CHICO — Orrin “Skip” Reager’s ardour and huge sports activities information made him an encyclopedia of all issues Chico sports activities.
Reager, who spent 40 years protecting sports activities, 16 of them because the sports activities editor for the Enterprise-File, died Tuesday after a battle with bone most cancers. He was 76.
Reager knew the ins and outs of the native sports activities scene whether or not he was protecting a recreation and even teaching Little League.
“He acquired to do what he actually loved essentially the most which was being round sports activities,” mentioned Tim Milhorn, Reager’s half brother.
Reager immersed himself within the Chico sports activities group. He’d cowl video games at Butte and Chico State in addition to a plethora of highschool and Little League contests.
He was born in Chico however grew up in Orland, the place he was raised by his grandparents. He pitched for the Orland Excessive baseball crew and graduated in 1961.
“That’s when he actually grew to like the sport,” Milhorn mentioned.
He then attended Chico State in pursuit of a bachelor’s diploma in communications. As a freshman in school, Reager was employed for a part-time gig within the sports activities division on the Enterprise-File working underneath sports activities editor Eddie Sales space.
Reager later served as sports activities editor from 1985-2000 working alongside government sports activities editor Ted Blofsky for 21 years.
“Skip and I have been very lucky to work in an important sports activities protection period,” Blofsky mentioned. “He was the calm one and saved issues regular. He was an impressive member of the group, as was his household. ”
Whereas protecting sports activities, he loved interacting with native athletes and coaches. Within the newsroom, he relied on his calm, cool and picked up character, alongside together with his dry humorousness to energy by way of the grind of tight each day deadlines.
“Skip had an important humorousness and knew tips on how to ship a comic book line,” mentioned former E-R sports activities editor Dave Davies. “He additionally didn’t get too riled up by deadline stress or something. Some folks get frazzled. Skip was at all times like, ‘What’s the massive deal?’”
Davies labored underneath Reager when he was employed for a part-time sports activities job by Blofsky.
Reager’s ardour for native sports activities earned him an induction into the Chico Sports activities Corridor of Fame in 2003. He’s additionally a part of the Chico State Athletic Corridor of Fame and the Butte School Sports activities Corridor of Fame.
Although Reager had a aggressive facet, he was keen to place that apart if it meant extra protection for space athletes.
Royal Courtain, the longtime sports activities broadcaster for KHSL and Reager have been technically rivals when it comes to media, however the two had an in depth relationship. Courtain, who hosted a Friday night time prep soccer present, remembers having to usually lean on Reager earlier than occurring air.
“We’re scrambling however a coach forgets to name within the (ultimate) rating,” Courtain recalled. “So I’d name the E-R. (Reager) was simply as aggressive as the subsequent particular person, nevertheless it was a crew factor with him.”
Reager would share soccer scores and data with Courtain, all with the objective of highlighting the accomplishments of native athletes.
“You’ll not discover anyone who had something dangerous to say about Skip,” Courtain mentioned.
After Reager retired from the E-R in 2001, he continued to be concerned with the native sports activities scene. He labored part-time for Chico State Athletics as a photographer. He’d shoot video games and write for Wildcat Illustrated.
Usually, he might be seen seated behind dwelling plate at Nettleton Stadium, taking pictures away together with his digicam.
“He entered images within the Silver Greenback Truthful and gained a bunch of awards 12 months in and 12 months out,” Milhorn mentioned. “He lastly give up and he mentioned it was time to let another person win.”
Courtain left Chico for North Carolina and Reager retired from the E-R in 2001. Nonetheless, the 2 would communicate, usually speaking a couple of acquainted matter — Chico sports activities.
“We began texting; the subject was the very best all-around athletes in Chico,” Courtain mentioned. “A few of his lists he’d ship … he was like an encyclopedia of Chico sports activities. He lived and breathed it.”
There will likely be no public service at the moment for Reager due to the coronavirus, nevertheless, a celebration of life to be held later continues to be a risk. The household has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to both the Sean Reager Memorial Scholarship at Butte School or the Skip and Cheryl Reager Athletic Scholarship at Chico State.
Laura Urseny contributed to this story.
— to www.chicoer.com