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updated: 1/30/2014 10:02 PM

High school sports coverage? Frisk heads the class

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One man's lifelong ambition has played a big part in the lives of so many kids with ambitions of grandeur.

Bob Frisk knew he wanted to be a sports writer when he was in junior high school. In a way, when he got to high school, he never left because of his career path.

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Yes, Bob certainly has the diploma as proof he graduated from Arlington High. But it turned out there was nothing bigger or better for him than staying close to the high school sports arena for more than a half-century.

He would prefer to walk the sideline at Chic Anderson Stadium or Grant Blaney Stadium instead of some corporate-named monstrosity. He would rather pull up a chair at Barrington's Fields of Dreams softball complex or St. Viator's baseball field instead of climb up to a press box high above Wrigley Field.

And a courtside seat at Madison Square Garden wouldn't measure up to the one Bob will have tonight at Prospect's Jean Walker Field House.

Bob's ambition turned into a devotion to high school sports that continues to this day. One where it's fitting that he'll be recognized between the Hersey and Prospect boys and girls basketball games as one of the inaugural winners of the Illinois High School Association's Distinguished Media Service Award.

No one is more deserving of an honor such as this than Bob. Since he still enjoys sharing great quotes annually with the Daily Herald readers, this one from legendary football coach Bum Phillips about Hall of Fame running back Earl Campbell is a perfect way to sum up where Bob Frisk ranks among members of the high school media:

"I don't know if he's in a class by himself," Phillips said, "but I do know that when that class gets together, it sure don't take long to call the roll."

Having class is what separates Bob from those in this business who think they have to be crass to succeed. Bob always understood, particularly when it came to covering high school sports, that treating people with dignity mattered more than digging for dirt.

That respect is evident today in the close relationships Bob still maintains with so many coaches, players and other people who have been involved in high school sports in this area.

His passion and devotion are evident in the way a paper that covered sports in two high schools when Bob started -- Palatine and Arlington -- now reaches nearly 100 from Antioch to Hampshire to Aurora to Naperville.

Bob has always told anyone wise enough to listen that there is nothing quite like the excitement, energy and drama that surrounds high school sports.

Nobody has been better at sharing that message with the masses than Bob Frisk.

• Marty Maciaszek is a freelance columnist for the Daily Herald who can be reached at marty.maciaszek@gmail.com

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