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.”
Jack Swaney always fondly remembered those words from his time at West Point, and they now grace a plaque in front of a memorial tree planted in the longtime Platte City’s resident’s honor at Pirate Stadium. The public is invited to a short dedication ceremony of the Armstrong Gold Maple planted near the Pirate Hall of Fame bricks at the south entrance of Platte County High School’s athletic field.
The dedication will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 6 ahead of Platte County’s football game against Winnetonka. Platte County athletic director Phil Dorman will speak with a the Platte County High School marching band scheduled to perform at the conclusion.
Swaney graduated from PCHS 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. He was later commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army and was deployed to Vietnam where he received the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart awards during his service.
Swaney later became a dentist and returned to Platte City, where he operated a successful practice for many years. He was a great contributor and fan of Pirate athletics and activities over the years and was referred to as “The Old Pirate.”
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.