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Snider lends enthusiasm to Scappoose High sports

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: JAKE MCNEAL - Rick Snider helps to keep Scappoose High School sports on top.It takes special effort to help keep a sports powerhouse running.

For Scappoose High School, much of that effort comes from custodian Rick Snider.

“I’m thankful I have a job here,” said Snider, 56, who grew up in St. Helens. “I love everything about Scappoose. It’s a humble school with decent kids.”

Snider keeps the gym and locker rooms sharp and sports a shirt for the team that’s playing each night.

“In St. Helens people say, ‘Why do you wear Scappoose stuff?’” Snider said. “I tell them I work for Scappoose so I support Scappoose. I’d like to put something that says ‘Scappoose’ on my truck, but I think something might happen.”

Football coach Sean McNabb gave Snider a jersey when Derek Anderson and the Indians won OSAA Class 3A state championships in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

“It’s awesome to have someone to talk to,” said McNabb, who teaches physical education and health. “He’s a good friend, and he’ll do anything for us and we’ll do anything for him.”

Snider went to St. Helens High until his senior year, then worked at Steinfeld’s Sauerkraut Plant in Scappoose and spent three years as a cook in the military.

“I know everybody,” said Snider, who leaves Christmas cards for teachers whose rooms he keeps. “My job is to help the kids and teachers. All they have to do is ask and I go above and beyond. When I see opposing fans, I tell them they played a really good game. There are no hard feelings if our boys lose. When the kids lose, I tell them they played a good game.”

Snider has been with the Indians for nearly three years. McNabb wrote him a recommendation for a full-time job upon his arrival.

“Rick’s the man,” said Indians boys’ basketball coach Rahim Tufts, who also teaches physical education and health. “He’s super positive and it’s great to have him around. Anything we need, he’ll do it for us.”

In the Christmas spirit, Snider said that the Scappoose High gym floor will have a shiny new coat.

“We’re a tribe and we’re like a big family,” Snider said. “I do whatever I can for the teachers and kids. I take pride in my school, and these are my kids.”