Dave Fink was literally “in the spotlight” before a near-standing-room-only crowd at Northwest College’s Cabre Gym on Wednesday.
“Trapper Dave Night” honored Powell’s lifelong sports icon, who served tirelessly as team manager during his days as a Powell High School Panther and for three decades since as a game-night fixture when the Trappers take the court for hoops.
The audience on Trapper Dave Night overflowed the gym, forcing late arrivals to squint their eyes in the search for a seat.
“The turnout was amazing, but what else would anyone expect? It was for Dave,” said NWC athletic director Brian Erickson. “He is such an important part of our community and it showed on Wednesday night. You couldn’t find a seat.”
In the gym to demonstrate their appreciation of their friend and unwavering fan were the PHS football, boys’ and girls’ basketball, wrestling, boys’ and girls’ cross country, volleyball, cheer team and boys’ soccer squads in addition to Powell Middle School seventh-grade boys’ hoops, Erickson said.
Buses also delivered the boys’ basketball teams from Lovell and Riverside (Basin) high schools. Also there en masse were Powell Middle School’s seventh grade boys’ basketball team and the Powell Punishers’ youth girls’ traveling team of fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh graders.
To begin the proceedings during halftime of the men’s game versus Sheridan, Trapper Dave entered the gym with his mother, Gerry, and strode to the middle of the floor under a spotlight’s beam to thunderous applause.
Fink was presented with two plaques celebrating his character and service to Powell in general and its athletic teams specifically; one will hang on the Trapper Hall of Fame wall. The event also featured a presentation of photos on a mammoth screen, showing Fink through the years.
A highlight came when Erickson rushed from center court and returned moments later pushing a brand-new bicycle. The moment lit up Trapper Dave’s face with the big smile every onlooker knows so well.
The bike was a gift from interim NWC Vice President for Student Services Dee Havig and his late wife, Julie. Dee Havig could not attend to make the presentation himself, so Erickson stood in.
After raising the seat just so, Trapper Dave exited aboard his new ride, a mile-wide grin on his face, waving as a crashing symphony of cheers rained down on him from the stands.