improved way to complete it. He was a photographer in the military and had many opportunities to meet with the top brass and also to photograph historic events. He and his crew would go out ahead of the others and photograph the enemy’s encampments and the landscape. They would return, develop the pictures, and show them to the generals who would plan the method of attack. Joe photographed the atomic bomb drop on Kwajalein.
After retiring from the service, Jo worked thirty-three years as the photographic supervisor at the Media Technology Center at San Diego State University. He has compiled an extensive and important collection of photographs of people such as Presidents John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan as well as Eleanor Roosevelt, Admiral Halsey, and others.
Joe and his wife, Jill, were married for seventy-one years. She died in November of 2009. They have seven children; JoAnn, Janette, Jana, Michael, Maxine, Eunice, and Shella.
Joe has kept himself remarkably physically and mentally fit. At age 93 he participated in the races at Arcadia’s Q-125 celebration and even walked on stilts! He walks and runs daily. He continues to keep his mind sharp by volunteering for many organizations. He is a past board member of American Indian Health Center, the Indian Human Resource Center, Indian Child Welfare, and the Council on Minority Aging. He has received commendations from such agencies as the United Way after serving on the Ethnic Affairs Committee. He completed the city of San Diego’s American Indian Leadership Initiative Program and received commendations from the American Library Service and the San Diego county Library System for his volunteer work. Joe became very active in Foster Parent Training with Indian Child and Family Services as a part of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1974. He was also recognized in 1994 for his service to the Indian Human Resource Center for “Fifteen years of dedicated service toward social and economic progress of the American Indian.”
In 1996 Joe was honored by the California State Assembly as a Cherokee Tribe Role Model in honor of his selection into the Southern California Latino/Native American Hall of Fame. Joe is proud of his Native American heritage and is an outstanding product of Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home where he received the Father Flanagan’s Outstanding Alumnus Award.
Joe also received recognition in the San Diego Union Paper. The article was written about how Joe built his own home. “It’s a 2200 sq. ft. adobe house that he built entirely by hand. It has 4 bedrooms, three bathrooms, three fireplaces, and a 2 car garage. Although he was completely untrained in building skills, he watched a brick laying contest one day, went to night school to learn plumbing, study electrical wiring, and whatever else he needed to know.” He learned through life, if you want something done, there is nothing stopping you but yourself. And Joe is not about to stop just yet.
Joe was an active participant in the first Arcadia All-School Reunion in 1958, has continued to attend over the years, and is proud to call Arcadia Public School his high school.