The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Ten Questions with John Clanton Sports Director / KDUH-TV, Scottsbluff


Dave Faries

For those privileged to have access to KDUH-TV out of Scottsbluff, John Clanton is the face of panhandle high school sports--and has been since 2001. Each evening during the season he travels the region, shooting footage of everything from football to track before hustling back to the studio to present results on the nightly newscast. His journey began, however, at a television station in Augusta, Georgia--the town in which the Philadelphia-born Clanton grew up.

1. How many games do you see in the school year?

Good gosh. That's a good question. I've never counted. Just football I go to two games every Friday, so that's 30. Then at least 50 for volleyball and basketball. At least.

2. Do you remember any of them afterward?

The funny thing is I do right after, but the next day I don't. I remember the keys plays. You know, the longer you do this, the more you know what you need for a highlight and I remember those. Before I get to the station, I'm already editing in my head.

3. Ever get to see a full game?

No--and that's the tough thing.

4. Is there a road in the panhandle you don't know by heart?

[Shakes his head]. Every town, I know how to get to the high school. I may not know anything else in the town, but I know how to get to the football field and the high school.

5. Which towns besides Scottsbluff have the best food?

I like eating here in Sidney and in Chadron--that Donald's Drive-In. I'm a simplistic guy when it comes to food.

6. What's it like to be the face of panhandle sports?

They say you can never get used to it. When I started, people would say 'How's it going, John.' I'd be thinking 'Why's that person staring at me?' They know me from TV. That makes me feel like I'm doing my job. Sports is the most conversational thing.

7. So how does a guy get from Georgia to here?

I was an associate producer in news, which meant I edited tapes. I was helping out in sports for now pay--but they helped me make a demo tape. Scottsbluff was looking. I'd never heard of Scottsbluff. You know, being from Georgia all I knew was Lincoln and Omaha. I didn't know it was so close to Wyoming, so when I saw the sign saying Mountain Time and signs for Cheyenne, I said 'I thought this was in Nebraska.' The cool thing about moving out here is the people love their sports. It's not the same in a big city.

8. Do you have a favorite sport?

Everyone asks me that, but I like them all. If you forced me to pick I'd say football and basketball.

9. How about a team?

Anything Philadelphia--for professional sports. For college it's all the Georgia teams.

10. If you could have lunch with any Phillies player, past or present, who would it be?

I really like Jimmy Rollins, so J-Roll. Number two might be Pete Rose. Number three would be Steve Carlton. You gotta love Lefty.


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