Known for generosity and unwavering support for Platte County athletics, Jack Swaney received special recognition from the school district in the way of a permanent monument to his memory.
Dozens gathered, including friends, family and admirers, on Friday, Oct. 6 near the south entrance of Pirate Stadium for a special ceremony. A committee decided on planting a tree in Swaney’s memory near the Platte County High School building.
A 1963 graduate of Platte City High School, Swaney served as a dentist in the city for years and became known for his consistent presence at school events.
“We sure do miss that,” Platte County activities director Phil Dorman said during remarks at the ceremony prior to the Pirates’ home football game with Winnetonka that evening.
Wardrip Landscaping of Kansas City, Mo. donated the Armstrong Gold Maple, which sits in a spot where the sun will shine upon it each evening with a perfect view of the track and football field.
The tree is located next to the Pirate Hall of Fame brick walkway with one brick honoring each member inducted.
Inducted to the Pirate Hall of Fame in 1999 as part of its inaugural class, Swaney died in February of 2016. His long-time friends Paul Whitters and Bob Stepanich came up with the idea to honor their friend and long-time supporter of Platte County School District.
A plaque telling his story will be sent off to be mounted on a permanent rock marker to sit in front of the tree. A famous quote from U.S. Army Gen. Douglas McArthur states, “Upon the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that, upon other fields on other days will bear the fruits of victory” is imprinted at the bottom underneath Swaney’s accomplishments.
The quote was a favorite of Swaney’s from his time at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Swaney graduated from Platte City in 1963 and was a three-sport athlete (football, basketball and track), but he excelled in football. He earned first team All-Northwest Missouri 10 Conference, first team all-district and first team all-state honors in addition to honorable mention all-american honors as a senior.
Prior to going on to play football at Army, Swaney led Platte County to a 9-0-1 record and the conference title in his final season. He was later commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army and was deployed to Vietnam for nearly a year where he received the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart awards during his service.
Swaney became a great contributor and fan of Pirate athletics and activities over the years and was referred to as “The Old Pirate,” an anonymous name he often used while making donations to athletics and activities at the school.